#135 Nine Tips for a More Successful Recovery

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Too often we hear the scary things from other survivor’s experiences when it comes to breast cancer. 

In this week’s show I share tips from other survivors on how to make your treatment and recovery EASIER! 

These women shared tips on what they learned and what they think would help other survivors suffer less in their own recovery. 



The Revived Membership Experience 


Read Full Transcript Below:

This is Laura Lummer, the breast cancer recovery coach. I'm a healthy lifestyle coach, a clinical Ayurveda specialist, a personal trainer, and I'm also a breast cancer survivor. In this podcast, we talk about healthy thinking and mindfulness practices, eating well, moving your body for health and longevity. And we'll also hear from other breast cancer survivors who have reengaged with life, and have incredible stories to share. This podcast is your go to resource for getting back to life after breast cancer.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the breast cancer recovery coach Podcast. I am your host, Laura Lummer. I am thrilled that you're here with me today. I know I start every show like that. But it's actually really true, it means the world to me that you're listening.

And I also just want to say thank you to those of you who've been leaving ratings for the show ratings and reviews mean everything to a podcast.

And so it's really important. And I've just heard some great things lately, and the show's been getting some new reviews. And I want to thank you for taking the time to do that. I know it takes time out of your day, you have to take a moment in order to do it. I haven't really said much about it on the last several shows. So I want to make sure I don't ever let that fall by the wayside and say thank you so much for taking the time to rate and review the breast cancer recovery coach podcast.

And if you haven't done that yet, it would be amazing. If you scroll down right to wherever you listen to it, especially, I'm actually only sure how you do that on an iPhone when you listen to it on iTunes. And you just scroll down to the bottom. And you can click on the ratings or you can type in a review. But I think it's pretty easy to do it on other phones as well, or other devices that you listen to.

So just want to put that out there. And thank you so much for all of you who have done so already. It's really, really a great thing. And I do appreciate it so much.

All right, I want to give you an update.

For those of you who don't follow me on social media on Instagram or Facebook, but you do listen to the podcast, you know that I received a diagnosis of stage four metastatic disease back in October 2020. And I last week, I think I lose track of time it was a week or week and a half ago, I went in for my first round of CT scans to check and see how everything has gone with radiation and with treatment. And I am very, very, very, very happy to share with you that the original tumor, which was a five centimeter tumor in the lymph nodes on the right on my right side, just at the top of my chest is now gone.


I read the results from this cat scan and I went, mmmm....

Is that gone? Is it saying they can't see it anymore.

And I was reluctant at first right? It was shocking. Even though every day if you're a podcast listener here, then you know that every day that is my focus, right healing and putting energy into healing and believing, reading, studying, eating all the things around what can I do to heal my body and of course, following the medical advice of my oncologist as well have an amazing medical team.

And yes, the CAT scan came back that the tumor which was five centimeters in October when I was diagnosed is now gone.

And the cancer in my bones I pretty extensive mets in my bones, in my ribs and my spine, shoulder blade, forehead, hips, pelvis, I mean lots.

and that there has been no new growth at all in any of those areas.

So I'm actually waiting for some more follow up and some comparisons of these CT scans to the October ones to get more details on where everything's out in the bones. But hey, I'm out of pain, there's no new growth and the tumor is gone. And that is incredible news.

So I wanted to share it with my listeners just in case you don't see me on if you're not on Instagram and Facebook, which a lot of people aren't and I want to make sure I share that good news with you as well. And if you are someone who has met that I just want to share that in gave you hope there's hope we can heal. Medicine is so advanced and there's just been so much poured into studying breast cancer and treating breast cancer, that there's hope for us to live full long lives.

And I'm really excited about that and happy that that is an option.

Okay, so I want to get into the show. And I want to start off by sharing some really cool posts with you.

So I'm going to share with you just a few of the posts that I read in the breast cancer recovery group over this past week or so.

So I asked the members in the breast cancer recovery group what was one tip that helped them that they would give to another survivor in order to make that other survivors recovery a little easier?

And I was so happy to see the response. And the great advice that came up here that there were too many comments for me to share them all, it would take the entire podcast, but I want to share some of them with you because I know not all of the listeners here are in the breast cancer recovery group.

But if you want to be in that group, it is a free Facebook group, just go to Facebook, look for the breast cancer recovery group and join it.

And it is an amazing group. And we're there to really support having a vibrant recovery from breast cancer, some of the women in the group are still in treatment. And I think it's even more important that for those of us who are recovering, share, that the good things we've learned, right, share the tips that we've learned. And we can look back with hindsight and say, dang, I wish I would have done that before, so that others can know about the positive side to now there's a full range of every emotion and every experience when it comes to breast cancer treatment and breast cancer recovery. And I do not ever want to minimize that. But I do want to emphasize that we can learn a lot and help each other with tips that have brought us some relief as well.

So I want to share a few of those with you because it ties right in with what I want to talk about today.

All right.

So I'm not gonna mention anybody's names just for the sake of privacy. But here's just a few of the posts that I picked.

