• Life Style Changes

    Asked by blujeanlady on Friday, November 25, 2016

    Life Style Changes

    For the survivors out there - What lifestyle changes, diet changes, physical activities did you make after treatment was over for you?

    23 Answers from the Community

    23 answers
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      I had Stage 1 breast cancer, seventeen years ago. The main dietary changes I made were to cut down on my alcohol intake and to eschew soy products. I was never a heavy or even moderate drinker, but my oncologist told me that women who'd been diagnosed with breast cancer should limit themselves to no more than three glasses of wine or beer a week (I'd never even drunk that much, except for a year when I'd go out every week with the office guys and get drunk). Anyway, I've cut out all alcohol except for a glass of wine once a month or so.

      Re soy products - My cancer was triple-positive, hence ER-positive. Told to not eat much soy, I monitor how much of that I eat (it's also in bread products, etc.). Not a fan of it anyway.

      Other than that, I've made no big changes in anything.

      almost 2 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      Like Carool, I made few major changes but I did get much more serious about my lifestyle decisions.

      I had always eaten organically. I had always dabbled in raw & living foods since gaining the age of majority. I had always been active.

      When I had come to care for my Mom some of those things took a back role to my central role as caregiver. Mom died just as I was finishing with treatment.

      I determined to get back a hold on and control over my life. It took years and some great hardships to return to basics. Im still returning in many ways.

      almost 2 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      My treatment will never be over, I don't guess. My lifestyle change is that I appreciate more and worry less. I live to enjoy life.

      I have never purposefully changed my diet ... though my taste buds are different now than they were so I eat different.

      I walk and play agility. It is pretty common knowledge that I am an agility addict... I was before I was diagnosed and I have pretty much continued to be

      almost 2 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar
      IKickedIt

      The only changes I made have been due to the damage that the chemo caused. So I have a lot of limitations and lifestyle changes because of that. However, I have not made any changes in hopes of preventing cancer coming back again. I have gone through genetic testing, and all my doctors have indicated that my cancer was due to just bad luck. I have always had a fairly healthy lifestyle and was varsity athlete in high school and very active as an adult. I am just hoping to one day be able to do many of the activities I was able to do before the chemo damaged my nervous system. I'm getting there slowly, although I do believe I will not be competing on the 3 meter high dive anytime soon.

      almost 2 years ago
    • Lindy's Avatar
      Lindy

      None. I survived all that the docs threw at me & that made the changes...neuropathy & lymphedema, radiation damage that included my thyroid. I have never recovered my mojo & if Trump wants to loan me one of his chefs I will eat healthier. I bought 2 vegan cookbooks, just reading the recipes brought on nausea. I stick with being a vegetarian who sometimes cooks a great pot of healthy soup.

      almost 2 years ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      Hi bluejeanlady. Ok, I made numerous changes to my lifestyle and diet since being diagnosed IIIC ovarian cancer in 2013. I had genetic testing also and was negative but for some reason, somewhere my cells went haywire. I do not know if the changes will make a difference in my cancer recurring, but my doctor says they certainly won't hurt me, so I figure, why not try to give my body assistance. I too thought myself healthy, until I wasn't. Here are some of my changes : I limit my dairy product intake ( haven't been able to give up cheese ) I eat only whole grain rice, bread cereal, etc, I drink three cups or more green tea daily, I have eliminated beef and pork from my diet, try to eat six to seven servings fruit and vegetables daily, buy organic of the most contaminated fruits and vegetables this includes celery, apples, bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, apples peaches, and grapes, eat nothing that has been cured or has nitrates. Additionally, I take 2000 IU Vitamin D and two capsules of Turmeric daily. I did not make all my changes at once, but incorporated them over time. Do I backslide? Occasionally, on my birthday, and on holidays, probably eat more sugar than I should. This Thanksgiving I helped my granddaughter make cookies, and of course sampling was a no brainer, but for the most part these changes have become habit and I don't feel I am making any sacrifices following them, although, I did initially. Excercise is also important. I wear a pedometer and walk daily. My goal is 7,000 steps or more and most days I make the more. I also belong to a gym and go twice weekly for strength training in my legs and arms, again, helping my body help itself. Just like your treatment choices, your dietary and excercise choices are totally up to you. I am just one of those people who have to feel proactive. If all this helps somehow, so much the better.

