Married, with cancer?
For couples who are facing cancer, there are often changes in relationship dynamics and the roles and responsibilities that each person has. Some may be for the better (as in changes towards better health for both of you) and some may feel like they are .... not so good.
Depending on treatment choices, the spouse with the diagnosis may face physical challenges, but are likely to experience a wide range of emotional challenges ....
Like, grieving the loss of "how things use to be."
Like, "Why is this happening?"
Like, "How is our relationship going to be effected for the long term?"
Let's not forget the caregiving spouse and the potential physical demands now required of them. Certainly, there are emotional traumas to deal with. Left unchecked, we have the perfect storm for an overwhelmed, misunderstood, tired, frustrated, aggravated couple.
I see newlyweds, new parents, seasoned parents, grandparents, retirees, and couples entering this new stage in their lives who are 'suddenly' overtaken by a cancer diagnosis.
For most people, it is shocking diagnosis and they weren't prepared for the road ahead. So many people have the, "it happens to everyone else, not me" mind frame.
-What treatment should I accept?
-Will I be able to work?
-Can we afford my therapies?
-What do I do about my nutrition, supplements, stress, bills, pain, concerns, personal care products, and all the other things buzzing around on the internet?
The heaviest wonder that couples are left thinking is, how can we get through this together, and still like one another?
Is it possible to come out on the other side even stronger and more connected?
Many couples have shared with me their challenges, thoughts, and resistances. We can't possibly expect our partners to understand what we are going through and unfortunately, the caregiver (a lot of times) becomes the sounding board (or proverbial whipping post) for the cancer patient. Who else do you express your devastations and utmost upsets with?
While there are a number of challenges that you and your partner are up against when dealing with a cancer diagnosis, many of them can be overcome with support programs designed specifically for the spouse (with cancer) as well as support programs for the caregiver as well. You both have very unique needs and they are all in need of being fulfilled.
Various therapies and integrations are a necessary part of cancer recovery, for both members of the relationship. With a few (or possibly many) new lifestyle techniques geared for each of you, a world of difference can be made.
It is our mission to help every person with cancer have a comprehensive and holistic (physical and emotional) cancer recovery plan. Contact us so we can share with you how we can support your relationship, and ensure both partners to continue to feel loved, valued and connected to one another during and beyond the cancer chapter of your life together.
Stop asking friends with cancer, "How Are You?"
When you ask a friend with cancer, "How Are You?", what are you really asking them? Furthermore, do you really want to know what they are going through and how it is making them feel?
Their seemingly never ending to-do list of therapies, supplements, treatments, doctor appointments, medications, drinks, shakes, juicing, meditation, mental anguish, uncertainties, financial stability - or instability - security of their job, lack of support from family, loss of friendships, sleepless nights, worrisome thoughts that swirl constantly through their head, nausea, lack of appetite, funky bowel habits ..... it can be an awkward response. Those are questions for their cancer healing team, not a co-worker, neighbor or friend.
The answers can be so awkward, actually, that most of the time the response you will hear will be a quick: "fine, everything is fine". Nobody wants to lay out their fears, concerns, and questionables on their friends plate.
Instead, change the question to: HOW IS YOUR HEART TODAY?
Let your friend who is working to overcome a disease that is plaguing this country respond with feelings that are deep in their heart. Releasing these feelings is therapeutic in and of itself.
By this small, yet powerful question, you will open the gates for discussion that have substance and meaning. Putting a simple twist on an overused question will provide an opportunity to talk about what is really weighing on their shoulders rather than just providing the standard space for them to give the robotic, machine-like response of, "so far so good."
The words: 'You have cancer', are incredibly powerful. Those three words can wreak havoc on your emotions and too often of times they get stuck on auto-play in the mind.
In everything you do: work, eat, exercise, shower, travel, visit, relax - this person is now doing so as someone with cancer. --- that is a heavy weight to carry on the heart.
Being asked, "How Is Your Heart" allows them to express how they are really feeling: joy, gratitude, sadness, aching. Perhaps their heart is craving human touch and connection and they just need a hug. Maybe their heart feels isolated and lonely and they need to find support and just don't know how to express this.
