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Current Events Add Stress to Cancer

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Article

As we all know, added stress for patients with cancer is never a good thing.

image of Linda Cohen

Living through a war in real time has affected my life. I recently went for my three-month check-up with my oncologist and for the first time, my blood pressure was high. I began to think about how different my life has been since this war began.

Yes, I have become obsessed with listening to and reading breaking news as it is happening. Besides having the news on all day, I am reading many articles and updates a day, trying to educate the public with the facts that I have confirmed. I am concerned about the innocent on both sides. War is always extremely sad for all. It is worrisome because I am so stressed that I have put my cancer on the back burner.

I have found that I have no interest or time to read about anything else. I have only one focus. The cancer webinars I often listen to and should listen to are of no interest to me now. I can’t continue like this because I know it’s not healthy for me as a chronic cancer patient.

Not too long ago, I wrote a blog recommending something that has helped me deal with my cancer. “Make an appointment with worry. Allow 15 minutes a day,” I said. As you can see, I am not able to take my own advice when it comes to living through a war in real-time. I needed to get help.

So, I decided to call a Mindfulnees-Informed Professional therapist. She advised me to limit the time I'm giving this topic. No surprise there. She advised me to take some deep yoga breaths and listen to the following free link: https://youtube.com/live/N7gwE-R3b8M?si=6E5qJmf1tq5SojyX (entitled: Full Body Healing Frequency: (432 Hz + 741 Hz): Super Recovery & Healing, Remove Negative Energy). She encouraged me to try to listen to it for its calming effect. She told me, “When you’re thirsty you get a drink to satisfy you. When you’re stressed you also need to take action like this calming music to help change your state of mind. It’s like taking a preventative vitamin. “ If you don’t get this under control, it could affect your cancer.” Of course, I knew she was right, especially when she said, “You have nothing to lose.”

Another recommendation she made was to think about the affirmations I want to happen. Positive thoughts are powerful. I know that and I believe it. I will give all that she said a try. I have decided to attempt this first thing in the morning before I get out of bed. No matter which side you’re on or what your added stress is, I think this is good advice for cancer patients to try to minimize extra anxiety that’s upsetting.

For me, this has been a trigger because my parents were Holocaust survivors and always warned me that antisemitism could rear its ugly head again. I realize that I feel terrified now, which is why I’m so affected. The future of my grandchildren scares me as well. I have friends of all religions and I can count on one hand the number of non-Jewish friends who have called to see how I am doing. My friends know my background because they have all read the book, Sarinka, that I wrote about my parents’ survival.

The words, “Never Again” are screaming at me and I’m hurting. I am telling you this because if you have a friend of the Jewish faith, especially one with cancer, you might want to reach out to them. It will be appreciated more than you know. I am sure that most people don’t realize how scary it is to hear chants calling for the death of the Jewish people that are being heard around the world. These are unprecedented times for us. This is real and I’m completely unprepared, like the title of a book I recently read and how I felt when I found out I had an incurable cancer. But, above all, my faith has helped me through cancer, and it will help me through this.

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Dr. Lauren Pinter-Brown