I am dedicating the next few blogs to the cancer journey from the perspective of a patient. There is extensive literature on traditional cancer treatments and on what is available. But so far, I have not found anything that would describe typically what a patient is going through during the cancer journey.
When I say “cancer journey” I mean the time when we first learn that there might be a problem with post-treatment. It takes a long time and it is important to understand this journey from the patient’s point of view.
This is essential for the patients, who are just at the beginning of such journey or even in the middle of it, so that they know and can embrace all the possible tools to help make the journey easier. It is also important for yoga teachers and yoga therapists to know what our clients are dealing with over a long period of time and to facilitate the relief that yoga tools can provide.
I find a few discussions about the mental and psychological cost of the cancer journey. Our medical world is focused on the physical side, trying to heal or stop the progression of cancer. Likewise, I find that the majority of yoga teachers and even yoga therapists who have never walked this path are focused on the physical side, providing asana classes for cancer patients.
It seems that there is little understanding about how yogic science, in addition to asanas, can be used to its full capacity to provide relief from the physical and mental symptoms that trouble most cancer patients during treatments and post-traditional treatments.
And so, in the next few blogs, I will give a bird’s eye view of a typical cancer journey. Of course, there is a problem with the assumption of “typical” journey as such, because each journey is highly individual. How we experience it depends on many individual factors such as age, level of awareness, mental resilience, belief systems, determination, energy, and psychological flexibility, not to mention the type and stage of cancer and type of allopathic treatments.
However, even with this diversity of individual factors, there are things we have to deal with that are common to everyone, and that includes the stages of a cancer journey. In these next blogs, I will cover the stages of a typical journey from the patient’s perspective and consider/recommend how yoga science could be helpful in each case. I hope that cancer patients as well and yoga therapists and teachers, who luckily were never touched by cancer, will find it helpful.
We will look at the time of diagnosis, surgery, post-operation, chemotherapy, radiation, and post-treatment. I will write from my own experience and include the experiences that my clients have shared with me. In this way, I hope to make it more “typical” J
I invite your comments, thoughts, and perhaps your own experiences, which may differ from those I will be writing about. Together, I hope we can create a valuable resource for others.