QIGong 9-12-14

QiGong is the ancient Chinese practice of building up and increasing Qi (energy) in the body. With roots in Chinese Medicine, philosophy and martial arts, QiGong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance Qi (chi) or what has been translated as ” life energy.”

Since being diagnosed with breast cancer I have tried everything possible to beat this disease. I read papayas, Avacados, mangoes and berries were all great cancer fighting foods. I have no idea if it’s true but you can bet my diet has included all of them. I have been going to acupuncture treatments. I can honestly say, acupuncture has been so helpful. I walk every day even on the days I’m sick and my body hurts. I recently took up meditating. Do I know what I’m doing?! Of course not but I read a book and I’ve been giving it my best shot. Whatever I’m doing seems to work. My next venture is to try yoga. Now I’m a runner at heart, however I can’t run anymore so if yoga will help as I travel this road to beating cancer, what have I got to lose? I’ll do anything to beat this disease. Any one would.

About a month ago I read that QiGong was an excellent way to build up my energy and heal from the inside. I’ve said this before, if you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, San Francisco is the place to be. The city offers so many resources to help women who are battling breast cancer. There is a program here called Shanti’s Margot Murphy Breast Cancer Program. They offer so many services to help women such as myself. I was contacted by someone in their office not long ago inviting me to participate in a 6 week series of QiGong. The best part, she said it was free. I went to my first class today where I had the privilege to participate in the class with 7 great women who are currently fighting breast cancer. One of the women I met is fighting for the 2nd time. I met a young Mongolian woman who just completed her chemo and is scheduled to have a mastectomy next week. We were all at different stages but we had one thing in common. We are all fighting to win!! We were all at the class to find peace, healing and energy. QiGong is really easy. You can do it anywhere. I’ll be honest, I found myself relaxed. I highly recommend giving it a try. Our instructor was great! Her name is Christie and she too is a cancer survivor so she really made the experience awesome. I’ll certainly attend another class. If you can’t find a class in your area, I found many videos on YouTube. Find one that works for you.

As I shared, I had the privilege to meet 7 great women. There was one in particular that my heart went out to. Her name was Carolyn. Carolyn was diagnosed with breast cancer recently. She’s preparing to start treatment. Our instructor went around the room asking each of us what we had for breakfast. It’s important to have breakfast or a small meal before QiGong. When she got to Carolyn, Carolyn said she was embarrassed to say her breakfast had consisted of 2 pieces of potato bread and a half a beer. Our instructor asked her if that was all she had at home to eat. Carolyn replied “oh no, it’s just that ever since I was diagnosed with cancer my boyfriend has treated me like dirt and I’m so upset I just can’t bring myself to eat.” I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard that same story from so many women. Carolyn shared she had always been a strong woman, but facing cancer has been a challenge that has been difficult for her to face. Having a partner who has been mean and unsupportive has only made it more difficult. Carolyn said she really believed she could handle this alone but she’s realized for the first time in her life, she needs support. My heart went out to her. I’m no stranger to what she’s going through. I have shared my own struggles with regards to my relationship, not to mention my fears and struggles as I travel this journey. I have met women whose husbands have cheated on them while they fought breast cancer. Others who had husbands/partners who insulted them with regards to their looks or were less than understanding at a time they needed them the most. I don’t understand why men do this. Are they oblivious to the heartache they cause at such a vulnerable time in our lives. Have they no clue that we are struggling not only physically, but mentally, spiritually, emotionally. We have so many feelings that it’s hard to get grounded. Maybe the men in our lives are scared and this is their way of dealing with our cancer. If that’s the case, then tell us. We are scared too. I don’t have the answers. All I know is as women we are strong. Some of us are mothers who have spent half of our lives being the caregivers. Unfortunately, when we are diagnosed with cancer, whether it’s breast cancer, ovarian cancer or any cancer for that matter, we can no longer be the caregiver. We find ourselves in a position where we are the ones who need the help of a caregiver. We need the support of the people we love to take on the role that we have filled for so many years. We need our husbands/partners, children and family to be there for us. Fighting cancer is hard and while we have overcome many challenges in our life, this is one challenge that is a load that’s very hard to carry. So if there are any men reading my blog today and your wife or your girlfriend is fighting cancer. Please be kind, understanding and remember to hug her and tell her you love her. She needs you more than you know. Remember, the woman in your life was there for you to build you up, now it’s your turn to build her up and not bring her down.

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