Living through cancer with Meditation
Meditation & Living beyond cancer The cancer experience includes many many elements. It's not just being afraid of dying and feeling physically sick, although those pieces are also present. There may also be relationship problems, daily living challenges, children to care for, emotional issues, treatment decisions, side-effects of treatment, insurance debacles and on and on. It feels like a big cyclone of chaos at times. The cancer experience is kind of like a really rough, whipping, bumping, and turning roller coaster ride, the kind you're praying will end soon. You just can't wait till the car pulls to a stop, the safety bar lifts and you can get the hell off of it!
Unfortunately you can't get off the ride, but you can find a way to be where you are at this moment in time. Can you find a way to ride the coaster?
Mindfulness meditation practice can help.
Don't take my word for it. In a randomized clinical trial, cancer patients completing the 7 week meditation condition reported a decrease in depression, anxiety, anger, and confusion AND additionally they reported an increase in Vigor! The patients also reported fewer symptoms of stress and less emotional irritability.If you've ever been on chemotherapy and some of the steroids they give you along with it you know that emotional irritability can be a real challenge. Overall the cancer patients completing the 7 week meditation condition reported a 65% decrease in mood disturbance & 31% reduction in symptoms of stress.
But don't take their word for it. Experience it for yourself...
1.Come to my group: I've been through chemotherapy, radiation and the chaos of cancer. I now lead a Mindfulness Meditation group which meets in Encinitas at the Pacific Oncology and Hematology Clinic EVERY Thursday afternoon. Click here for more information.
2.Go to my coping resources page: see books on Mindfulness Meditation and also cancer. A great starting place: "Full Catastrophe Living" by Jon Kabat-Zinn
3. If you want to read more on the study discussed above: Speca, M., Carlson, L.E., Goodey, E., and Angen, M. (2000). A randomized, wait-list controlled clinical trial: The effect of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction program on mood and symptoms of stress in cancer outpatients. Psychosomatic Medicine, 62, pp.613-622