Cancer Survivor Mind Health

Challenges of the Cancer Survivor

  • Live with a tentative nature, thinking it may come back. I won’t live long. How long before I will experience more suffering and pain
  • It is a constant thought, tormenting. Every ache, pain or cough, raises the question:  Is it cancer?
  • No big future plans are thought of with promise or excitement
  • The fear is kept in side. No one can relate to this struggle
  • Side effects are a constant reminder that I had a deadly disease that might come back. Including mouth sores, numbness, memory loss, ports that have not been removed, long-term use of chemotherapy drugs, in ability to get life insurance, etc.
  • Loss of a job or significant other and having to start over
  • Medical bills causing financial ruin

Think on these things:

Cancer Survivors need to be encouraged to see surviving cancer as an exciting second chance at life! It is an opportunity to begin life as God had intended. It is not about getting back to normal. The risk of getting back to the old normal is the old normal that (for many), was the lifestyle that  yielded a cancer diagnosis. So we don’t want to go back to that. We need a new normal.

That new normal should include the constant practice of gratitude, a  grateful heart for having an extended life, and an opportunity to appreciate every day. It is a chance to embrace the fact that God is using this experience for good.  You are a much stronger person after coming out of this experience. It is a chance to leverage that strength you’ve gained from the journey. It is a point in life when you no longer sweat the small stuff. Now you can do more for the greater good. You can encourage others and be more sensitive to the pain and suffering of others.

We know through scripture that God had a purpose (a work) for us before we entered our mother’s womb (Psalm 139). And we must believe that He has not lost sight of the vision he has for us. Let’s see every day as God’s investment in that plan and purpose. See this new normal as your opportunity to jump on board with this plan. Increase your prayer life and commitment to the plan. “Allow His love to show you how valuable you are to Him. Now, honor that relationship by caring for yourself. Yield your future by allowing hope in your Primary Care giver [Our Lord] to make you feel confident that He is with you no matter what. As you do this, you will begin to feel better.”  Using the Holy Bible as your map and instruction for living, you will have the hope and confidence to move forward.

Scripture admonishes us to put our imagination under the authority of God the Holy Spirit. This will help us  build a thought-life that fights against those fearful thoughts of cancer recurrence and help us have joy in knowing that everyone who has life has only one day each day. Finally, “brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Surina Ann Jordan is the author of the books, Got Cancer? Congratulations! Now You Can Start Living, The Seven Disciplines of Wellness, the Spiritual Connection To Good Health and Living Well. She is President and Sr. Health Advisor of Zima Health, LLC, zimahealth.com.  SurinaAnn@surinajordan.com.

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New Year Intentions

As we head into 2016, there are several things that if addressed, can set the course for a positive and different year.

End of year for me is a time of reflection. It could help to answer the following questions:

What did I accomplish in 2015 that I can build upon?

What decisions have I made during the year that will benefit me next year?

What decisions and choices did I make this year that will not benefit me and as a result require recovery time in 2016?

What so I need to leave behind and must not carry it 2016. Be it a relationships, habits, or thoughts and attitude?

What give things do I need to accomplish this time next year? And how will I keep myself on track with these goals?

If you can spend and hour or so with these questions, you can walk into 2016 with focus, direction and intention .

 

Authentically Me!

Authentically Me

(by Teriko Epps)

Look in the mirror, who do I see,

Wonderful, beautiful, authentic me.

Made in His image, made from above,

Made in a manner of caring and love.

So why do I add to His created beauty?

Why can’t I see my flaws have their duty?

To mold me and make me who He wants me to be.

Oh Lord help me to see, Your beautiful me.

Why do I compare myself to my sista?

Then doubt me, be a hater, or “dis” her.

Her beauty is hers, and mine is mine.

Help me to believe what you made is just fine.

Give me the pride and the courage to just be

Your works are wonderful, I know that, THAT’S ME!

To not be authentic just takes me off course

Of Your path for me as You open new doors.

Help me to love as you love from above.

Lead me to display Your wonderful love.

It starts with me, to thine own self be true.

But it’s only complete through the Works of You.

Look in the mirror, who do I see,

Wonderful, beautiful, authentic me.

Made in His image, made from above,

Made in a manner of caring and love!

The Once-In-Awhile Diet

On the eve of Thanksgiving, 2014, I wanted to share a tip that has been very beneficial for many of my clients. We want to enjoy the holiday, but we do not want to loose ground on our wellness lifestyle.

The tip is quite simple:


“It is not want you do once-in-awhile that counts, it is want you do everyday. ” –– Surina Ann Jordan


The once-in-awhile diet encourages us to eat poor meals less and eat healthy meals every day. If we eat these nutrient-rich meals and snacks every day, then Thanksgiving day fits the once-in-awhile category, affording us the opportunity to eat some of whatever we choose. Knowing full well that we do not eat like this everyday, our discipline should help us not gorge or stuff ourselves and select small portions of “whatever”. It also means that tomorrow we return to our normal healthy choices and decisions around food. So doggy bags and left-overs do not come home with you! Clear them out!

The following day, we return to our plant-based diet, exercising the principals in Discipline Seven, which is: to Eat and Drink Real Food.

Order book:  The Seven Disciplines of Wellness, The Spiritual Connection to Good Health

Related Article: Surviving Holiday Feasts

Developing Your Food Philosophy

book_order-now_WEB-bannerWhat is a food philosophy? A food philosophy is how we see food and the value we place on it everyday. What is the purpose of food in your life? Is it a multi use item? It is the friend that won’ t talk back or criticize you? Is food something you use when you are  bored? Is it for nourishment and building a strong body or is it the necessary burden that drains your time, money and other resources?

