Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Everyday Is A Gift

My grandmother always used to say that "everyday is a gift" so don't take your life for granted.  I am not a fortunate enough man to have met my grandmother, but my dad still reminds me to this day some of the things he had learned from her. Those words had never resonated in my ears correctly until my dad and I had recently discussed the topic thoroughly. We had began talking about it and we finally understood that we cannot fully realize this message until we have lived that way. Don't take things for granted!

This post coincides with my previous post with a different message. I am now starting to realize how important living life to the fullest is. We are Lucky people! Here are a few bullet points that I thought very interesting when told to me:

- If you can read this message, you are more fortunate than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
- If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world.

-If you have money in your bank, your wallet, and some spare change, you are among 8% of the world’s wealthy.

These are just a few points that I believe are extremely important to think about when talking about how good we have it. Think about it...If you are simply reading this message, you have been educated better than 3 billion other people. That is amazing to me! My co-worker talked about a few other bullet points in her article titled The Power of Gratitude. These bullet points seemed to resonate in our office and truly took hold of how we think and how we act towards not only each other, but also ourselves. 

A couple of my friends and I decided over dinner a few months back that instead of giving up something tangible for lent, we would give up taking things for granted. We didn't realize what we were doing until a couple months later.  In those couple months it was amazing to see our attitudes change towards ourselves and also towards others. I have lived a short life so far, but I truly believe that living every single day like it is a gift can make a powerful and positive change on anyones life.

Growing as a person,


Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Power of Positivity

Have you ever wondered whether Positive thoughts truly have an effect on your life? Have you ever been around someone who seems to drag you into negative town? I have met a lot of "Negative Nancy’s" in the short time I have been on this earth and they are still, in my personal opinion, the worst people to be around.

My Dad always told me when I was a kid playing sports that if you visualize yourself doing well and think you are going to do well then you will. I never believed that until I grew up a little and matured. Positive thoughts truly have an effect not only on yourself, but also on everyone you come in contact with.  Imagine right now one person who has been in your life that you really make an effort to stay away from... I bet that everyone who reads this has someone who they can picture in their head, and all of those people have this negative trait blaring loudly through their actions. The truth is, it is easier to be negative and everyone has that trait innate inside him or her. Bury that trait. I realized that I cannot be like that, I must think that "the glass is half full" (another optimistic and positive undertone) as much as I possibly can.  

Positivity is a key ingredient to many things:

- Success
- Companionship
- Happiness
- Confidence
- An Open Mind

Barbara Fredrickson, in her book titled, "Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive," describes positivity as:

“Think of the times you feel connected to others and loved; when you feel playful, creative, or silly; when you feel blessed and at one with your surroundings; when your soul is stirred by the sheer beauty of existence; or when you feel energized and excited by a new idea or hobby.” — Barbara Fredrickson

Your mind is the most powerful thing in your body and arguably the most sophisticated thing in this universe; help it guide you to become a better, more positive person. Grow, Learn, and Succeed.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Importance of Cancer Support Groups

As the number of cancer diagnoses increases, so does the number of cancer support groups. Cancer support groups are groups in which cancer patients can join and find help, resources, and companionship in other cancer patients. Patients can find local, statewide, nationwide, and even international cancer support groups to join. Some groups are cancer specific, while many tailor to cancer patients in general.

These support groups are a great tool for fighting and surviving cancer. Many studies have examined these groups and have found them to be an important part of cancer treatment. One study examined the psychosocial benefits of cancer support groups and found that women in these groups were "significantly less depressed, less anxious, and had more knowledge of their illness.  This resulted in better relationships with care givers, fewer sexual difficulties, and more participation in leisure activities. 

Support groups also provide companionship for cancer patients. In these groups, people gain friends, connections, and support beneficial to their recovery. Many cancer support groups use the same methods and activities to help patients such as counseling, informational sessions about cancer related subjects, social events, doctor and hospital referrals, and some even include support like free rides and hotel stays. Cancer support groups are incredibly beneficial because they offer services and support that cancer patients cannot get on their own or from family members who have never had cancer.  Cancer support Groups are more than just information, they are a network of other cancer patients that will support each other, celebrate each other's victories, and share each other's tears.

Cancer support groups are the medicine that doctors cannot inject and cancer cannot defeat. Many studies even show a correspondence of survival rates to cancer support treatment groups. Support groups can help you manage and survive during cancer. Even for those who have non-treatable cancers, these groups can help inject a positive outlook on life, which might not increase their life expectancy, but will most definitely make their last years more comfortable and enjoyable. When medicine and support come together, we can win against cancer!

By: David Haas

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Importance of Fitness for Cancer Survivors

Once a patient has conquered cancer, the next obstacle is often one thing: to prevent that cancer from returning. While most people focus on preventing cancer by exercising and eating well, it is also important to remember that the same healthy habits can stop cancer from recurring within the body. Keep in mind that keeping fit has the same benefits for a cancer survivor as it does for anyone else, namely: to help reduce fatigue, increase the amount of energy you have, and improve your mood and even outlook on life. A 2002 study on melanoma patients and survivors shows that aerobic exercise helps alleviate fatigue, no small task for a recovering cancer patient.

Throughout treatment, many patients tend to reduce the amount of daily activity. While this may be necessary for proper recovery, it is important to try and pick up level of activity as strength gradually returns. Weight loss is a common side effect of many cancers, and with that comes significant muscle loss. A strength training routine can gradually build up the muscle that may have been lost, and reduce the percentage of fat within the body. While there are no specific guidelines, the best way to begin such a routine is to slowly increase the weights and repetitions of each exercise. Weights are not necessary in the beginning--it is enough to do isometric or body weight work like push-ups or sit-ups. These are especially easy to fit in, and do not require any special equipment.

Cardiovascular exercise is certainly important to build back up fitness after cancer. For people who have recovered from lung or heart specific cancers, such as mesothelioma or malignant sarcomas of heart, cardiovascular exercise is vital. It is important that prior to the start of such a program, patients check with their oncologists and get the green light to begin. A workout routine like walking, jogging, or swimming can strengthen the heart, increase blood flow, and improve lung function.

The American Cancer Society recommends that adult cancer survivors can exercise 5 days a week for 30 minutes each time. Take your heart rate, and be sure not to exceed your maximum heart rate for some time after recovering from cancer. If you were very active previously, it will be easier to resume your routine. If you are starting from scratch, allow yourself plenty of time to adjust to a new schedule. This should be a lifelong healthy habit, not simply a short overwhelming plan that exhausts you.

By: David Haas