Cancer/Oncology
Imagery Offers Respite from Pain, Distress Following Thyroid Surgery | Print |  E-mail
Sunday, 20 April 2014

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A woman is shocked to learn that her “benign” lump is a stage two cancerous thyroid gland, and endures the added distress of hypothyroidism while she undergoes treatment.

But imagery helps her enormously.  Here are her own words:

“Hi -- a little more than a year ago, I was wheeled into surgery for what we all thought was a routine removal of a benign lump on my thyroid. But when I came out of that surgery, it was without a thyroid and with the designation "cancer survivor,"

That "benign" lump was actually a malignant tumor, stage two. The shock of that, not to mention the severe hypothyroidism I had to endure during treatment in the weeks following the surgery was miserable.   I'd never been so tired or in so much pain in my life.   

A friend recommended the "cancer pack" and the vivid imageries, visualizations and guided meditations helped enormously.

For periods after listening to the program, I had enough energy to function and was even able to keep a positive outlook (for the most part) throughout the process.

Thank you for the wonderful program -- I'm going to order the relaxation programs shortly to deal with excess stress in my life.   God bless.

Virginia P.
 
Mindfulness Beats Expressive-Supportive Tx with Stressed-Out Cancer Patients | Print |  E-mail
Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Researchers from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, compared the effectiveness of 2 evidence-based group interventions to help stressed breast cancer survivors cope - mindfulness-based cancer recovery (MBCR) and classic, supportive-expressive group therapy (SET).
 
This multisite, randomized controlled trial assigned 271 distressed survivors of stage I - III breast cancer to one of the two group interventions or a 1-day stress management control condition.

MBCR focused on training in mindfulness meditation and gentle yoga, whereas SET focused on emotional expression and group support. Both intervention groups included 18 hours of professional contact.

Measures were collected at baseline and post-intervention by blinded assessors. Primary outcome measures were mood and diurnal salivary cortisol slopes. Secondary outcomes were stress symptoms, quality of life and social support.

 
Yoga Can Reduce Fatigue in Cancer Patients | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 31 March 2014

Investigators from San Diego State University (SDSU) & University of California, San Diego (UCSD), conducted a meta-analysis to examine the effects of randomized, controlled yoga interventions on self-reported fatigue in cancer patients and survivors. The online electronic databases, PubMed and PsycINFO, were used to search for peer-reviewed research articles reporting on randomized, controlled studies.

The main outcome of interest was change in fatigue from pre- to post-intervention. Interventions of any length were included in the analysis. Risk of bias using the format of the Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing risk of bias was also examined across studies.

Ten articles met the inclusion criteria and involved a total of 583 participants who were predominantly female, breast cancer survivors.

 
Would Using Cancer Imagery Preventatively Be Putting Thoughts in Her Head? | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 24 March 2014

We got this really interesting question from a woman last week, and it’s something we’ve heard before.  So we thought this would be a good place to post it.  She’s not obsessed with fear of cancer, just wants to know if it might do her some long-term good.  Check it out.

Question:  

Belleruth,
Would it be a good preventative therapy for me to listen daily to your Meditation for Cancer CD?  

Or would I be putting thoughts in my head?

I am not really obsessed at all about it, but at age 60, I would like to heal any start of cancer cells.

My mother had breast cancer, and I've also lost a close friend to cancer, and am close to another who is in remission, so it is on my mind.  

Maddy

 
Cancer-free Woman Gives Thanks for Guided Imagery | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 24 March 2014

Dear BR,
I was given your audio for surgery and also for cancer. Following 9 hours of surgery for Stage IV ovarian cancer, I also had 10 months of chemotherapy.  

I listened to the cancer imagery twice a day, every day – once to the guided imagery track and once to the affirmations. I believe this was a critical piece of my healing.

I am now cancer-free and am watching the Bernie Siegel video, Affirmations for Living Beyond Cancer.  I plan to continue my devotional regime, using these titles, as I am confident that this ongoing work on my part will be critical in keeping me cancer-free.  I intend to live a very long, long time.

Thank you for creating these resources.  I’m delighted that they are being used in more and more hospitals and other settings.  