      almost 2 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      I think the major lifestyle change I made was getting "right with the Lord". I spend a lot of time in prayer and Bible study. I spend no time in frivolous pursuits. I have a membership in the YMCA where I take two exercises which meet twice I week. I make up my nutritional needs according to what my blood tests say I need.

      almost 2 years ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      The biggest change I made was that I lost weight. I didn't do it right away. I was diagnosed Dec. 2013 and just started going to Weight Watchers in Jan. 2016. It was something that I needed to do to make myself feel better. I have lost 39 lbs. and only have a few more to go. I was hoping that it would help with the neuropathy in my feet, which is my worst side effect from treatment. I don't know if it has truly helped, but I seem to have more days where it is not so bad. It also has been a big boost to my self esteem, and I am thankful for that. I do watch what I eat, but I haven't removed anything from my food choices. I just try to be more mindful. I also have added some vitamins in hopes that they will help. I do try to get to the gym 3 times a week, but that depends on how much my feet hurt. What are you thinking about doing? Take care.

      almost 2 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I really haven't changed anything. I know I probably should, but I have pretty much just laughed in the face of cancer and said, "is that all you got"? It may come back to kick me in the gut one day, but for now, I do what I want , eat what I want and carry on with life. If anything, I try to do more of what I or Donna want to do.

      almost 2 years ago
    • ld_105's Avatar
      ld_105

      I recently cut back on sugar. Just avoiding cookies and ice cream I lost 12 lbs. But my knees have been bothering me and I can't wait to get off the AI. Another year to go. Otherwise it takes time regain your normal mindset and that shift took 2-3 years.

      almost 2 years ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      I try to exercise more. And love the people in my family. One just never knows when cancer will come back.

      almost 2 years ago
    • msesq's Avatar
      msesq

      I got a Fitbit and try to exercise more. My husband I I ear red meat only once a week and try to have one meatless, fishless and poultryless meal a week. Still trying to lose the weight I gained on chemotherapy unsuccessfully.

      almost 2 years ago
    • happydyad's Avatar
      happydyad

      Hi,Blujeanlady! I increased exercise from 5 days/week to 7. I juice and drink about 16-32 oz cold-pressed vegetable juice every day. I did Budwig Protocol for a while but now just do the 2 Tbsp freshly ground flaxseeds every other day or so. I use distilled water. I take a high dose of melatonin with a high dose of Vit D at bedtime and I sleep at least 7 hours/night. I avoid but haven't completely cut out sugar, meat, dairy, soy and alcohol. I take Poly MVA every day. Periodically, I grow my own sprouts. I totally avoid flour and breads. BTW, Geekling makes absolutely awesome crackers from veggie pulp and wonderful herbal teas which she markets on Etsy under the name "raw maven", check her out! Best wishes for your continued good health! Judy in KY

      almost 2 years ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      I exercise more. I also read the ingredients labels on the products I use on my face and body.

      almost 2 years ago
    • acshipway's Avatar
      acshipway

      Hi, I have Follicular NHL, my doc tells me there are 3 big things to help slow the return of the cancer (at least my particular variety)
      Low stress
      Regular sleep
      Plant based
      I do the best I can with the first 2, for the last one have cut back on the red meats and increased the amount of fruits and veggies., I told my doc, "Cows eat plants and I eat cows", she didn't think was funny! I believe in a balanced diet as free of processed foods as possible, I have cut back (some) on sugar and very little alcohol. Don't exercise as much as I should, is still a work in progress. Good luck to you.

      almost 2 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      Cancer did force me into some lifestyle changes One of them is less meat I simply can't afford it. I really haven't thought about the lifestyle changes brought about by the financial changes cancer has caused.

