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A cancer diagnosis is shocking news to recieve. No matter what disease you're facing, fighting with confidence is important. The process of undergoing cancer treatment can be draining and leave patients feeling unwell, exhausted, and less confident about themselves than ever before. However, it is possible and very beneficial to battle cancer with your head held high, shoulders upright, and to feel strong and beautiful while doing so.
The Power of Positivity
A patient's mindset is the first place to start for improving quality of life when battling cancer. While fear is a naturally occurring emotion, especially when facing a rare disease like mesothelioma, staying positive and refusing to focus on negative thoughts is monumental in maintaining emotional health. A cancer diagnosis can offer a patient an opportunity to improve his spiritual health, to evaluate his direction in life, and to decide to make improvements in health and anywhere else change is needed in order to continue on a better path.
As cancer survivor and Good Morning America host Robin Roberts said, you need to contemplate if this is supposed to be a "reset" for your life. What can you do differently, in a positive way than what you did before your diagnosis? The key is to keep a positive focus and to concentrate on aspects that are healthy and bring true happiness and well-being.
The time following a cancer diagnosis is also a great opportunity to decide to eat healthy and exercise. While some patients may experience unpleasant symptoms of treatment and may feel more tired than usual, starting small and slowly incorporating healthier food each day is all it takes. The same is true of exercise. The road to better fitness can start with taking a five to ten minute walk each day and gradually increasing activity level as fitness level increases.
Exercise has also been shown to improve mood, fight depression, and can help a patient build confidence. Exercise can even help decrease or alleviate fatigue and other side effects people with cancer may experience as they undergo treatment. It is important for patients to consult their doctor before beginning a new fitness plan.
Look Good & Feel Good
Along with working to improve on the inside, cancer patients may also pamper themselves and build confidence by enhancing their outer appearance. Learning to perfect makeup skills helped breast cancer survivor and R.N. Michelle Hartog to feel more confident on days when she felt tired or unwell. Makeup can add a healthy glow to the skin while enhancing the patient's natural beauty. Those who are struggling with hair loss may wish to wear wigs. When choosing a wig that looks more natural, it is best to see a hair specialist and to match the color to the patient's eyebrows.
Dressing well and dressing to disguise your cancer was also a confidence booster for Michelle. She said "I felt good most of the time, and wanted to look the way I felt." Wearing favorite colors or brighter hues to compliment the skin may also elevate a patient's mood.
Treat & Pamper Yourself
Many spa treatments are healthy for the body and also create an improved sense of well-being. Massages are excellent for overall health, and massage therapy can help a patient relax and ease anxiety. A massage may also benefit those who struggle with sleeping at night. Aromatherapy is believed to enhance a person's sense of well-being and can be added to a massage session to help increase relaxation. Many spa treatments can also be inexpensively done at home using all natural materials.
Manicures and pedicures help smooth the skin on the hands and feet, and adding color to a manicure or pedicure can be aesthetically pleasing and provide an instant mood boost. Caregiver to his wife and founder of Coping University, Dave Balch said "During all of the ups and downs, we made a point of never missing her manicures. Now matter how poorly she was feeling, she could always look at her nails and feel good about it."
Recent breast cancer survivor and Chief Hug Officer at My Personal Breast Cancer Journey, Sandy Bobal-Zuniga used meditation and relaxation techniques to help her get through her battle with cancer. "Be selfish at this time in your life. Accept that your priority is to get through the treatments and emerge on the other side with a deeper passion and gratitude for life.”
Fortunately, many patients find that improving their quality of life after receiving a cancer diagnosis does not necessarily require a large financial investment and starts with simple lifestyle changes. While having cancer can be devastating, with positive thinking, behavioral modifications, and a little self-pampering, patients can enhance their inner strength and outer beauty and battle cancer with confidence.
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients and their Families
- Request a Free Mesothelioma Treatment Guide
- Connect with Top Mesothelioma Doctors
- Locate the Nearest Comprehensive Cancer Center