Knowing the answers to these questions will allow us to begin the process of putting food in prospective and using it to restore the body and sustain overall wellness. How do you do food? When do you eat? Who prepares your food and how much food do you eat everyday? What triggers your need for food and how often?

A Healthy Food Philosophy

My personal food philosophy began to shape the day I realized that there is a connection between what I eat and how I feel. You can read more of my food journey on this link. (Food Journey).  I was basically killing myself with the fork. Today if I had to boil it down to three words, it would be “FOOD IS POWER”. Whoever does your food has power over you!

The original diet as outlined in scripture helps us realize that food is power. It is our first line of defense against disease. The Seventh Discipline of the book The Seven Disciplines of Wellness helps us with making the permanent change needed in order to be well.

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Healthy Recipes

 

Motivation To Move

We discuss in the book that using the word “exercise” does not work for many of us due to negative images and painful experiences of the past. Also comes the guilt from the failed attempt at working out. So we say “MOVE”.

Our motivation for moving and keeping the body fit is based on the love relationship we have with God and our desire to express gratitude to Him for giving us these miraculous bodies. Some days we may not want to do it. But that is why Move is a discipline. For example:

We may  not always feel like it, but we have the discipline to do it! The feeling of accomplishment and being true to the lifestyle of being well, makes it worth it!

 

Tip: Three days a week for 30 to 60 minutes of walking is effective for health maintenance.

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Depression

excerpt from the book:  Living Well, a series of holistic articles by Surina Ann Jordan

Many of us have already made a date with seasonal depression. “It happens every year,” you might say. Think for a minute on the power of words and the fact that you could say, “Last year I was not ready for winter and it really got me down. This year I am going to prepare myself and not put life on hold just because it is winter!” Wow! How powerful that feels! Here are some additional liberating thoughts and ideas to help you in your new way of jumping into winter.

 

Dealing With Winder - Laugh!
Dealing With Winter – Laugh!

·       First of all, go to meet winter. Don’t let it just happen. See it coming. Plan for it.  Embrace it like an evergreen extracting all the freshness and energy of the new season. Don’t resist something that is so natural. Flow right into it.

 

·       Understand the purpose of winter and how important it is to your overall health and longevity. It is the time to rest and recharge as much as possible. Go to sleep earlier. In winter your body expects more sleep, which corresponds with nature’s longer nights.

 

·       Keep in mind that no season lasts forever. So set goals for spring. Out of that goal setting will come many indoor projects leading up to your spring accomplishments. These projects could include research (Internet and library), phone calls, inquiries, and planning.

 

·       Keep your body loose and fit. Stretch and do some type of exercise that is good for you every day. Open a window and take deep breaths to clear your lungs. The lungs and the large intestine impact health during this season, so keep them clear and mucus free.

 

·       Schedule indoor activities, projects, and free time. Experiment with recipes to make them healthier, and write letters (or emails) to catch up with friends and family. Go to the craft shop and pick up that old hobby or start a new one. For example, get out those wonderful vacation or special occasion photographs and scrapbook them. This does several things: it becomes a keepsake or heirloom, but it also gives you wonderful thoughts as you relive what you did and look forward to more good times.

 

·       Buy fresh cut flowers weekly. Place them in a prominent place in the house. Make sure to discard them as soon as they start to wilt.

 

·       Stop criticizing yourself and others. Add the words, “It’s going to be all right” as your everyday affirmation. Find one thing to laugh about every day. Laughter is therapeutic and a great massage for the internal organs.

 

·       Don’t watch TV before bed or at meals, which is a primary source for reinforcing negative thinking. Buy a few easy listening CDs and get some of that reading done. Schedule TV time—don’t let it just trespass over your entire space and time. That gives TV too much power.

 

·       Eat less meat and more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts. Nature is at rest and living inward. Our bodies respond well to those root foods because of their medicinal properties for building a healthy immune system. They include garlic, onions, beets, ginger, and burdock. Additionally, eat those foods that are in season, including citrus, apples, grapes, pears, walnuts, sunflower seeds, squash, brown rice, corn, and wheat. Our bodies also respond well to the following spices: turmeric (which is also in curry), fennel, cumin, peppers, sage, nutmeg, and parsley. Limit sweets, cheese, bread, milk, and fried foods, which all promote congestion (mucus) in our bodies.

 

·       Drink plenty of room temperature water. Dehydration is very common during the winter months. Water is an essential nutrient for the brain and it promotes positive thinking. Also experiment with the wonderful variety of herbal teas. Use honey, lemon, or maple syrup as sweeteners.

 

·       Limit alcohol, which can lead to dehydration. Alcohol weakens body and brain function. Alcohol also makes us more vulnerable to depression.

 

·       When you do go out, take the winter challenge. How many layers of clothing will you need in order to stay warm? Keep your chest, neck, head, and feet warm. If winter wins that day, try again tomorrow. Wear a brightly colored item (scarf, hat, or gloves), which is a great pick-me-up for you and others.

 

·       Plan at least one get-together where you invite some special positive people over so they can bring positive energy into your home.

 

Notice that these things do not require a lot of money. Meaningful things don’t have to break the budget.

 

If you can implement these suggestions, you can cancel that standing date with seasonal depression. Instead you will have embraced winter like an evergreen . . . Winter never felt so good!

 

_____

References:

1. Teehee.com. Laugh therapy.

2. Balch, Phyllis A. and James Balch. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 3rd ed. New York: Avery, 2000.

 

 

the Spiritual Connection to Good Health