Blindsided by a Cancer Diagnosis?

The dictionary definition of blindsided is to surprise someone, usually with harmful results. Have you ever been blindsided by a cancer diagnosis or prognosis?

I remember when my late husband received his cancer diagnosis back in July 2014. He had a mole on his back which was checked regularly but I noticed a change in it one day when he was out in the garden without a shirt. He was seen very quickly by the GP and two weeks later he had it removed. We waited patiently for the results, never expecting a diagnosis of malignant melanoma! However, 2 days before his scheduled appointment he got a call from the Radiology department of a local hospital requesting him to undergo a CT scan. (Admin error!) We knew at once what his results were and therefore had 2 days to process the news and make some decisions BEFORE going for the results appointment!

It was a blessing in disguise, as we were able to discuss at the appointment (rather heatedly I must admit) the treatment route that he had chosen and his reasons for it.

If he hadn’t received that phone call from the Radiology department 2 days earlier we would have been blindsided by the news. How do you cope in a situation like that?

Studies into the mind-body link show that it is vital to treat feelings of helplessness and despair in order to fight the progression of cancer. This is usually done through meditation, prayer, yoga and other stress relieving techniques that engender a deep state of calm in a person. Raised stress levels, after being blindsided, cause the body’s natural killer cells to be blocked by stress hormones thus preventing them from doing what they were designed to do – kill off mutant cancer cells.

What are my tips for navigating a cancer diagnosis?

1. Educate yourself: Learn all you can about various treatments and how your particular cancer behaves

2. Positive mind-set: Have a vision of the future. Create a vision board to keep you focused on the positives.

3. Anti-inflammatory diet: Reduce refined sugar and carbs and increase your rainbow vegetables; include healthy fats such as olive oil and coconut oil; cut out alcohol

4. Work with a Nutritional Therapist as nutrition can help chemotherapy treatment to be more effective

5. Read/watch uplifting books and documentaries

6. Practise daily gratitude

7. Pray/meditate every day

8. Protect yourself: Guard your heart and mind from other people’s fear; be careful what you listen to. Does it build you up or knock you down?

9. Check out alternative therapies: Acupuncture, reflexology, EFT (tapping), massages

10. Daily affirmations: The unconscious mind only responds to positive statements so use the present tense only. State facts not wishes.

Helpful books and organisations:
Sophie Sabbage ‘The Cancer Whisperer’
Sophie Sabbage ‘Lifeshocks’
Jane McClelland ‘How to Starve Cancer’
David Servan-Screiber ‘Anti-cancer A New Way of Life’
Chris Woollams ‘The Tree of Life’
Xandria Williams ‘Vital Signs for Cancer’
Jenny Hrbacek ‘Cancer Free-Are You Sure?’

Helpful Charities:
Yes to Life
Gerson Therapy
Clouds Trust

Wishing you health and happiness wherever you are on your cancer journey.  

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