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Osteoporosis Message Board

Osteoporosis Board Index

Re: Breast Cancer
Mar 31, 2008
It is getting late here but I just saw your message. I am so happy to hear how you are doing. It is amazing to me that within a few days of surgery , you are up and going to your doctor's appt. and then walking home. That is wonderful. When I wrote my earlier message to you , I really did see you walking outside and felt happy for you-little did I know you were perhaps outside walking then. I want to write more tomorrow about the movie you love, different kinds of travel and other things too. I hope you sleep well, you are a brave soul.
Re: Breast Cancer
Apr 1, 2008
TomatoJuice-I am so glad that you did come to the osteo board so that your friends here could offer their care and support. As DesertBloom said in her message,being sure that you get the support that you need is so important now. As a source of support, I wanted to suggest a cd by Carolyn McManus called
Relaxation, Imagery and Meditation:Healing Practices to Complement Cancer Treatment.

I know from meeting with Carolyn that she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer about a yr. and a half ago. She has gone through treatment and is now back at work at Swedish Hosp. in Seattle.

Over the past 5 months or so I have met with Carolyn several times. She is a phys.therapist and teaches various forms of relaxation at Swedish Hosp . Carolyn has completed Master's degree programs in phys. therapy and psychology. While she sees people individually at the hosp. she also conducts an 8 wk program that involves meditiation, and relaxation. It is set up along the lines of what Jon Kabat Zinn did at Univ. of Mass. Med. Center about 15yrs. ago.. Jon Kabat Zinn wrote a book called" Full Catastrophe Living" that details how/why he designed the 8 wk. program . He has travelled throughout the US and the world teaching his program. To my understanding most major metro hospitals in the US would have such a program. The program is offered to those who dealing with major health issues . People who want to find a way through that feels better to them. I would think your hospital in Manhattan would likely have such a program.

When I have seen Carolyn , she has been very frank about her own journey with cancer. When I first met her at the end of last year, I understood it had not been that long since she had resumed her responsibilities at Swedish. She is a true and genuine caring person ,also very brave like you. I have used a number of her cds - mostly Mindfullness Meditation and Body Scan;and, Relax into Resful Sleep . All proceeds from the sale of Caolyn's new cd go to the Cancer Treatment Center at Swedish. Carolyn has been there and you can feel it when you listen to her voice. Nothing hokey or new agey , just gentle , heartfelt compassion. No religious angle . Nurturing.From our interchanges I have a feeling that the cd may be a fit for you and may be a real help.

