Improving My Quality Of Life
Last updated: February 2023
After years into my lung cancer treatment, my mission remains to include healthy habits that could improve the quality of my life.
When living with lung cancer, improving quality of life takes priority
Taking charge of my health by choosing a healthy lifestyle allows me to handle my treatment better and minimize some side effects. The main side effects that impact my life are fatigue, stress, anxiety, depression, and anemia.
Fueling my body with healthy foods
Eating the right foods helps me feel better, stay stronger, and fight infection. I take my targeted therapy treatment as a pill after eating a well-balanced breakfast and after dinner. My daily meals follow the plate method: half for greens and fruits, one-fourth is dedicated to grains, and the other one-fourth goes to proteins.
Regularly moving my body
Being active for me has reduced fatigue and improved my mood. Due to my anemia, I must do gentle walking and light stretching. Besides, I have also tried mind-body therapies such as Yoga and Qi Gong. They all help relieve stress, reduce anxiety, cope with pain, and sleep better. During good weather, my husband and I walk down forest trails and do wildlife watching.
Engaging in pleasurable pastimes
Participating in activities I enjoy takes my mind off challenging thoughts and feelings, reduces stress, and brings me joy. Some things I love are cooking, baking, growing indoor plants, and listening to music.
When my lung cancer symptoms make it hard to do my usual pastimes, I modify my activities using phone apps: Word Master, solitaire, Wordle, sudoku, word search, and Block Puzzle. Additionally, I love reading articles and tweets relevant to my Stage four non-small cell ALK Positive condition.
Playing an active role in my cancer care
I participate in my cancer care by communicating with my cancer care team, coordinating my appointments, and keeping track of symptoms and side effects. Additionally, I find time to understand the ins and outs of my lung cancer treatment plan. Moreover, looking for credible sources of information and support online are other ways I am involved in my cancer care.
Leaning on my clinical support team
Members of my cancer care team and patient advocacy groups play an important role in helping me manage to live with lung cancer. Their drive and commitment to action give me hope and inspiration to thrive. Over and above, my family and friends are equally significant members of my support team. Overall, their presence in my lung cancer journey keeps me alive and draws my small voice to spread lung cancer awareness constantly.
Talking to supportive connections
Having an outlet to talk about my lung cancer diagnosis and treatment benefits my physical and mental health, especially when talking with other people with lung cancer. My loved ones and friends equally provide a sounding board and emotional support.
Coping with lung cancer will take a toll on mood and mental health. I will always take part in relaxing hobbies or mind-body therapies to help ease my stress and improve my mental well-being and, of course, my physical health.
Beside manner matters! What has your experience been?