So one tip is start to slowly get some exercise. It really helped me when I finished treatmentnd, and my oncologist said, it's easy to go into depression after chemo and this would help and that is so true.

I remember when I first started volunteering as a mentor with Long Beach Memorial Hospital in there women guiding women program for breast and gynecological cancer, women who were just newly diagnosed with and going through breast and gynecological cancer treatment. And the amount of women that I encountered and what I learned about how common it is to go into depression, after treatment and during treatment is, is staggering. You know, we have to go through some really tough stuff. And it doesn't end when treatment ends, right.

So much of the time we don't even begin to process this until treatment is over. And that's when these major, really challenging thoughts and emotions overcome us and depression can be very common.

So getting exercise does help exercise is medicine on every conceivable level. So I love this tip.

Okay, keep on moving. Focus on fresh air, exercise and self care. Another great one.

I love this one, get angry cry, allow yourself to feel the way you feel, journal and express everything. That is so critical. I love this tip. Because it's okay to feel the way you feel you feel that way because it's the way you feel. So it's not something we look at and say, Oh, I shouldn't feel this way. Yes, you should. And you know how you should you know how you know you should, because you do. So allow it all right, allow yourself to feel.

Here's another one, get out and walk every day, it will help to build back your strength. And pounding the pavement is therapeutic. Again, moving the body moving the body is medicine for us. And sometimes it's difficult. I know that I know that. But it's worth it to push yourself. It reduces painful joints, it gives you more energy moving your body makes everything in your body work better.

Here's another one treatment can be very difficult, but keep your eyes open for special moments too. And I love that tip because we it's so easy for cancer to consume our lives, cancer treatment when we're in it. And then the side effects and long term side effects of cancer treatment when we're out of it the emotional and physical side effects. So it's so important to look for those special moments in life.

Here's another one, be patient. It's a long journey. Take one day at a time, try to stay positive. You are beautiful and strong. I say my prayers a lot. And I loved this one because I think that we often are not patient enough with ourselves we expect and I think there are many reasons why we expected. We expect that we go into this treatment the treatment is done.

And me personally Honestly, I gave myself three weeks. I gave a grace period and said okay, maybe a month, but I ended my treatment, my chemotherapy on December 30 2011. And in my mind, even the whole time I was going through chemo, I said to myself by the end of January, that's it man. I'm back to normal!

Because the cycle of chemo is three weeks, so I'm going to give it that three weeks of January, and then maybe another week just for detox whatever whatever. But by the end of that end of January beginning of February back in the gym, full time full on exercise.

And man was it disappointed.

There's so much that happens to us in going through breast cancer treatment. And these very difficult toxic treatments. So not only do they change us physically, but they have a deep emotional impact.

Be patient. It is a long journey. And it requires a lot of self compassion. Take small steps and be extra patient with yourself.

This is another one, healing is a long journey. This is such great advice because you know what, I didn't know that. And I bet you didn't know that. Healing is a long journey. And we have to adjust those expectations. Because so many times if we don't meet the expectation, which is I want to be back to normal in a month like me, which was crazy. I will be back to normal in a month and then you're not and you beat yourself up. And we disconnect even more from our physical body and trust me it creates a tremendous amount of suffering that can be avoided. If we just learn to love this body and say, its okay body, I get it. You've been through a lot. You tolerated a lot. And I'm going to do everything I can to support the healing as long as it takes I'm going to be here for you body supporting you every step of the way.

Alright, here's another one, sleep, sleep, more sleep, nutrient dense foods, water, poop! Okay, I picked this one. Because, as you know I am a clinical Ayurveda specialists, I love Ayurveda and one of the core principles in Ayurveda is a healthy digestive system.

That disease in according to Ayurveda, the concept is that disease starts in the digestive tract, in that one of the symptoms of something being often the digestive tract is the inability to eliminate properly to have regular healthy elimination.

So that is definitely something to pay attention to. And drinking lots of water, getting proper rest, honoring your circadian rhythm, eating nutrient dense foods, those are all a part of keeping the digestive system healthy. And healthy elimination is an indicator that something's going right. So I thought that was a great tip.

Here's another one, try to exercise everyday and eat well. But don't try to be perfect. You didn't fight through cancer to deny yourself the things you enjoy, have the occasional treat and enjoy it. I love this tip. Because when you treat yourself, a treat should encompass fun and joy, right, it shouldn't be something you enjoy, and you do deserve to enjoy it. So I think that that's so important. Because when we're doing everything we can to support our healing and our wellness, through exercise and through eating well, we have to give ourselves a break. And no, nothing is perfect. And life is beautiful. And there's a lot of things to indulge and enjoy and when it comes to food and drink, right.

And it's okay to indulge now and then right. Life is so full of joy and enjoyment and things you can enjoy. So take care of yourself well. But try not to live with deprivation, you deserve to enjoy all aspects of life, right to support your health.

So I wanted to share these posts because I really loved the balance I saw here between mind and body. There's a lot here about self compassion, being easy on yourself, caring about yourself loving on yourself. And there's a lot here about taking care of your physical body. And that's so important because our mind and our body are not separate. Our mind and our body have a huge influence on each other.

