Not Just Smoke and Mirrors

To say a cancer diagnosis, not to mention the surgeries and treatments that ensue, may potentially wreak havoc on one’s physical and/or emotional wellbeing is somewhat of a gross understatement. As if dealing with the concept of a diagnosis is not enough, an individual may then be faced with additional, and in many cases overwhelmingly extreme physical and/or emotional changes; some obvious and some less so, some are to be expected and in many circumstances some of these shifts may come as a complete surprise.

Fundamentally I believe it is our awareness, acceptance and sense of inner peace that lies at the core of our happiness and ultimately our emotional wellbeing. However, when facing a disease that may seemingly rob you of not only a mental, but a physical ability to step out in this world with confidence, it is my belief that you do whatever you can to make yourself feel better equipped to face life when addressing these challenges.  For many women, and men for that matter, that is working with your physical body on both an internal and external level. Supporting our bodies can be an enormously empowering tool and sometimes it is through our physical presentation to the world that we may even feel we have regained some level of control over this seemingly uncontrollable situation. Perhaps it can be termed ‘fake it till you make it’ but I believe it’s a cyclical process, and so much more than what may be considered a purely aesthetic tool of empowerment. When we make the effort to put our ‘best face forward’ in everyday life we tend to feel innately more confident. Attracting comments like, ”Wow, you look great,” may allow our emotional state to be uplifted by this perceivably basic, yet fundamentally powerful affirmation. As shallow as we may perceive this to be, such positive feedback tends to create a positive internal reaction both psychologically and physiologically.

Given the nature of most cancer treatments, many of which may be considered toxic and intrusive, I sought out as many complimentary options and natural alternatives in the pursuit of supporting my internal and external physical wellness.  Of course this was not always the easy option, nor in some cases practical, but I felt that if I was putting something natural, whole and nourishing back into/onto my body, I too was playing a key role in my own healing.

“Not just smoke and mirrors” is a journal of how I supported my body aesthetically through cancer, surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy and a mastectomy/reconstruction. It focuses on the main side effects, symptoms, alternative remedies and some ‘hero’ products I found to support these shifts along the way. The vast majority of these solutions are natural, some are simple ‘find in the cupboard’ options and some may be a little harder to source, but in all cases I have endeavoured to make the process of accessing them as easy as possible. I emphasis here that in no way are these alternatives a hard and fast cure when addressing these side effects, and additionally I advise you consult with your physicians before adopting any of these strategies. It is also paramount here to further emphasis that in no way are any of these options necessary whilst undertaking cancer treatment, they are simply suggestions in potentially supporting some of the symptoms and side effects that an individual may encounter on the journey.