The next time you are presented with the chance to ask someone you know with cancer (how they are doing) ….
Look them in the eye, put your hand on their shoulder and ask: HOW IS YOUR HEART TODAY? Touch, connection and community are basic human necessities and you will have fulfilled all of them in this basic act of kindness and thought.
You could be the light of their day and shift their energy in a positive direction for days to come!
While you're at it, actively training yourself to ask this alternative question to an old age way of opening conversation, remind yourself that you are human, too/
You are more than a human doing, you are a human BEING!
Examine your heart, your soul, and your state of being in connection to both.
We are not machines that are meant to stay constantly busy. We are getting lost in the busyness of life: technology and connection to community is being forgotten and thrown aside.
This disconnect and stress load is part of the dis-ease of cancer itself and it is a known contributor to fueling its growth and development.
Part of human life is to LIVE with meaning: we are supposed to have a balanced existence. It's not just about fitting more on the to-do list, our mind-body-spirit-soul is meant to be LIVING life.
"How are you DOING" is the perfect example that we are programmed to be in never-ending (doing) motion, leaving E-motion out of the equation, or tucking it deep down inside. Stop that.
PAUSE, TOUCH, LOCK EYES, and ask your friend with cancer:
HOW IS YOUR HEART TODAY?
Embrace this human to human connection and listen to the condition of your own heart in the process. In addition to contributing to a friends healing, it could be just the cancer prevention ingredient that your very own soul is desiring!
Employees want their employers to bring their health coverage up to date!
Every year everything becomes more ‘on-demand’ and healthcare is no different. We’ve seen a rise in the availability of doctors’ appointments through phone calls or video chats and technology has helped patients reduce the amount of time it takes to get attention to their health needs and concerns.
Cancer in the workplace is an increasingly important issue, but research shows managers lack awareness of appropriate health benefits and good practice when communicating with staff.
A good range of health and wellbeing benefits is a must for 2020 as holistic healthcare advances and employee health, both physical and mental, becomes more of a responsibility for employers.
Not only are our workers being diagnosed with cancer, but they are working with cancer. Health insurance companies have reported that the chronic disease is the biggest cause of long-term sickness claims, accounting for almost one-third in 2015.
Research findings on cancer in the workplace
Research was commissioned in February 2016 among 500 HR professionals to explore how employers are responding to the cancer epidemic, the plans being made, changes being introduced and views on the readiness of their organization.
The most common finding was the lack of planning among companies to manage the risks relating to cancer. Seventy-one per cent of the HR managers surveyed said they do not have any policies in place for communications and management of employees with a cancer diagnosis. This figure rises to 89% among small firms.
NONE OF THE COMPANIES HAD ALTERNATIVE OR HOLISTIC REFERENCES TO OFFER EMPLOYEES SEEKING SUPPORT OUTSIDE OF THE CONVENTIONAL MODEL.
When it comes to cancer survivors returning to work, 61% of HR managers say they do not have any policies in place for communicating with and managing employees.
Extreme lack of awareness
Cancer in the workplace is an issue that is suffering from a lack of awareness and clarity. Access to a cancer coach, supportive programs and therapies, group support and caregiver support is becoming a must for physical and emotional well being among employees with cancer.
It should not be a luxury to have information and resources to maintain and improve quality of life. It is a right.
Do you feel like your cancer recovery plan is leading you to the same state this house is in - falling apart piece by piece with no support, no direction and no know-how to repair it back to the beautiful state it once was in?
If you were to rehabilitate your current house, would you just randomly gather whatever tools you had on hand and start "fixing" things? NO, you wouldn't!
You aren't (I'm assuming) an architect, a builder, or even a handy(wo)man. You don't know all of the intricacies involved in home building. So, why would you take the same approach to your cancer recovery? You think you might have an idea, a vision and some great plans, but they just don't seem to work if you don't have the experience needed. You might try and try and try and waste money on supplements, therapies, food and still end up as frustrated as you were in the beginning.
Then, you watch a fantastic documentary. Or read a book with break through, top secret tips. Or, even worse, purchase yet another program promising to help you "heal" your cancer. And, after all of the money and hopes are gone, you are still just as stuck and falling apart as you were in the beginning. Sound familiar?
