Hello, I am Jodie Hollis, the Founder of Cancer Support Angels and Welcome to our first monthly newsletter. This year we want to help you more than ever. Last year is hopefully behind us, and most of us are going to take a lot longer to get back on our feet than normal. We have a lot to share with you this year, so stay tuned each month to see how we can help you, whether it be financial assistance, housing, recipes, new information on cancer and treatments…….
What an amazing month January has been. This month in our Look-good feel-good campaign, we shared with you several inexpensive ways to look good and feel good, including exercises, foods, cosmetics and much more. Everything we shared with you will be listed in here. Hopefully, you find this information as helpful as I have along my journey.
January is also Cervical Cancer Awareness Month internationally; Cervical Cancer is the fourth most common cancer worldwide.
In Australia, the 5-year survival rate of Cervical Cancer patients is 74%.
Early screening is imperative to improve mortality rates. Over 70% of Cervical Cancers occur in women who have never screened or who have not been screened for some time. Currently only 55.4% of eligible Australian women are screening as often as recommended.
If it has been a while since your last check-up – make it a New Year’s resolution to see your GP or specialist.
*Information and statistics taken from acct.org.au & canceraustralia.gov.au.
Greek Meatball Salad – this recipe is delicious. And you can put your own spin on it if there are foods that you do not eat or cannot tolerate… this summer do yourself a favour a try this at least once.
Strawberry Avocado Keto Smoothie, now this recipe calls for avocado milk, but mainly for the low carb component. However, if you suffer from reflux like I do, almond milk will help neutralise the acid in the strawberries…. Its certainly a go to for breakfast for me.
Cauliflower Fried Rice – now this can be lunch or dinner and made several different ways with several different ingredients to suit you and your tastes… I personally love this because it is quick and tasty.
Zucchini Boats – again another quick and easy lunch or dinner idea and super tasty if you like zucchini.
Mug Cakes – Dessert, now who does not love a simple dessert? I love my dessert and this one I do not feel guilty about having. Again, you can change the flavours and I am sure on this link there is a few flavours to choose. Once you get used to making them it is a no brainer, even for the worst brain fog…..
It has been well documented over time that even small amounts of exercise can help everyone. So here we have compiled a list of easy, do at home exercises that everyone can do at any level of fitness.
Walking: Walking for 30 minutes a day can make a huge impact on your overall health. For cancer patients this can be particularly important as it can improve tolerance to treatment, reduce side effects and help speed up recovery. Some of the benefits include:
1. Increased heart and lung fitness.
2. Stronger bones and muscles and improved management of joint and muscle pain.
3. Improved quality of life, even for cancer patients with advanced cancers.
4. Make it a social occasion and walk with a friend or family member.
5. Walk alone for some time to reflect and recharge.
6. Improved nervous system function. This can improve personality and depression and reduce anxiety.
7. Reduced fatigue, improved energy, and endurance.
Understandably it is not always possible to walk for 30 minutes each day, especially for some cancer patients. Something is always better than nothing – even 5 minutes can make a difference. Be gentle with yourself and work up to 30 minutes when you can.
Yoga: 7 reasons to try Yoga.
1. Yoga is gentle on the body and suitable for beginners. Poses can be chosen based on physical ability, experience and wellness so can be adjusted based on each patient and their stage of treatment and recovery.
2. Studies have shown Yoga can reduce pain and fatigue, improve strength and range of motion for cancer patients.
3. Yoga is proven to reduce stress and anxiety and improves mood and mental health.
4. Yoga can help patients to reconnect with their body and to find a place of inner peace and self-acceptance.
5. Yoga breathing can help slow down heart rate, decrease blood pressure, and improve sleep.
6. Yoga can be done in groups and classes providing an important social connection and there are often groups run specifically for cancer patients which can offer a sense of community.
7. There is very little equipment or cost involved with starting Yoga, and it can also be done via virtual instruction if you are in hospital or cannot travel.
*We always recommend speaking with your specialist before starting any new form of exercise.
Meditation: 7 Reasons to meditate
1. Meditation has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety by calming the body and mind.
3. It is important to take a few moments to breathe and reconnect with your body and mind, especially during stressful times.
3. Regular meditation can help provide clarity, insight, and peace of mind.
4. Meditation can be a useful tool during cancer treatment, especially during procedures, when experiencing pain and throughout recovery.
5. Learning to meditate can assist with insomnia and help to fall asleep more easily.
6. Many believe meditation can help with inner healing of the body and mind and can assist in battling their cancers and coping with side effects of treatment. It reduces stress hormones in the body which assists with healing.
7. Meditation can significantly improve mental health and quality of life.
Pilates: 7 Reasons to try Pilates.
1. Pilates is a low impact exercise and is gentle on joints.
2. Pilates is an integrated form of exercise and involves a combination of mat work and spring-loaded machines. This makes it suited to most people suffering from fatigue and anaemia along with other side effects of cancer treatment.
3. Pilates improves body strength and flexibility, helps to maintain, or regain muscle tone, and improves body awareness which also gives a strong foundation for recovery during and after cancer treatments.
4. Breathing techniques used in Pilates exercises can assist with pain management, relaxation, and even lymphatic drainage.
5. Pilates can improve body posture, muscle function and core strength which also helps to reduce fluid retention and can be used to target specific limbs/areas if needed.
6. Pilates promotes stabilisation of the shoulders, lower back, and pelvic region, which is important for overall health and body function, especially during and after cancer treatment.
7. Pilates can help to prevent restrictive scar formation from some surgeries as well as help with balancing the muscular and nervous systems.
*Always speak with your specialist or GP before beginning a new form of exercise.
Shopping / Products
Some products I have come across along my journey that help me eat better and help my digestion include apple cider vinegar… but also low to no sugar. Check them out here.
Applelachia: This is a great drink, I had the pleasure of working with this wonderful woman about six years ago when she was just starting out, and now she is in supermarkets… Check out my interview.
Goli Gummies: Now I take these every day. And I can tell you I notice the difference if I do not. These are great for digestion, skin, hair, and overall health. Check them out at www.goli.com
Noshu: OMG I cant live without these in my cupboard. The range that this company produce is amazing, great for all ages, and includes snacks for the kids’ lunch boxes. Check them out at www.noshu.com.au
This months Films
I am a big advocate of being informed along my journey. I have seen many doctors that have had no idea. Partly my own fault but also partly because I did not know what I was looking for. Here at Cancer Support Angels, we aim to change that and empower you take charge of your own health and cancer journey.
Watching on Netflix:
The C Word
That Sugar Film
What the Health
I truly hope you have enjoyed our Look-Good, Feel-Good month of January as much as I have enjoyed sharing my tips with you. If at any stage you are starting something new along your health journey, please consult your Doctor before doing so.