      almost 2 years ago
    • JNW's Avatar
      JNW

      When I was in treatment, I was already a vegetarian and eating as much fresh and organic as I could. I find between my lymphedema risk and necrotic tissue from my DIEP flap, I'm always fiddling with my exercise and exercising less because it hurts. The toughest part for me is finding my "new normal". I'm two years cancer free, but my meds change because I'm suddenly getting cluster migraines and between the new meds and any other variables that might be in play, for the second time in 23 years, I caused hair breakage while changing hair color. So, I'm starting to get the feeling that I'll be making lifestyle changes for the rest of my life. It's annoying and they pop up in the most unexpected ways for me, but they'll surely keep me on my toes!

      almost 2 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      JNW, I sure hope you're not on your toes for long! And that the horrible cluster headaches go away for good.

      almost 2 years ago
    • JNW's Avatar
      JNW

      Carool, thanks for the good thoughts! They had to throw me into early menopause, so that could be causing the migraines, since I'd never had one until I was 46. I've still got 8 years on AIs, so who knows? The important thing is that I'm above ground and now have migraine meds, so I'm better than I was a couple of months ago!

      almost 2 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      I'm glad you are aboveground, too! Keep it up!

      almost 2 years ago
    • pattiep's Avatar
      pattiep

      Hmmmm.... I always have been a healthy eater and I think I've actually become less so lol. I'm a lot less rigid about food rules and have-to's. I try to enjoy the things I love more -- chocolate and ice cream in moderation (reading and tv instead of groceries or laundry--it gets done). I've never been much of a meat eater just because-- but I do eat all kinds including red (and occasionally processed). I've always eaten tons of fruit and veggies so I try to keep that up but I don't seem to enjoy them as much except in the summer. Back to the let's be nice to me--I eat white pasta now because I really never like whole grain. I do eat whole grain bread. I drink black, white and herbal tea in large quantities, also a minimum of 64 oz. of water a day. I drink more alcohol because I didn't drink at all before. Chemopause cured my migraines. The other major trigger was alcohol, especially red wine. Now I can enjoy a glass every now and then.
      Enough about food and drink.
      It took a couple of years after chemo but when I can fit it in I enjoy yoga (had never been to a class) and I use a fitbit- 4 miles a day (1/2 hour cardio) on weekdays. Have to watch myself that it doesn't become a have-to!
      My goal (and I've been failing and trying and failing....) is to get more sleep. I was so good right after chemo ended and for about a year. I promised myself I would get 6-7 hours a night (I get up at 5ish). I started backsliding and during the school year (I teach) I have been getting 4-5 hours on weeknights. I know this is not good so it is something I need to work on. I do have a much lower fatigue level and I know this contributes.
      Other changes were made for me by chemo- I was always very fussy about my make-up. Well - with my dry eye and lack of lashes most of my make up issues are gone. I slap on some blush and pencil in brows. If it's a good day I wear lipstick! Huge and difficult change for me. I kept my hair super short (but dye it red again :))
      I think the biggest change I've made it that I don't force myself to do things I don't want to do -social engagements, chores, all sorts of things- until I'm ready. I let myself eat breakfast in bed on the weekend and try to relax more. I only see people I enjoy spending time with. I'm not the most relaxed person. BUT I have stopped worrying about my cancer returning. I still do all of my check ups etc but I'm positive in my thinking about this. If it does... I'll deal with it but I'm not going to allow myself to worry.

      almost 2 years ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      pattiep, as far as I am concerned, you have the right idea. I love what you wrote. Take care.

      almost 2 years ago
    • happydyad's Avatar
      happydyad

      Pattiep, you are absolutely right about the worry. It became overwhelming for me so I gave it up completely. It sneaks in occasionally especially when I'm waiting for test results and sometimes when I look in the mirror and see my permanent reminders. Still, I just keep believing that I am healthy. I have felt guilty about that, like I am a traitor to my fellow survivors, so it is nice to hear that someone else has done that. Thanks for sharing. Judy

      almost 2 years ago

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