How Yoga Found Me and Carried Me Through Cancer

How Yoga Found Me and Carried Me Through Cancer:

I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in September 2015. I had been suffering from stomach pain since January 2016. At first it started off as abdominal cramps but then progressed into severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and other symptoms. My doctor prescribed me some strong antibiotics which did not work well at all. After a few months of these symptoms, my condition worsened and I went to the hospital where they found out that I have stage 4 colon cancer.

The doctors told me that if I do not undergo surgery within three weeks, it would spread throughout my body and kill me. They gave me two options: Surgery or chemotherapy.

Surgery:

After undergoing several tests, the doctors were able to detect the presence of cancer cells in my digestive tract. However, there are many complications associated with surgery such as bleeding, infection and even death. So after careful consideration of all possibilities, they decided that surgery would be too risky for me. They suggested that I go through chemotherapy instead.

Chemotherapy:

The doctors gave me a packet of information about chemotherapy and told me to look through it and ask all the questions that I needed to. The packet included information about the common side effects of chemotherapy such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, hair loss, mouth sores, constipation and diarrhea. It also mentioned that there were less common side effects of chemotherapy such as nerve damage, organ damage, hormonal imbalance and even cancer itself. After going through the packet of information, I decided that chemotherapy would be too risky for me as well.

Yoga:

In the packet of information that the doctor gave me about chemotherapy, there was a brochure about another treatment option: Yoga. The brochure said that there is evidence that yoga can help in chemotherapy as well as relieve the side effects associated with it such as nausea, fatigue and even hair loss. There was a list of yoga poses that I could do to help myself in my condition. There were also suggestions of meditation techniques that could help as well. This intrigued me and I decided to try it.

My Experience with Yoga:

How Yoga Found Me and Carried Me Through Cancer - from our website

The very first time that I tried the yoga exercises, I felt very weird. My mind became very clear and focused and my body felt light and airy. I felt a warm sensation throughout my body. After doing the yoga exercises for a week, I started to feel a lot more energized and strong. I could also focus a lot better than before.

My nausea and fatigue were also gone at this point.

One day after doing my yoga exercises, I went for a walk around the neighborhood. It was a nice sunny day and I took in all the sights and sounds of nature. I felt very peaceful and calm. I also felt a strange connection with everything around me. I could sense the presence of other people even from far away.

It was like I was connected to everyone and everything around me. I came home feeling very happy and at peace with myself.

Research on Yoga:

After my first experience with yoga, I decided to do some research on it. To my surprise, I found a lot of scientific studies that showed the benefits of yoga in cancer patients. The studies showed that yoga reduced stress and boosted the immune system. It also had psychological benefits such as increasing self esteem, quality of life and happiness among patients. Many of the studies also showed that yoga could reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, especially nausea, fatigue and loss of appetite.

Some of the studies even showed that yoga could potentially increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy as well as increase the length of survival.

Sources & references used in this article:

Cancer patients’ experiences with and perceived outcomes of yoga: results from focus groups by CF van Uden-Kraan, MJM Chinapaw… – … care in cancer, 2013 – Springer

Effects of yoga on symptom management in breast cancer patients: a randomized controlled trial by SH Vadiraja, MR Rao, RH Nagendra… – … journal of yoga, 2009 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Kundalini yoga as a support therapy for cancer patients by M Kröneck – 2016 – theseus.fi

Yoga for cancer: a guide to managing side effects, boosting immunity, and improving recovery for cancer survivors by T Prinster – 2014 – books.google.com

Impact of relaxation training according to Yoga In Daily Life® system on perceived stress after breast cancer surgery by T Kovačič, M Kovačič – Integrative Cancer Therapies, 2011 – journals.sagepub.com