A woman wrapped in a cozy blanket reading a book

Unwinding For Healing

I have controlled lung cancer. For more than a year since my 2019 diagnosis, I have realized there is a great need to unwind to increase healing from lung cancer. The busyness of life draws me sometimes away from self-care. I came to accept that loosening up is not a sign of laziness but a source of energy.

More time to reading

As I live with lung cancer, I find reading helps me reduce the level of my stress, increase my empathy, and boost my creativity. In order to self-advocate, reading lung cancer articles is part of my daily routine. Furthermore, I read inspiring and encouraging articles from renowned Christian Pastors like Chuck Swindoll, Max Lucado, Rob Reimer, and Rick Warren. They also have spots on Facebook for easy access. With the internet and social media, I also can easily read current information on lung cancer research and clinical trials.

Loving music

Listening to music has a healing effect on my mind and body. I find the sound of music gives me relaxation and distracts me from the pain associated with illness. Moreover, lung cancer patients like me love to listen to inspiring music as a simple enjoyment. Another side of music is singing.  I believe it can improve my breathing and lung function. The rhythm of music has improved my body movement coordination and concentration especially when I incorporate it in my yoga and indoor biking.

Getting my massage

As a lung cancer patient, I often feel pain in the nerves or in the muscles around the chest, neck, upper back, and shoulders. Before Covid-19 I often went for regular remedial massages using employment benefits. Now with Covid-19 uncontrollable and more risks of getting the virus from indoor spaces, I have used an electric massager and a heating pad for relief. Once Covid-19 is over, I could not wait to have regular massage therapy again.

Calming my body and mind

For me, the physical and mental parts of yoga and Qigong create peacefulness in my body or mind. I am able to relax and also manage my sleeping problems. These ancient practices put me in a state where my heart and breathing rate is slow, my blood pressure goes down, and my muscles relax. Most cancer care centers recommend Yoga as part of cancer recovery and management plans. I hope more people will try Qigong where movements are focused on balance and breathing as well.

Counting nature exposure

Being in nature or even viewing scenes of nature has reduced anxiety and stress. I am better emotionally and physically. Simple things like taking a walk or just taking a seat in my backyard can really make an impact on pleasant feelings. I love the summer and fall seasons when you can appreciate the transitions of nature.

When unwinding becomes valuable in my well-being as a patient with lung cancer, then it is not a waste of time. Aside from my medical care, I have to help myself heal at levels of body, mind, and spirit.

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