|Here I am about 24/30 months after my final cancer surgery.|
I was still working on gaining weight and strength back.
I'd gone done to 137 lbs (62 Kg.) and was slowly working my
way back up to me fitness weight of 179 lbs (81 Kg)
Wow: Talk about stress!! What to do, what to think, attempt to understand and manage emotions. Yet I'd been given a very unique set of lessons to help prepare me for this type of high impact BIGStuff outcome stress. So I had to very quickly "Hit the ground running" get focused, get a team assembled, sort through the skills I had should use to cope, set some goals, build a plan and start to move forward. Not an easy time for me or loved ones. Yet I knew if I didn't dig deep and use all I knew, and ask for help then both the quality of the journey and the outcome was at a higher risk.
A very wise person once told me to "Start with the end in mind." It was time to make some choices! So that is what I did when I started my urgent quest to discover the most effective ways to help myself at first just survive, offer me a sense of control over this very tough situation, and in time thrive and in time again share with my family and all of us what we can do to become more resilient.
First thing I did was an inventory of what was vital to do for my spouse. That saw me leave the surgeon's offices sit in the parking lot have a great sobbing mind cry. Then action mode. Off to the lawyers and update my will. We'd moved due to my work. That meant we'd changed city's and provinces (some call them states, in Canada they're provinces), so I wanted to ensure that this was not an issue for her should I pass. I had no plans to die. However having up to date paper work freed me to focus on the urgent upfront issues of my health. Then once the will was up to date I went and visited our real estate agent. Having just purchased the home only nine months previous I wanted Peter our agent to know exactly what was going on. Shared names and numbers of spouse, both sets of parents for home and work. In the event of my untimely demise I wanted him on the team to assist my spouse. I had one last call to make once I got to the home office.I called the moving company that had moved us. I talked to the VP of Sales and shared same contact information. Once I had that sewed up I then drove to pick my spouse up from her job in the financial district. Then came the adventure of a life time.
That was one of the most intense days of my life. My daughters brain tumour surgery is also up there, and my Dad's last few days while he fought cancer, but not much else had the intensity or duration of this very personal battle.
One lesson I've had to repeatedly live through during my challenges with my health to that point is that intense living can cause some serious disruptions to our sleep, our mental clarity and our digestive tract. I don't know about you but not being able to sleep, having an upset digestive tract, and feeling mentally off kilter and fuzzy due to lack of sleep and poor digestion is not a state I wish on anyone.
So to quote a very wise one from years ago "Start with the end in mind" I started on a plan of seeing what I could to to assist myself quiet and calm my mind and body despite the BIGStuff I was starting to face.
So that quest lead me back in time to some very powerful skills that have helped me deal with much of what life has dealt until this diagnosis. During my chronic health challenges I'd managed to have zero symptoms for three years. NOT because my illness went away, that was closely monitored but because I'd practised some key skills. Now would come the ultimate challenge for me as I battled cancer.
So went back to what I'd learnt through my parents, grandparents, physical education, teacher, martial arts master, piano, choir, trumpet teachers and several others. One set of skills stuck out as having helped me have a great sense of control and improve my sleep. So I set out to start to practise each of them as often as I could each and every day.
The first one up was the Relaxation Response. There are dozens of variations of this skill. Depending upon where you live and who you connect with it goes by many names and can be accomplished in various ways. One of my favourites is the progressive muscle relaxation response technique.
It works wonders for me. It has helped me with sleep, calming my mind, pain management for both chronic illness and post surgery pain. It's not a cure. However it is a very valuable life skill to help you mentally and physically. I trust you'll enjoy it as much as I have. It's below.
You can get a audio copy this exercise on iTunes, or Google music and on my store to download at:
Enjoy it! Remember the more you practise it the more the benefits start over time to accumulate.
I've found that each of these types of exercises build my capacity to be calmer and more focused. However that does not happen instantly. For best results I highly recommend you practise this six or 7 times a week.
You can purchase it here on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id997763796?ls=1&app=itunes
Always check with your medical professional before you start or take on a new exercise.
NEVER do this while operating any type of vechile!
What does the research say:
Safety and Side Effects of Relaxation Techniques
The Chair Art work is courtesy of Artist