Living with Cancer
There is no doubt that cancer is probably a source of various pain and sufferings for most
patients. Each victim, according to his own experience, sees his cancer differently and expresses his needs or
feeling in his own manner. Living with cancer is difficult for most
patients. Because a cancer may have a significant impact both physically and psychologically, it is important to
have information that will help you better cope with your difficulties. It is very important to know that
regardless of the type or the stage of cancer you have you can become cancer free and enjoy a vigorous health for
the rest of your life. This document presents steps to follow to help you withstand the vicissitudes of the disease
and end being victorious.
– you cannot fully enjoy life while living with cancer and being in
pain; therefore, you need to first relieve any pain associated with
Cancer does not necessarily mean living in pain. In fact, most cancers cause painful symptoms only at the final
stage. Even when this occur at some point in the illness, the pain is not inevitable. If you experience pain, it is
important that you talk with your health care provider or use an alternative pain killer. Now, some patients use medical marijuana or cannabis oil to treat their pain. Certain
cancer patients claim they are completely healed within 3 months of using cannabis oil – preferably the Rick
If you don’t want alternative and have concerns or questions regarding the use of drugs to reduce your pain, please
talk with your oncologist or primary physician. Your healthcare team can refer you to appropriate specialist
(anesthetist, palliative care specialist
, radiation oncologist) to determine an overall care program aiming at stopping your
pain. Other means or alternative pain relievers such as physiotherapy and relaxation can also be
– it is very important that you adopt a healthy diet while living with
cancer. As they say, there is no effective treatment without a healthy diet. Some cancer treatments can cause
difficulties to eat and require you to change your eating habits. Radiation therapy in the head or neck area can
affect the salivary glands, causing dry mouth which in return that impairs mastication, and mouth or swallowing
Corticosteroid therapy and hormone therapy may cause certain patients to gain weight. Dietary supplements such as
chaga extract and B17 can be greatly helpful. These food supplements and immune booster help your body fight against disease and increases your chance of recovery.
Cancers that directly affect the digestive tract (mouth cancer, esophageal cancer, intestinal cancer, stomach or
gastric cancer) or organ involved in digestion and absorption of foods (liver, pancreas) involve taking precautions
in eating habit. In addition, certain surgical procedures can affect normal functioning of the digestive system.
These effects are mostly temporary and related to the duration of treatment. It is then necessary to develop ways
to circumvent or defeat these adverse effects so that you can get enough intake of nutritional supplements your
Because during and after the treatment, the important thing is to keep your body in good balance and to maintain a
certain pleasure in the table, do not hesitate to talk to a nutritionist about your diet. You can also buy a
‘cancer diet book’ to get informed on how and what to eat. Regardless of your diet or eating habit, it is important
to eat plenty of fruits and cruciferous vegetables.
section for more information.
- The concept of "complementary medicine" refer to all therapeutic practices that are not integrated into the
conventional health care system. Practiced by people in the medical field, they form a very varied set which
includes both ancient techniques as well as new therapeutic approaches.
Among the most common practices include osteopathy (a form of non-invasive medical technique
that focuses on total body health without using drugs)
, phytotherapy (treatment by plants and plant extracts
medicine (alternative medicine consisting of treating the individual with highly diluted substances, aiming of
triggering the body’s natural system of healing)
, acupuncture, massage, relaxation, and prayer therapy (which can be effective for those who have
faith in the living God). Complementary medicines are widely
used by cancer patients. In fact, between 40 and 90% of cancer victims use them, according to many surveys.
Although the effectiveness of these alternative cancer treatments is doubtful, some of them are measured by
clinical studies. It was thus demonstrated that complementary medicine can sometimes positively complete
conventional treatment, especially for reducing certain side effects and improve quality of life for patients. In
addition, these alternatives allow the patients living with cancer to
take active part in the treatment, making them feel more positive.
Taking Care of Your Body
– certain cancerous conditions tend to affect the physical integrity. Scars, weight loss, weight gain, hair loss
can undermine the image of the body. Your self-esteem can hurt when you look at your body while in pain and when
others look at you. To reduce that feeling you can improve your appearance and correct some of the effects of the
disease by taking care of your skin, nails, teeth and, if necessary, wear facial makeup. Dental care is very
important because chemotherapy increases the risk of dental problems.
In fact, taking care of your body provides not only physical benefit but also psychological. The occurrence of a
disease should not put an end to this natural concern but probably requires some adjustments, tact and information.
There are a multitude of alternative dental and skin care products offered for
people living with cancer; it is probably not always easy to choose.
However, you can consider Lindi Skin care products which are known to help cancer patients. If necessary, you may
need to use complementary therapies: aromatherapy, art therapy, music therapy, massage therapy, reflexology, and
relaxation to help you sleep. Regular intake of omega3 supplement and good night sleep (about 7 hours) are the two
best ways to help you look good.