Sincerely,
Karen I.

 
Inspiration & Poetry after a Bilateral Mastectomy & Hysterectomy | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 10 March 2014

We posted this note and poem by the indomitable and multi-talented Margaret Dubay Mikus years ago, and recently came across it again – it sure is worth posting again.  

Since the time she wrote this, she has gone on to further flesh out her exquisite Full Blooming website, where she inspires and empowers scores of people in tough circumstances, temporarily in need of a little extra hope and moxie.   

Here it is again:

A poet with a PhD in molecular genetics, has a recurrence of breast cancer and finds out she carries the “breast cancer gene”, the BRCA2 mutation, and, after much deliberation, opts for a bilateral mastectomy, plus removal of her ovaries and Fallopian tubes.  We don’t have the space here to tell the whole story of her amazing, courageous, bumpy ride, but we can publish her wonderful poem and her thank you letter to friends, family and caregivers after her surgery.  You can learn more about Margaret Dubay Mikus and enjoy her inspiring poetry and photography here.

 
Testing a Mini-Juke Box of Mind-Body Strategies for Cancer Patients | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 13 January 2014

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted a pilot randomized controlled trial to assess the initial efficacy of a patient-controlled cognitive-behavioral (CB) intervention for the pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbance symptom cluster that often accompanies advanced cancer treatment.

Eighty-six patients with advanced lung, prostate, colorectal, or gynecologic cancers, receiving treatment at a comprehensive cancer center, were stratified by recruitment clinics (chemotherapy and radiation therapy) and randomized to the intervention or control groups.

Forty-three patients were assigned to receive training in and use of up to 12 relaxation, guided imagery or distraction exercises, delivered via an MP3 player for two weeks during cancer treatment.
 
Forty-three patients were assigned to a waitlist control condition for the same two week period. Outcomes included symptom cluster severity and overall symptom interference with daily life, measured at baseline (Time 1) and two weeks later (Time 2).

 
Guided Imagery Made a Big Difference to This Cancer Patient | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 14 October 2013

Probably the most frequent thanks we get is from someone who was really scared – someone who used our guided imagery to get a sense of calm mastery and control over their anxiety and fear.  Often that was facing surgery, chemotherapy or a tough diagnosis;  or it could be a condition that is in and of itself based on anxiety – panic attacks, OCD, posttraumatic stress and so forth.  

Here’s an article that was dropped in my mail box about a patient at Beaumont Hospital System in Durango CO, who used imagery to face down some very tough and scary cancer treatments.  

Do have a look if you’ve got the time.  It’s a fast but inspiring read.  Just click here.

 
A Whole Lotta Good Questions about What to Get for Someone with Cancer | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 14 October 2013

Question:

Hello Health Journeys and Belleruth,  Five years ago I was the beneficiary of a Health Journeys CD called Successful Surgery. Soon, I plan to send comments how this cd was so very helpful for me.

In the meantime, I would like to purchase some cds/dvds for a dear friend of mine who recently has been diagnosed with metastatic cancer.

Her doctor says she must soon undergo radiation treatment for the bone cancer in her skull and hip, as well as reconstruction surgery.

Here are my questions; and it’s OK if you are not able to answer them. Just let me know.

 
Cats Can Use Guided Imagery Too | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 10 June 2013

Dear Belleruth,

I would like to let you know about a unique way that I’ve been using your guided imagery CD’s. First, let me say that they have been a lifeline for me, especially dealing with some unpleasant medical problems and the sudden death of my mother in September. Unfortunately, I was dealt another blow in December when my amazing tabby cat, Cody, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after surgery to remove a tumor, his spleen, and part of his pancreas.  

Before I go any further, let me tell you a little bit about Cody. I adopted him from a shelter when he was 2 years old and he’s now almost 14. He has a wonderful personality and absolutely loves people. One of his goals in life is to charm everyone he meets. When we lived in Cincinnati, one of his vets used to refer to him as the Cat Ambassador. He ’s one of the few cats who actually likes being at the vet because people love on him and tell him how cute he is. We affectionately call him our snuggle slut.

 
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