Cancer updates & Cancer Coach

I have been bad about blogging, mainly because of the brainfog that accompanied all of the anesthesia I've been put under.

Something that has bothered me is how, even pre-pandemic, there is just no support system for a cancer patient. It is literally survival of the fittest, and that is wildly unfair.

"Unfair" is not a useful word in general, but it is a useful word to a cancer patient who needs to scream into the wind. 

If you are a new cancer patient, someone who has found my blog through a google search or instagram post, then welcome. And I'm so sorry you are here, in need of support and information.

I've been seeing a Behavioral Oncologist (BO) for almost four years now. I was first eligible to see the Behavioral Oncologist because I was primary caregiver to my mother, who was being treated for pancreatic cancer. I had accompanied her to the therapy appointments, and quickly realized I would benefit from seeing the Behavioral Oncologist on my own. I saw the therapist regularly through my mom's treatment, and then during my dad's treatment, and still after their deaths.

If you are a cancer patient (or caregiver), PLEASE, right now, get out a pen or open a note on your phone and write down the words: BEHAVIORAL ONCOLOGIST. I keep writing the words over and over because I cannot emphasize enough how important they are to your well-being.

They are the only person in your whole cancer team who has the time and energy to care about your whole-being. They have prescribing powers and psychiatry background. They care about your sleep, and if you're not sleeping, there is no way you can heal. They care about your mental health. They have access to your scans, so they can see exactly where you are in your treatment, how close to death you are, or how close to being cancer-free. They are big-picture APRNs, typically, and they have literally saved my life.

The Behavioral Oncology department that I've been seeing, however, seems to have changed its general care. I think they are probably being overwhelmed by new cancer patients, and they no longer have the time to offer talk therapy in the same way they did when my mom was sick. 

I've recognized that I need more support than the Behavioral team has time to offer, so I have sought out support through other resources: a cancer coach.

It sounds silly, but it's so far been really interesting, and I'm going to be blogging about the experience. 

I've only had one meeting with her, but it was full of information and light. She asked about the big picture and offered insight into whole-body wellness. So much information is out there that it's nice to have someone who's been through it to talk you through priorities.

The first priority for me has been getting adequate sleep because if you have good sleep, your body is better-capable of healing. IF you have good sleep, you make better nutrition choices. If you have good sleep, you have energy to meal plan and exercise.

I've been taking high-concentrate CBD and an anti-depressant that has drowsiness as a side effect (taken at night), and that has significantly increased my sleep quality. When I take the anti-depressant alone, my watch tells me my sleep quality is 70%. With the CBD added, my sleep quality increases to 80-84%. If I take THC, my sleep quality his 89%, but Kentucky, unfortunately, still doesn't' have a medical marijuana law, so THC is limited to when I am out of town.

I'll have another appointment with The Cancer Coach next week, and I'm going to be focusing on nutrition. Will share recipes and meal planning tips, as meal planning has always been my kryptonite.

Does anyone have a recipe they love? An anti-inflammatory recipe that would be fit for a vegetarian cancer patient? 

Read this blog for years? Maybe it's time to give me a wee tip.