“There is no right way to deal with cancer,” advises Melvin Mann in “Dear Cancer Patient,” our Voices column. Diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in 1995 and in treatment and remission since 1998, Mann shares insights on navigating the many aspects of cancer, including quality of life. “Do your best at keeping your spirits up,” he writes. “This may involve trying integrative therapies (such as meditation, yoga and tai chi), watching comedies, accepting help, forgiving others, listening to music, seeking spiritual connections and doing things that you enjoy. What works for you is unique to you.”
Meditation transformed AJ Patel’s quality of life. Profiled in our cover story, Patel struggled with overwhelming fear and depression after learning he had metastatic lung cancer nearly a decade ago. Then he tried Vipassana, a breath-based meditation. “The experience completely changed my life,” he recalls.
“I feel a lot happier. I’m no longer fearful, no longer scared of any treatment. This has been a beautiful gift.” To learn more about the benefits of meditation for people with cancer, go here.
Many healing practices—from acupuncture to music therapy—may also alleviate cancer-related pain, such as neuropathy. A panel of integrative oncology experts offers guidelines on these therapies. Similarly, health care workers who specialize in psychosocial oncology provide behavioral, psychological and social support for patients experiencing cancer. Elizabeth Archer-Nanda, DNP, APRN, explains more here.
Quality of life is not separate from knowledge. This issue of Cancer Health offers news about metastatic breast cancer treatment, new insights on prostate cancer, basics on colon and rectal cancer, resources for people living with uterine and endometrial cancer and much more.
Finally, a person’s quality of life can be enhanced by something as simple as soft pajamas, soothing fruit smoothies, Chemo Care Kits and books on mindfulness. Go here for more winter comforts. Enjoy.