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Conversations!

THE INTERNATIONAL NEWSLETTER FOR THOSE FIGHTING OVARIAN CANCER!

"10 Tips Series for Coping"  
10 Tips for Doing Healing Things Together With A Loved One or Friend
By Jim Acee

Introduction: This is #2 in a series of articles compiled by Jim Acee,  husband and caregiver for Savanna Acee who was diagnosed in June 1995 with stage III ovarian cancer, had six rounds of chemotherapy, and then a recurrence in July 1996 with metastasis (spread) to the liver and diaphragm with seeding throughout the abdomen. Savanna was placed on hospice in September 1996 and given only months to live. She subsequently survived with a high quality of life for 10 years using a combination of alternative, complementary and traditional (chemotherapy) treatments. For more information on Savanna's treatment methodology, or to discuss your cancer-related concerns contact Jim  at  jimacee@hotmail.com , call 208-384-1708 (mountain time zone) or write to Jim Acee, 4024 Whitehead, Boise, ID 83703, USA.

Future "10 Tips" articles will appear each month in the CONVERSATIONS! Newsletter. Previously published articles in this series are in the "10 Tips" section of http://www.ovarian-news.org or send a stamped, self addressed envelop marked "10 Tips Series" to CONVERSATIONS! PO Box 7948, Amarillo, TX 79114.

1) Attend a cancer healing retreat together for at least a week. Pick a retreat held in a beautiful and quiet setting, and one which integrates both the caregiver and the person with cancer into the program. The well-respected Commonweal organization can recommend several retreats, in addition to its own. Call 1-888-495-6755 for more information. Other information sources for retreats are local religious groups, social workers and nurses in health care facilities, the American Cancer Society, wellness centers, and cancer support groups.

2) Take walks in tranquil, natural settings. Use this time to focus on the positive. Avoid discussing problems. Pay attention to the beauty and perfection in nature, even in the smallest of things, and relate it mentally to the beauty and perfection possible in your own body. If you are not mobile enough to walk outdoors, plan and plant a backyard garden together and attract birds and squirrels with feeders. This can provide countless hours of shared enjoyment.

3) Pray or meditate together while focused on healing. Sit quietly or lay down and calm your thoughts or anxieties. Touch hands and invite healing energies to flow between you. Do this quietly, or use a guided meditation tape, or play appropriate soft music.

4) Touch each other often with love, affection, and healing intent. Hug, hold hands, brush hair, etc. Try to massage with the intent of invoking a peaceful and healing experience. If you want to refine your technique, your local library should have books or videos on healing massage. Or splurge and hire two professionals to give you both a double massage at the same time in the same room. It's a great experience to share.

5) Experience uplifting entertainment together that inspires the heart, soul, body and mind. If necessary, make special trips, out of town or out of state, for inspiring entertainment. The Las Vegas show, "Mystere" by Cirque Du Soliel (1-800-392-1999), is an example of wholesome entertainment that can inspire healing by showing the perfection of the human body through artistic movement.

6) Create your own retreat. Rent a quiet place at the ocean, in the mountains, or wherever you feel at peace. Use this time to share thoughts and feelings and to be together without outside obligations.

7) Read inspiring stories, poetry or spiritual literature to one another. Take time to discuss the inspiration points, highlights, or lessons in the reading. What relevance does the reading have to your life and the healing process?

8) Cancer causes personal and relationship stresses that can inhibit the healing process. Go together to relationship or psychological counseling sessions. You can can have sessions for just the two of you, or attend a group session. As openly as you can, share your concerns, fears, hopes, and experiences. Others may have experiences the same thoughts and can offer insights into how they dealt with similar situations. It is very often a relief just knowing your experiences are similar to others in the group.

9) Join a local cancer support group and attend together. Or, sign up with a cancer support discussion group on the Internet. You can just read postings by others, or join in, to share experiences and ask questions. A good site to read previous messages (archives) on many aspects of fighting ovarian cancer is http://listserv.acor.org/archives/ovarian.html. Archives for other concerns (such as fatigue, sexuality, faith, long term survivorship, osteoporosis, etc.) are found at http://listserv.acor.org.archives.

10) Shop for and share healthy meals together. A healthy diet is easier to abide by when the commitment is shared by others in the household. Try to make discovering and cooking new healthy foods a fun adventure. Take cooking classes together, too. The next "10 Tips" article appearing in the June issue of CONVERSATIONS! Newsletter will focus on the role of nutrition in healing.

Copyright  2000 Jim Acee and CONVERSATIONS!, (Permission is given to make personal copies or copies for free distribution to cancer fighters.)  Available on the web at:  http://www.ovarian-news.org under "10 Tips Series for Coping by Jim Acee."

*Compiled by Jim Acee. Please send questions, comments, or contributions of your experiences or thoughts on this topic to Jim Acee by e-mailing jimacee@hotmail.com or write to:

Jim Acee
4024 Whitehead
Boise, ID 83703.

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