There are some people who seem to glide through their cancer treatment. They take selfies at their infusions, talk about how good they feel, and have parties to celebrate the end of radiation or chemo. I was not one of those people! The weeks of surgery, chemotherapy, and brain radiation were the toughest of my life. But - I made it!
Simple, inexpensive, natural, self-care rituals are what got me through this time. I had neglected self-care before my diagnosis, and now that I know what my body and spirit needs and enjoys, it’s a priority in everyday life! Focus on the simple joys and listen to what your body needs.
Here are some of the things that provided relief in the throes of cancer treatment:
- Take epsom salt baths daily (when treatment allows) with essential oils such as lavender to naturally soothe and relieve pain and promote relaxation.
- Incorporate essential oils as a natural way to relax you, relieve headaches, nausea and uplift the spirit. Try our Do Cancer signature oil blends, or one like clary sage.
- Try “earthing” - walk barefoot on grass or the beach (if it’s an option). Not only does earthing relieve nausea and dizziness naturally, the fresh air recharges your body. Even if I could only manage a couple of steps, feeling fresh air or putting my feet into sand was like an oxygen tank for my body and soul.
- Get natural vitamin D from the sun. If your treatment is during a temperate season, lay outside and feel the sunshine. When I had no energy I would play music while soaking in the sun’s rays, imagining better days ahead.
- Get more from your water. I drank hydrogen-infused water right when I got out of radiation treatment to help keep inflammation down. It has been shown to improve your quality of life during treatment.
- Do slow, gentle movement. Move your body during this time, even if it is just a short walk in your driveway.
- Download a meditation or calming music. I played a meditation on my way to radiation that helped me mentally prepare. It was also a visualization tool to help me see the radiation rays as healing light getting rid of the cancer cells, seeing my treatments in a more positive way.
- Find a mantra and believe it. I would recite over and over the words: “I am healthy, I am strong, I am healed.” That is the truth that I wanted my cells and body to hear.
- Stick to creature comforts. What’s a small pleasure that gives you great joy? Sipping tea or coffee in the morning next to your dog? Reading? Life is full of beautiful, small moments and routines. Take time to recognize what yours are and make sure you do them everyday.
There's nothing that can speed up this time or provide magic relief - just stick to what feels good and always listen to your body!