Two weeks out from Mayo; I’m in St. Louis with my Sid visiting family and taking a break from my life in Chicago. I left my hubby and son behind in order to spend some quality time with my family; I was in dire need of a break. I have been trying to do different things lately to get me out my head. Took the family to Starved Rock for some hiking last week and had a great time. The pic above is of yours truly on that day.
There are certain things which I do before I go to Mayo for my annual testing which I have found to be rather helpful and would like to share them with you.
1. Meditate. I usually meditate 1-2 times a week, but prior to testing I do so more frequently; 3-4 times a week. It helps me tremendously. I use all 108 of my Buddhist beads and repeatedly tell myself that “I’m strong, healthy, and without cancer; and I will stay that way.” The mind is a powerful weapon — use it.
2. I mostly discuss my Lynch related concerns with my psychologist and psychiatrist and tend to see them more frequently before testing time. Most people just do not understand the gravity of your situation and what you’re feeling/experiencing regarding Lynch syndrome and the anxiety that comes with the annual screenings for Lynch related cancers. They can say some things which truly minimize your feelings which in turn can make one angry, upset, and frustrated. Save it for your therapist, or for those who truly listen to you.
3. Ask your doctor or psychiatrist for an anti-anxiety med. It will decrease your anxiety and allow you to sleep better during this difficult time.
4. Stay away from Lynch syndrome forums on Facebook and so on. I cannot read about the misery of others in regards to Lynch syndrome related cancers during this time. I need to maintain a positive attitude and it is highly difficult to do so when reading about others and their difficult situations.
5. Keep any negativity at bay. I cannot read the news or watch it on television during this time of the year…most news is bad news and I just don’t need to be privy to these issues at this time.
6. Fill your social calendar up; it helps keep your mind off of your screening. Now is the time to catch up with people with whom you have not seen in awhile.
7. This is definitely the time to spoil yourself; get a manicure, massage, go on vacation; do things which make you feel good.
8. Exercise more; I try to walk or run most days and lift weights. It’s hard to be depressed when your brain is bathing in endorphins.
9. Try and spend more time outside, especially when it’s sunny out. It’s difficult to be blue when sunlight is stimulating your optic nerve. Besides, chances are you need the vitamin D; the sun is the most stellar way to get this vital hormone which has been found to be low in most people and may also be partially responsible for the development of colon cancer. Get in the sun for about 20 minutes a day, sans sunscreen — just don’t overdue it.
10. Try not to eat too much a few days before your screening; it will make the process of cleaning your colon out with the prep much, much easier.
Stay positive, be fearless.