When we have extraordinary repair work needed for our homes and cars, we hire someone that is capable and knowledgeable. When it comes to our health, though, we attempt to DIY our bodies back together - a nail here, piece of plywood there, paint all over that, shiplap in this. YouTube videos galore for the how-tos and latest tips. The end result is still: a falling down shack.
Now even though your time, energy, and resources have been wasted, YOU CAN STILL DO THIS!
Want to know how it works, schedule a chat session with one of our cancer recovery technique advisors to MAKE SURE this is a good fit for you. Our program involves massive action, from you! You have to be willing to make incredible change and commit to consistency if you want to build a systematic action plan.
Contact us: www.thetaliving.com to get started ASAP.
If commitments, meetings, appointments and social gathering to-do's are creating stress in your day and interfering with your healing schedule - simplify your life.
Many of times we find ourselves imprisoned by the bars of "too much" and it becomes suffocating. We are a society of doing-all-the-things. I'm no exception. Saying no is hard and takes thought and effort (a lot) on my part. I want to do it all, I want to help, I want to attend, I want to expand - but, I've learned to not do-it-all at the expense of my health.
Doing LESS is MORE fulfilling, actually. When your day allows you to complete whatever it is that your treatment protocol calls for - and you still feel like you can take a deep, refreshing and relaxed breath at the end of the day - you've mastered your action plan. Each and every cell in your body will thank you by working as hard as they can to eliminate the cancer because they aren't weighted down with the stress of "too much".
DANGERS OF TOO MUCH
The stress and overwhelm of TOO MUCH: information, things to do, people to please, activities to complete, events to attend, documentaries to watch lead to overstimulation of certain areas of the brain signaling the cascade of messages that fuel cancer. It's not helpful and the load needs to be lightened to make room for relaxation, growth, inspiration and healing.
WHERE TO START
At home. Pick a room and declutter. Having less allows you to slow down and be present in the moment. Society increases speed by the day and it's not doing us any favors. It's contributing to disease, actually. YOU are in control of you fast and complicated your life is - so start making changes. Decreasing clutter increases capacity for positivity and freedom. It feels lighter and calmer.
SCHEDULE DOWNTIME, EVERYDAY
Living in a frenzy of getting to the next place to do the next thing creates chaos emotionally and physically. Your body is required to respond to every demand that is placed upon it: MIND and BODY. When we are physically drained, so we are emotionally. Reduction and simplification creates the space you need to FOCUS on your health. NOTHING is more valuable.
AN ONGOING PROCESS
Just as your cancer didn't develop overnight, you won't make these changes in one afternoon either. Habits and change take time and require understanding. These new rhythms you create will make changing your direction to the healing path more comfortable and will set your cells at ease.... ease + calm = healing.
What can be measured should be measured. Whether it’s profit margin, employee attendance, weight, blood pressure or your cholesterol - improvements mean progress, but in terms of what and ….says who? In terms of a business strategy, wellness and prevention programs should provide real information and evidence of its effectiveness. So in the world of wellness and disease prevention, where’s the real data?
Biometric screenings, Health Risk Assessments (HRAs), Apps that track lifestyle habits are some of the most common programs used by employers. Of course, these initiatives serve an important purpose for organizations taking steps toward a culture of wellness and providing actionable steps for employees to engage in. The drawback is that it’s so very hard, if not impossible, to determine the impact of the prevention and wellness programs. Honestly, all we can prove is how much financial investment was provided and who participated.
Return on Investment
It is almost crazy to attempt to measure ROI in wellness programming. How much does the cancer diagnosis that never happened spare the company? Or the emergency room visit for a heart attack that didn't occur or the diabetes that never developed? We need to start including additional programming that serves all staff members, those that can be measured. Chronic disease recovery coaching. With this type of offering, we can ask questions that provide measurable results with disease recovery programming. What are the lab changes? Is quality of life sustained or possible improving. Are tumor markers improving? Were there reductions in benefit utilization? For most wellness / prevention programs, the answer is a resounding “no”. However, for cancer recovery programs, we can actually show progress and identify what efforts are working. Ultimately, is the employee dealing with cancer able to work, able to return to work after treatment...or is their state of health declining and medical bills increasing? These are very apparent and measurable metrics to track.