Of course if this is not for you, that is ok too. I just wanted to share something that might help. Your friend ,wishing you peace.:angel:
ps-I wanted to second Aleta's advice about a breast cancer support group-that could be one of the best sources of help!
Re: Breast Cancer
Apr 7, 2008
Hi Tomato-It's funny you mention the GBH, because I edited that message down. It just seemed too much about me and I went on and on AND most importantly I want to be of some comfort to you and what you are dealing with in the here and now. I know that you must be utterly exhausted and dealing with just so much and I want to respect that and not tax your energy. I am so glad though that you too have had a wonderful GBH experience. So, you are a part of that lucky group of people who has met and admired the GBH.I will never forget the first time I saw a GBH, and I will never forget the first time I heard a GBH. I have read in a bird book some very interesting names for the GBH-Old Cranky, Long John etc. So I better not get started here on the GBH or I just won't quit. I can sit here and think of at least a half dozen times when they have just rocked me to my core with their wondrous ways.( I just have to sneak in one little bit-I have seen about 100 herons nesting along a small stretch of a local river,I have seen them with twigs in their beaks going back to the trees to construct their nests for their yourng.-If you are at all interested, look up "herons forever" it has alot of wonderful info) As you didn't mention your little red bird friend again, I will just hope you two meet up again soon!
Sorry to hear about the blazing headaches that you have got going. I have had headaches for the past few years on an almost daily basis..So, I have an inkling of what you are going through. My headaches are not debilitating though just kind of like a near constant backdrop. Did your headaches pre-date your cancer diagnosis and surgery? I have found that anesthesia takes a real long time to clear my body and causes worse headaches and diminishes cognitive functioning for up to a week sometimes . Maybe it is taking some time to get the anesthetic /and other drugs out of your system. And this may be coupled with your post traumatic anxiety from the crane accident and it is just alot for your body and spirit to copy with .
I do hope you can enter into your personal refuge and find peace. Do you ever follow your breath, just noting it coming into your body and then releasing?(I don't do any fancy lotus posture-generally I just do this lying on the floor or in bed) There is a reason that breath meditation is an ancient practice that has been used to deal with the great stress and fear that is part of the human condition.It works. Though breath meditation is a natural fit for some ,for others it is not . Thich Nhat Hanh a Vietnamese monk who was actually nominated by MLK for a Nobel Peace Prize is someone I dearly cherish . He has a book called Blooming of a Lotus with meditation practices. There are a number of practices in that book which really help me. One goes like this : Breathing in , I know that I am breathing in(on inhale) Breathing out , I know that I am breathing out (on exhale) You can just shorten this to saying In (on inhale) Out(on exhale)do this for what feels comfortable to you it may be several minutes . Then proceed to Breathing in my breath grows deep(on inhale) Breathing out my breath goes slowly(on exhale) You can just shorten this to saying to your self Deep (on inhale) Slow(on exhale) -again do this segment as long as feels good to you-your breath will just naturally lengthen and deepen-No need to try to make your breathing rhythm any particular way ,it will just slow naturally. Then :Breathing in, I feel calm(on inhale) Breathing out, I feel ease (exhale) you can shorten it to Calm(on inhale) Ease (on exhale) you are just saying these words in coordination with your breath, silently in your mind. Then after a while :Breathing in I smile, Breathing out I release --then shorten to Smile( on inhale and gently smile) and Release(on exhale). Then Dwelling in the present moment(on inhale) I know it is a wonderful moment (0n exhale). If this is not your cup of tea-that is Ok.(So many different roads/for so many different people.) I just put here hoping that maybe it would feel good to you. It may allow you to slow down your breath, and then perhaps your blood vessels will become less constricted and maybe your headaches will lighten some. On the chance this may be of any interest to you-I'll do a shorthand of it below:
In(on inhale),Out(on exhale)do this and other segments as long as you wish-at least a few minutes
Deep(on inhale) Slow (on exhale)
Calm(on inhale) Ease(on exhale)
Smile(on inhale)Release(on exhale)
Present Moment(on inhale) Wonderful Moment(on exhale)
And , yes sometimes-I don't feel like smiling at all ( Thich Nhat Hanh talks of the smile as one of those gentle buddha smiles).He talks about how he believes that just the smile in and of itself calms the body and mind. Sometimes, I almost laugh/cry when I get to the Present Moment/Wonderful Moment segment.There are times the present moment seems like a huge burden that is just too much. Thich Nhat Hanh's teaching may sound simplistic yet he has been through fire-during the Vietnam War he led a group of monks and nuns who sought peaceful reconciliation between the sides-for this attempt to understand/speak with both sides , the monks and nuns in his group were killed by both sides and some in his group self-immolated ,hoping that this would bring an end to the violence. Surely these people who love their monks and nuns would then stop. But, it didn't happen that way.For his efforts to bring reconciliation-which even included coming to the US and meeting with US leaders to end the war ,he was branded a US colloborator and exiled from his country. He has lived in France for many years since the war and has only recently been allowed to revisit his home country. So, when he speaks of these meditations that may sound perhaps simple-in the way of a simpleton-he has lived the horrors of war and seen the worst that humans can do/be. His teachings sound simple but are deep.I do not think that if people did this meditation ( for example) regularly they could be so prone to acts of aggression and ruthless violence. Again, I fully accept there are many ways to approach seeking/finding/being peace. I think also that this mediation and others can heal us on levels that the med establishment does not know how to heal. So, it is also another healing modality.
I am so glad that Phywill mentioned journaling.Phylwill has so many good ideas -she is a very wonderful person-part dog no doubt(That is my thought -I love dogs and Phylwil always shows that she is a good friend and loyal , and she likes to play too!) . Well back to journalling, recently I was reading somewhere how journaling can be of such a help esp when going through medical difficulties. The author even mentioned how many people find it helpful to take their journal to write in while they wait in the doctor's office for appts. or wait for diagnostic or other medical treatments. I can see how this could really help and I am going to expand my dream journal which I keep into more of a dialogue during these stressful med. times. Our writing here too is a method of journaling and all the sharing we do is so helpful. Tomato, I cannot know exactly what you are going through but I can only imagine from my much less serious issues that you are needing to draw on all your physical, mental and emotional reserves to see you through. And, it is likely a daunting task that occupies so much of your time and energy. I want you to know I treasue all that you have shared and from the bottom of my heart , I feel deep gratitude to you.
ps-I don't want to exhaust you with such a lengthy message-and will keep it tighter but I so wanted to share the breathing exercise with you. Again- it may be the medicine for you, or it may not be the medicine for you. Only you will know that .

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