Monday, October 17, 2011

Beyond the Shock

Today, I discovered an app for an online community for women diagnosed with breast cancer. It is called Beyond The Shock and you can install it for free on your IPhone. It links survivors of the disease to others who are seeking emotional support through the use of education, personal videos, and even a forum for questions and answers.

It is sponsored by the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The guide is unique way to offer women a way to connect and to share their personal stories of how they are connecting and fighting breast cancer.

If you are interested, here is the link for NBCF website.

I also found a book called Coping with Breast Cancer: A Husband's Perspective written by Ricky Sides. I ordered it this evening so I will offer a brief book review soon. The book is about the author's personal account of dealing with his fear, depression, and denial while supporting his wife and taking care of their child.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Got Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Are you wearing pink this month? October marks 25 years of awareness, education, and power for women diagnosed and/or surviving breast cancer. Several organizations are honoring women and their family members during the entire month. From walks/runs like "Race for the Cure" to NFL players wearing pink during game days to my bank making a donation to fight against breast cancer with every pink card swipe. Everyone is getting involved in some way to give back.

I often wonder what is the patient's response to this month. What is their relationship to breast cancer?  What does it mean to become a survivor? What is survivorship like for their family? Does the month of October mark a different meaning for the breast cancer patient and her family?

Please feel free to leave your thoughts and/or questions. I would love to hear from you.

Below is Susan G. Komen for the Cure website, if you are interested in more information or connecting with others this month.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Essence Feature on Breast Cancer

I recently read the Body & Spirit feature in Essence magazine on "The Black Woman's Guide to Breast Cancer". I found the information to be useful for women of any color. The guide addressed 3 steps on prevention, surviving, and thriving with the big C. The first step was your anticancer plan, the second step was your early-detection plan and the final step was your best cancer plan.

Awareness is key when knowing your body. I found that the article provided a nice blueprint for women dealing with the possibility of illness and experiencing cancer as part of their lives now. It was disheartening that they didn't include any information about family and/or community support.  My sense is that the author was focused on the individual guide and not a collaborative guide. As we know, illness affects the patient but also other people connected to her.

The magazine is still on stands with cover issue honoring women with power and our first lady, Mrs. Michelle Obama. Check it out and let me know your thoughts!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mind and Body Connection

Several months ago, I read this article via and I wanted to share with each of you. I am a firm believer in the connection between your mind and body. I am sure after days of chemotherapy, radiation, or just daily activities your body might be in some form of fatigue or even pain. Research studies have shown that meditation and hypnosis can assist to alleviate nausea, vomiting, stress, anxiety, and fatigue associated with chemotherapy.

If you are interested in learning more about meditation and hypnosis, I would love to elaborate further and even share more information with you that might be useful.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Celebrating Life

I was reminded this week that celebrating life is important in living.  Typically, we celebrate important events like birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations but how often do we celebrate moments in your daily living. I challenge you today to reflect upon celebrating you on a daily basis. Awake each morning with a mindset of the day being a blessing. Its quite common for challenges to come along during your day but take a moment, stop, and reflect upon the simple things that can allow you to focus on the celebration of living. I challenge you not to wait until an important event to celebrate. It's a gift to live, experience new things, and even to revisit things that you might overlook because of the clutter of daily routines. Again, celebrate the blessing that is you!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Being Present

What does it mean to be present? Personally, I feel that being present allows you to be comfortable with where you are no matter what is going on around you. It's an inner knowing that brings about comfort, peace, and confident assurance for you.

I can imagine for women and loved ones dealing with illness each person might have different meanings of what it means to be present. As a family therapist, I'm genuinely interested in understanding what it means for each of you. I enter the therapy room offering that mindset with all my clients. It allows me to genuinely listen, be curious, and to build a relational connection through sharing your experience with me.

With all the changes that cancer can bring, I can imagine that being present might be quite a challenge. For a moment, I ask you to center yourself and focus on experiences that allow you to be present. Note and feel that particular experience that brings about that inner peace and joy. Cancer doesn't have to rule your life and you can find moments that allow you to have a life you want just simply by being present.