You may also need to begin or continue an exercise program (fast walking and riding bike for instance) adapting to
your health status or capacity of the moment. You can join a gym recommended by your doctor or any group aimed for
patients or fragile people. When it comes to exercisefor
cancer patients, however,
t is important to first talk to a health care provider and make choices closely adapted to your
Psychological Support -
The occurrence of cancer is a break in the path of life of every individual. The disease affects almost all aspects
of life: psychological, physical, familial and social. It can cause more or less important psychological suffering
that the patient can be unable to overcome alone.
These can manifest as sadness, clinical depression, anxiety, anger, guilt, helplessness, lack of sexual desire (erectile
dysfunction). Other important symptoms that may also occur in individuals living with cancer include insomnia (or sleep disorders), decreased or loss
of appetite and social uncomfortability which can restrict your ability to function normally. Side effects
related to treatment, may also be a source of anxiety and insecurity. They can accentuate your sense of unease
and put you in a state of psychological stress.
Do not suffer in silence or wait until these disorders completely invade you to seek professional help. It is
perfectly legitimate, at any time of your sickness, to seek support. Various specialists (nurses, social workers,
religious groups, psychologists, psychiatrists) will help you better understand your illness and the adverse
effects of the treatment. Depending on your needs, they can support you and / or refer you to the specialist who
will best meet your current difficulties, a psycho-oncologist for example.
Community / Social
Involvement – when it
comes to social involvement, going to church should be top priority. Fervent and faithful prayers have
miraculously saved many people from terminal diseases including cancer. It is not an obligation to have a
religious leader to pray for you; you can pray on your own. All you need to do is to communicate with your
heavenly Father. Read your bible daily (you can read the Bible along with “Desire of Ages”, one of the most
inspirational books ever), pray God to help you repent of your sins, keep his commandments (including the
4th, the Sabbath – Exodus 20: 1-17). But remember, you keep God’s commencements because you love him,
not to be saved (John 14:15). Salvation is a gift from God; your works cannot qualify you for it. If you want
God to answer your prayers, it is very important that you forgive those who hurt you, and ‘carefully make peace
with your enemies.
shown in many studies that regular
churchgoing is not only good for the soul but also for the body too. It was shown in a 30-year study of 2,600
people that church goers were more likely to take good care of themselves and care less of the future. In
addition, it was shown that those who attended ecclesiastical services regularly tended to not or less smoke and
drink, take physical exercise and maintain stable marriages - all factors in a long and healthy life.
The scientists said churchgoers had lower blood pressure, experienced less major depression and anxiety, and had stronger immune systems than nonchurchgoers and had
less trouble keeping their weight down. Certain denominations such as the Seventh Day Adventists have a healthy
diet including in their doctrine which prevents eating certain foods: pork meat, scaleless fishes, and others.
But remember, even among the apostles there was a Judah; do not expect everyone in church to be good. There are
plenty of hypocrites in every denomination. Sad to say, some church goers are even worse than those who never
attend a church service. You go there to follow Jesus and have him as your model. In addition, do not believe any
preacher who tells you to give donation to be blessed. God blessing is for those who obey to his words; you cannot
buy it. Although God will always take care of you, do not expect prosperity when following Jesus. Instead Jesus
said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must
deny themselves and takeup their
me.” Luke 9:23.
Cancer and Sexuality –
in most individuals, the occurrence of cancer and its
treatment affect the sexuality and couple's life.
The shock experienced by the cancer diagnosis can cause fear and sadness which often results in erectile
dysfunction or decreased female libido not only in the sick person but also in their partners. The bodily changes
sometimes caused by the disease and treatments (hair loss, weight gain or loss, surgical removal of a breast or
other body’s part) may also have consequences, such as low self-esteem or fear of facing the others, which may
cause a decrease or cessation of sexual activity. The concerns and fears of your partner may also affect your sex
life. Try to share your feelings with each other and discuss the problem, if necessary, to your healthcare team.
In some people, chemotherapy does not cause sexual problems. For others, unfortunately, it causes changes in this
regard. Cancer chemotherapy sometimes causes irritation of mucous membranes which can lead to painful intercourse
in some women. Other side effects of chemotherapy (fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and others) may decrease the desire
in the person being treated. In most cases, these problems are temporary and related to duration of the
Some cancers affect sexuality directly, either because a sexual organ is affected or because some treatments with
surgery, radiotherapy or hormone therapy have a direct impact on the genitals. This concerns mainly gynecological
cancers in women (breast, cervix of the uterus, endometrial and ovarian cancer) and cancers of the genital area in
men (prostate, bladder, testicles and penis). These cancers and the side effects of their treatments can also lead
to infertility. Medical technology can help preserve or restore the possibility of having a child after
What Can You Do ?
the sexual problems are temporary or permanent, there are often suggestions for improvement that can be offered
through a specific treatment. Ask your physician, a member of the care team, your gynecologist or urologist, about
the possible consequences of the disease and treatment on your sexual life and on the available solutions to
with your partner about the problem; respect and listen mutually to avoid feelings of misunderstanding or
dissatisfaction. If necessary, seeing a psychologist or sex therapist may be helpful in informing you steps to
take. Feel free to talk with your caregivers who treat and follow you. When you are living with cancer, it is
not necessary to struggle alone with your questions and difficulties.