Finding A Sense Of Balance - Life With Cancer
Last updated: December 2022
As a person living with lung cancer, the treatment and medical appointments can be exhausting and time-consuming. There should be a balance between my life and dealing with my cancer. While I am undergoing my treatment, I have created some good ways to get the most out of life.
Relieving my symptoms
It’s hard to find enjoyment when you feel unwell. With anemia as a side-effect, I become weak. Even little exertion makes me tired and have shortness of breath. As soon as my oncologist has reduced my TKI dose and added an iron supplement, I am winning against anemia.
Living with cancer can be emotionally draining. It is important for me to get support from my family and other people who I trust. Moreover, I also surround myself with fellow cancer survivors who exactly understand what I am going through. The stresses and uncertainties of cancer make me feel down but talking to others often help.
Adjusting my priorities
After my diagnosis, there is no more normal routine. Cancer has thrown me off my normal schedule. Medical appointments can change anytime. New side effects can pop out with no warning. COVID makes it even worst. I used to be a super mom dealing with all the household affairs and working full-time. In order for me to focus my energy on healing, my family picks up most of the tasks I cannot do, and my career is put on hold.
Throughout the day it is easier for me to eat small portions instead of three big meals. I take all the food I like and that tastes good. I use unsweetened apple sauce to reduce the bitter taste of my medications. Getting the proper nutrition is vital for maintaining comfortable health.
Doing physical movement
Exercise leads to a better quality of life especially as part of a cancer treatment plan. Research has shown that regular exercise can greatly affect the physical and mental health of patients. Simple body movements like gentle yoga, Qigong, and walking exercise have improved my circulation, breathing, and muscle strength.
Bonding time with family and others
Family time builds memories. Our grandson has been a new addition to my family. He is surely the center of our attention. Due to the emergence of more COVID variants, my family remains cautious about inviting home guests and having big celebrations. In our faith-based community, we still prefer the online service instead of in-person. Sometimes, our church small group meets in the park during summer but in wintertime we choose a restaurant.
Doing what I love
Living as a patient with lung cancer can take a lot of my time and energy. But I can enjoy simple activities like watching movies, outdoor walking, reading informative books, listening to inspiring music, or simple hobbies.
While I focus on my treatment, I can also find good ways to feel better and do the things I love to do. Thus, cancer does not have to disrupt my normal routine completely.
What healthy habits do you use to improve the quality of your life?