Our emotions are influenced oftentimes by our physical experiences. And we are this beautiful integrated system. So I want to share this quote with you that just kind of backs that up. And this quote is out of the book called Getting Well again, this was written by Carl Simonton, and Carl Simonton was a radiation oncologist. And he established the Simonton Cancer Center here in California. He wrote this book getting well again. And it's based on how much our mind influences our wellness.

So two quotes here and one is that "not only can mental and emotional conditions originate or aggravate physical conditions, they can also contribute to health, just as one can become psychosomatically ill, so one who is ill can move in the other direction and become psychosomatically healthy.

I love that.

And then in another part of the book, he says that "within one's mind is a power capable of exerting forces which can either enhance or inhibit the progress of disease."

So I want to share all of these Quotes with you and this idea about the power of the mind when we're supporting wellness and health. And we're using it to heal our bodies. Because now healing is never a guarantee. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm not saying, Oh, this is a promise, it doesn't work like chemotherapy. But it does make life a lot more enjoyable. And sometimes we get caught up and don't realize that rather than investing our mental and emotional energy, in loving ourselves and supporting ourselves, and working towards this vision of good health, that we're investing a lot of energy to come from a scarcity, a place of scarcity, we're investing a lot of energy in trying to stop something we're afraid of from happening.

And there's a different kind of a thought process there. Right? There's a very different thought process between I want to do all this from this place of scarcity, so I don't get cancer again, versus I want to do all this from this place of abundance, so that I can create good health, great feelings, healthy emotions, and a healthy mindset, you feel the difference when you hear that and you think about your health in these two different ways coming from these two different places.

And for me, the foundation of that is self compassion.

The foundation of coming from this place of supporting your health, through and from a place of abundance begins with self care and self compassion.

It begins with learning to love yourself, maybe for the very first time in your friggin life, like really loving yourself, really caring about yourself, not turning to a certain way of eating or a certain way of exercising, because the experts tell you to do it. And if you do it, you have this percentage of a decrease in your risk. But you do it because you love you. You do it because you're important. You do it because you want to feel a certain way.

I know, as a health coach, as a personal trainer, that as a menopausal woman who has been with and through breast cancer and is living with breast cancer and working daily on healing from breast cancer, that it can be very difficult to manage these lifestyle factors of feeding ourselves well and moving our body regularly. But I'm going to bring it back one more time in circle here to say that self compassion is the root of this.

Because when you can learn to love yourself, then you can learn to treat yourself better. When you love yourself, and you learn mindful practices, you learn to be very aware of what we're putting into our body and how that impacts our healing. And when we learn to stay focused with our mind on healing and coming from a place of abundance and joy, rather than in a place of fear, then we have a different mindset when it comes to nourishing ourself. And here's why that is important.

When we have been through the experience that we have been through this devastating and traumatic experience of breast cancer, the last thing that we want to do is deprive ourselves in this life.

And I think a huge disservice that the health and fitness industry has done is to paint this picture that eating well, moving your body frequently is hard. It's a deprivation. It is a diet of broccoli and kale and brown rice and blend chicken breasts and intense boot camps that are far beyond the physical capability of someone with painful joints, and who's menopausal and may have movement restrictions and limitations because of what we've been through in breast cancer and breast cancer treatment.

But because we have this picture, and it's the popular picture, and every Fitness magazine has someone on it that has a six pack abs, you know and you look at that and say that's not even attainable, then we don't get our mind into this place where we come from a place of love and self compassion for our body and ask how is everything we're doing on a daily basis supporting the health that we want to create?

Instead, we end up coming from a place of shame and pressuring ourselves and putting a tremendous amount of stress on our ability to recover and return to some unrealistic norm.

So for today, I want to leave you with those nine tips from nine different survivors on what they learned in their own recovery that they want to pass on to help someone else have an easier path in their recovery.

And I want you to hold on to that idea that your mind has the ability to contribute to your health and wellness. Meaning when you come from that place of self compassion when you come from that mindset of saying, Hey, body, I love you, what can we do today to feel better?

And you always have that choice, right? You have that choice to think, let me use my mind to contribute to my wellness, my healing and a fulfilling life. Or let me use my mind to be fearful of this disease recurring, we always have that choice. The mind has power in both ways, right? And fear can overcome your life. Or you can choose to use that power of your mind to contribute to your wellness.


So let's put this into practice. And be mindful this week, going through the week and just noticing your expectations of yourself. And where are you being patient with yourself? And where are you beating yourself up over the expectation you have set for your healing or your recovery? And where can you incorporate some more self love, some more self compassion, and some more patience.

And that sounds like a lot of work or you're not sure where to start, you still have time to come and join me in the revived membership experience, where you can get coaching on that and you can be a part of an awesome community of women who are working on learning to manage their minds to manage all aspects of their life and have a fulfilling recovery and create the life they want. After breast cancer. You can get all the details at thebreastcancerrecoverycoach.com/revived and I would love to see you there.

Alright, I will talk to you again next week. And until then be good to yourself and Please expect others to be good to you as well. Take care.



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