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My New Normal: Lifestyle Changes I Carried Over from Cancer Treatment
What to Expect

My New Normal: Lifestyle Changes I Carried Over from Cancer Treatment

What to Expect


Aidan Morris

From the onset of my diagnosis, I saw my treatment therapies as my full-time job. I knew I needed to complete all of my chemo infusions, radiation sessions and surgeries to have a chance at living. I was also very aware that there might be more treatment – which there was! Much more. What did that mean for me? It meant I needed to help my mind and body prepare and cope with the fight of my life – quite literally.  So, I began:

  • Prioritizing sleep. Getting at least 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night with a 1+ hour nap.
  • Eating as clean as possible, cutting out all alcohol, sugar, processed foods and focusing on organic, natural nutrition.
  • Eliminating as much plastic as I could, drinking out of glass or stainless steel.
  • Incorporating healing and detoxifying supplements: turmeric, maca, matcha, vitamin D, zinc, calcium, magnesium. *Always check with your medical team when taking anything*
  • Choosing gentle stimulating exercise over limit pushing intensity. My favorites are walking, Pilates, yoga, and stretching.  
  • Focusing on the positive by removing any scary, negative or upsetting content. This meant no more social media, sad songs, scary shows, murder mysteries, etc.
  • Slowing down. I began meditating, listening to binaural beats, and saying no to things that caused chaos instead of bringing calm.
  • Simplifying. Was it necessary for me of my family? If not, it wasn’t a happening. This was accelerated by Covid which happened right after my radiation. All of a sudden, we didn’t have unnecessary or stressful commitments to rush to.
  • Reducing the amount of chemicals in my daily life. I focused on “clean” toiletries, cosmetics, and household items.

I know that all seems overwhelming, but in a strange way, it was calming for me. It helped me feel that I had some influence or power in a very out of control situation. Also, it worked! I was able to complete all of my treatment therapies – all 3.5 years-worth.  

Here I am, years after my diagnosis and back to normal.  My hair has grown back, my schedule has shifted from being full of doctors’ appointments and infusions to swim practice and room parent meetings, and the fear that gripped me for so long comes and goes only every so often. Actually, I revise my statement as I am now living “my new normal.” My life will never fully go back to the way it was, and I say that as a positive.

While I might not be living as strictly as I did during my darkest days, I still stick to the framework I outlined while in treatment. I try to eat cleanly, but I enjoy holidays and special occasions. I have continued to do what feels best for my body by sleeping and choosing revitalizing exercise. I try to eliminate chemicals in or around me and my loved ones. I continue to live in my happy bubble regulating distressing content, toxic people, and remain off social media. But the most powerful, in my opinion, are the things I had control of all along: slowing down and simplifying. I have a new appreciation for the quiet, being alone, and fiercely defending our family time. Because, at the end of the day I realized my greatest joys come from the simple pleasures of life.

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