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Melissa and Leslie's story: The power of food. Cynthia's story: Finding her voice. Sachi's story: Facing another unpredictable wave. Sachi looks at her young daughter.

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And the young girl stares delightedly back at her mama. Lindsay's story: Facing cancer as an oncology nurse and a mom. When Judi walks into a room, laughter and smiles are sure to follow. Billy's story: Making every note count. At Billy's jazz performance, the bass player taps a smooth, steady line of deep notes. Fred's story: Making cancer the punchline. Fred makes people laugh for a living. But this wasn't always so. Victor's story: Facing each new day with gratitude.

As Victor tears along the winding mountain roads of Utah on his motorcycle, every sense awakens.

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In the event that you cannot become pregnant, there is always surrogacy and adoption. The key: pick an agency and country that are open to working with cancer survivors. You have free article s left. Already a subscriber? Sign in. See Subscription Options. Design a healing plan: Pull together a team of Western physicians as well as integrative doctors to teach you how to build up your immunity and spiritual grit to create the best get-healthy recipe.

Ask family and friends to chip in and scour the Internet and bookshelves for information. She recommends exploring healthy diets, exercise and alternative therapies such as massage, yoga and meditation to boost and maintain your physical and emotional well-being. Below are some questions you should ask: What causes this type of cancer? What are the risk factors?

What lifestyle changes diet, exercise, rest do you recommend? What are my treatment options?

Are there activities that should be avoided because they might trigger or exacerbate symptoms? What happens if new symptoms crop up or existing ones worsen? What medical tests or procedures are necessary? How often? What stage is my cancer? What does that mean? What is my overall prognosis or chance of recovery? What are the average survival and cure rates? Could my disease go into remission?

What is the recommended treatment? How often will I have to undergo treatment—and for how long? What are the potential side effects? What are the benefits versus the risks of each treatment option? Are there alternative therapies? What are they? What are the expected results of treatment? Is the treatment painful? If so, is there a way to make it more bearable? Policy changes could considerably speed up availability of and access to early palliative care for metastatic patients and caregivers.

During discussion, Ian Banks, of the European Cancer Organisation and the European Men's Health Forum, noted evidence showing that people who experienced unemployment had higher rates of mortality. Therefore, addressing the employment situation of caregivers and patients also impacts the health and quality of life for both. Karen Benn stressed the importance of flexibility at work and protection of the right to work for all patients with degenerative conditions, including cancer patients, and referred to France as an example of a country that appears to protect these rights.

Camille Bullot of the European Patients Forum also noted examples of other patient organisations that have produced advice for employers on how to deal with employee conditions, such as the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform. During this session, speakers and participants raised challenges experienced by people with metastatic cancer and caregivers in the workplace and stressed the need for better protection and flexibility in social and employment policy.

During discussion, there was consensus on the urgent need to develop data on the participation of people with metastatic cancer in the workplace, ideally comparable across EU countries. A pilot project in one area, such as metastatic breast cancer, could then form the basis for more systematic work across the spectrum of tumour types. These events are often beyond our control.

Living With Cancer: Being Mortal

But patients with positive attitudes are better able to cope with disease-related problems and may respond better to therapy. Many physicians have seen how two patients of similar ages and with the same diagnosis, degree of illness, and treatment program experience vastly different results. One of the few apparent differences is that one patient is pessimistic and the other optimistic.

For the part can never be well unless the whole is well. Recently there has been a shift in health care toward recognizing this wisdom, namely that the psychological and the physical elements of a body are not separate, isolated, and unrelated, but are vitally linked elements of a total system. Health is increasingly being recognized as a balance of many inputs, including physical and environmental factors, emotional and psychological states, and nutritional habits and exercise patterns.

Some doctors and psychologists now believe that the proper attitude may even have a direct effect on cell function and consequently may be used to arrest, if not cure, cancer. This new field of scientific study, called psychoneuroimmunology, focuses on the effect that mental and emotional activity have on physical well-being, indicating that patients can play a much larger role in their recovery.

It will be many years before we know whether it is possible for the mind to control the immune defense system. Experiments with biofeedback and visualization are helpful in that they encourage positive thinking and provide relaxation, thereby increasing the will to live.

But they can also be damaging if a patient puts all of his or her faith in them and ignores conventional therapy. Speculation abounds, particularly in the case of cancer. But no studies have proven in a scientifically valid way that a person can control the course of his or her cancer with the mind, although patients often believe otherwise.

Living Simply With Cancer - Lifeforce Cancer Support Services

There are many individual cases that attest to the power of positive attitudes and emotions. One patient with high-risk cancer had a mastectomy at age twentynine. At thirty-one, she had advanced Stage IV cancer with widespread massive liver and bone involvement and, subsequently, extensive lung metastases. She also had an amazingly strong will to live. There was a lot I was fighting for. I had a three-year-old child, a wonderful life, and a magical love affair with my husband.

We often ask our patients to explain how they are able to transcend their problems.

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We have found that however diverse they are in ethnic or cultural background, age, educational level, or type of illness, they have all gone through a similar process of psychological recovery. The threat of death often renews our appreciation of the importance of life, love, friendship, and all there is to enjoy. Many patients say that facing the uncertainties of living with an illness makes life more meaningful.

The smallest pleasures are intensified and much of the hypocrisy in life is eliminated.

Living with Cancer: Eight Things You Need to Know

When bitterness and anger begin to dissipate, there is still a capacity for joy. Being outdoors, feeling the sun on my skin or the wind blowing against my body, hearing birds sing, breathing in the spray of the ocean. I never lose hope that I may somehow stumble upon or be graced with a victory against this disease.

Unfortunately, and quite understandably, many patients react to the diagnosis of cancer in the same way that people in primitive cultures react to the imposition of a curse or spell: as a sentence to a ghastly death. In modern medical practice, a similar phenomenon may occur when, out of ignorance or superstition, a patient believes the diagnosis of cancer to be a death sentence.

However, the phenomenon of self-willed death is only effective if the person believes in the power of the curse.