Disease Recovery Based on Data
Outcomes-based programs are becoming very popular. Less missed work, improved emotional stability and decreased mortality rates are essentially making people more accountable for the state of their personal health. Evidence-based medicine (where doctors make decisions about care using mathematical estimates based on measured treatment of large population samples) informs decisions about health care treatment. Integrative approaches to disease is making great strides in this category.
Focus on Creating an Impact
Concentrate on High Risk, High Cost: The strategy isn’t based on population health. Specifically, employers should concentrate on cancer, it is on the rise and with 1 in 2.4 Americans projected to receive this diagnosis, it is sure to weigh heavily on the corporate platform. Cancer will be the top suspect for claims reported to insurance companies. This disease is scaling the workplace, medication prices are climbing, research is creating more expensive drugs and all of these drivers are likely to place the highest percentage of your workforce at risk for catastrophic health issues. And, to be the number one reason for death in this country.
Having a cancer coach on your team to support each employees progress is the dividing factor in demonstrating what works and what doesn't. When people do not know they have treatment options, one of two things happen. #1. They blindly follow along with the status quo, which is not improving cancer outcomes nor is it efficient for restoring health. #2. People become overwhelmed with so much information, they are unsure what is applicable and in fear, sit back to traditional practices (see #1).
It's true. Programs that are out of sight - are out of mind. Most wellness programs are either presented at certain times of the year or are are ongoing for those who take initiative to inquire. The impact is slight, if at all for these approaches. A longer term program, one that is repeatedly reminded to team members will be more sustainable as the reminder of choice and options for disease care can severely impact the ability to make an informed decision. Knowing there is support and guidance should a life threatening disease strike will make employees and their loved ones feel comforted and secure if they receive an unfavorable diagnosis.
Are you looking for a way to improve the state of health for those who have already been diagnosed with cancer? Email us for your options.
Compare your list of to-do's, with this list of to-do's.
How do they compare? Does yours account for LIVING LIFE?
-prepare for the morning the night before - don't rely on memory, write it down - practice preventative maintenance - make duplicate keys - say "no" more often - avoid negative people - use time wisely - simplify meal time - plan a weeks worth of meals - go for a bike ride - go for a walk by yourself - go for a walk with a friend - always make copies of important papers - anticipate your needs - treat yourself to a MASSAGE - put yourself FIRST - repair anything that doesn't work properly - ask for help - break large tasks into bite sized pieces - look at problems as challenges - look at challenges differently - unclutter - SMILE - be prepared for rain - don't know all the answers - offer to listen, instead of advice - look for the silver lining - say something nice to someone - give a compliment - teach the kids to fly kites - get ADJUSTED - walk in the rain - schedule play time everyday - use essential oils - be aware of decisions - BELIEVE in yourself - stop saying negative things to yourself - visualize yourself WINNING - enjoy a sense of humor - don't procrastinate - VISION - dance to your favorite song - say hello to strangers - give a HUG - ask for a HUG - look up at the stars - practice deep breathing, slowly - read a poem - write down your favorite motivating quote and post it in the bathroom - read personal development articles or books - do a brand new thing - ditch a bad habit - take stock of achievements, write them down - work at being optimistic - STRETCH - think of 3 things to be GRATEFUL for before getting out of bed - display flowers in the house - be responsible for your own feelings - take responsibility for YOU and your mistakes and keep going - EXERCISE - clean a closet - write a note to a friend or family member and mail it - FORGIVE someone - forgive YOURSELF for something - recognize the importance of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE - keep a journal (or two) - remember you ALWAYS HAVE OPTIONS - quit trying to "fix" other people - get enough SLEEP - LAUGH - go on a picnic with homemade healthy foods - talk less, LISTEN more - be thankful for everything you have at this very moment -
Take time each day to REST.
...you have the rest of your LIFE to LIVE. It's not about counting the moments, it's whether or not we make the moments count <3
At the root of every struggle, there is emotional energy.
This energy can either help you to heal or launch the cancer into an uncontrollable state. Your pre-diagnosis and post-diagnosis position at work are two different positions.
Will they think I'm capable? Am I capable? What if I get too tired? Will everyone treat me differently? Will expectations change? No one will understand how I'm thinking - feeling - doing, so is it even worth it to talk to them? What will I eat at company celebrations that have food?
These are some of the many thought and emotional struggles working cancer patients face when they must maintain a working status. I can't count how many people I've talked with that have been struggling with the weight that their co-workers / boss / employer just doesn't understand what they are going through. The weight is burdensome and causes additional stress and pain. It's a needless struggle because there is a very simple remedy: company wide education about cancer and it's treatments!
By now, I'm sure you can name someone whom you've worked with or are currently working with that has a cancer diagnosis. I'm willing to bet there were times you wanted to say something, provide words of encouragement or a subtle gift, but just didn't know what to do. Had you been offered information or resources to help guide you - things would be so different. Same for the person dealing with the cancer. They know you are looking at them with an awkward stare and hoping just as hard as you that the weirdness fades away quickly. We can do better and learn how to work through this.
Understanding the cancer struggle and the various treatment options that our employees or co-workers are experiencing can make all the different in the world. By removing judgement and assumption, we will be able to see how we can be of assistance. There is power in knowledge.
More now than ever, people are seeking natural treatment to reverse and heal from their disease and those who take this path less traveled need our support. They are not meant to go this struggle alone - but we all need preparation to expand our capabilities of understanding this change in health care.
"We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking used when we created them.: - Albert Einstein
This is exactly what I'm willing to offer - the NEW way of thinking. The tipping point of traditional healthcare spilled over a few years ago and we need the information about what our fellow workers are dealing with so that we can help them through this "struggle" part of their journey.
Whether or not you agree with someone's choice of treatment, it is your duty as a kind, warm-blooded human to provide support.
It's time for all companies, big and small, to share OPTIONS for cancer treatment so that everyone is able to contribute to lifting the weight of the struggle while working with a cancer diagnosis.
When it comes to employee well-being programs, is there a difference between holistic and wholistic approaches?
Depends on how you are looking at it and what your company culture embraces. Technically speaking, although most people will use these two terms interchangeably, there IS a difference. The Merriam-Webster dictionary has even recognized it as such noting that the "w" brings the meaning full circle. Let's explore:
By definition, “wholistic” programs offer a fully integrated, wide scope of services meant to positively impact the whole human being— such as physical mental, social spiritual, and financial. Viewing the universe in terms of "wholes"—that is, organisms and systems instead of molecules and atoms. The same thoughts can be applied to programs associated to human health. We have the tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through creative evolution.
A wholistic program looks to focus on the root of the stressor or cause of imbalance and offers programs to help your staff address those areas for improved self-care. Wholistic programs are capable of servicing ALL employees in their choice of health care. Should an employee with cancer choose natural cancer care, the employer will provide access to a cancer coach or recovery specialist, not just traditional (conventional) cancer care. This is an old, outdated, one-size-fits-all approach and according to the times, people are demanding (safer) improved health care options.
“Holistic” worksite programs, while also affecting spirit, mind and body connection also include alternative eastern philosophies and healing systems such as homeopathy and naturopathic or natural, non-toxic therapy methods.
To sum it all up, it just a play on words and making the decision on how you want to refer to your programs. If we are improving health, we are improving workplace culture.
Regardless of how you decide to coin your company's wellness program, the goal you should be aiming for is to recognize the importance of health and wellbeing as an important driver of employee satisfaction and overall business performance.
If CANCER COACHING is not part of your offerings to your employees, what are you waiting for?
The first step you take, the first decision you make, the first moment you wake after a cancer diagnosis is the most important.
Making all of the right moves can be terrifying, confusing, and overwhelming. Theta Living is always here to bring your options for cancer care.
These options are not conventional, nor will you hear about them on the news, radio, and more than likely your traditional doctor won't provide you this information.
Should this resonate with you and you'd like to learn more, we are here for you!