know

in the

understanding the cancer experience

BOOST
YOUR
ENERGY!
Learn how to kickstart
your energy levels
Coping with patient and
caregiving fatigue
Test your energy IQ
Eat, live and be well
Yoga for energy

Issue 29
complimentary
magazine

in
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Gordon L. Black, M.D.,
Honorary
Michele Aboud
Robert Ash
Patricia Carter, RN
Ted Edmunds
Sam Faraone
Jeanne Foskett
Monica Gomez
Dan Olivas
Irene Pistella
Shelly Ruddock
Ruben Schaeffer
Ken Slavin
Polly Vaughn
Patti Wetzel, M.D.
Steve Yellen
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Patricia Tiscareño
PROGRAM OFFICER
Jutta Ramirez
PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Cindi Martinez
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS
Maggie Rodriguez

this issue:

In the 29th issue of
In the Know:
Understanding the
Cancer Experience, we
undertake the topic of
physical energy. Tony
Schwartz, president,
founder, and CEO of
The Energy Project, is
also a best-selling
author and professional speaker. In his lectures,
he claims that our energy can be broken down
into 4 different elements:
• Your physical energy – how healthy are you?
• Your emotional energy – how happy are you?
• Your mental energy – how well can you focus
on something?
• Your spiritual energy – why are you doing all of
this? What is your purpose?
ITK agrees with Tony that your physical energy
comes first, because it is naturally our base and
foundation for any other energy or focus we want
to develop.
Look for articles within that will help you boost
your physical energy and overcome fatigue, a
medical condition which affects many cancer
patients. For most people, feeling tired is a
temporary condition, something you feel after
you’ve mown the lawn or painted the spare room.

It usually goes away after you’ve taken a quick
nap. Fatigue, however, is associated with
weakness or exhaustion. Test your knowledge
about how much you know about fatigue in our
Quiz on page 12.
As we publish the first issue of 2014, it is with
our sincere thanks to all of you who support the
Rio Grande Cancer Foundation and In the Know.
We want to hear from you! So, be on the lookout
through our constant contact messages, our
FACEBOOK page and ITK for invitations to
provide your feedback and inspirational stories.
Or, send your comments via email to
rgcf@rgcf.org. We so welcome them.
Check out the myriad of Rio Grande Cancer
Foundation happenings and events occuring over
the next several months! And don’t forget to
order your copy of my latest CD Project “Comes
in All Colors” at http://www.rgcf.org/music/. The
collaboration between me and Billy Townes is
generating funds for programs and services here
at the foundation. 100% of the proceeds will help
your friend or loved one through the cancer
experience.
Stay in the Know!
Patty Tiscareño,
Executive Director
Rio Grande Cancer Foundation

Rachel Juarez

FEATURES
in the

know

4
page

10
page

14
page

is published by the

Rio Grande Cancer
Foundation
10460 Vista del Sol, Suite 101
El Paso, TX 79925
(915) 562-7660
fax (915) 562-7841
www.rgcf.org
by

Snappy Publishing
ted@snappypublishing.com
El Paso, Texas 79912
(915) 820-2800

The fatigue factor

Give yourself a boost!

Caring for two

There are many factors that
contribute to a cancer patient’s
feeling of fatigue. Overcoming
day to day obstacles may seem
exhausting. Here, we offer you
some insight and ways to
overcome fatigue.

Looking for ways to get a
kickstart? Here we outline some
of
the
methods
experts
recommend to give your energy a
shot in the arm.

Caregiving is physically and
emotionally exhausting. In this
feature we offer some advice for
those who typically put their
needs last.

Those submitting manuscripts, photographs, artwork, or other materials to In the Know for consideration should not send originals unless specifically requested to do so by In the Know in writing. Unsolicited manuscripts,
photographs, and other submitted materials must be accompanied by a self-addressed overnight delivery return envelope, postage pre-paid. However, In the Know is not responsible for unsolicited submissions.
©2014 Rio Grande Cancer Foundation. All rights reserved. No part of any article or photograph contained in this magazine may be reproduced in any way without the written consent of In the Know.
In the Know assumes no responsibility whatsoever for errors, including without limitation, typographical errors or omissions in In the Know. Editorial or advertising content in In the Know does not necessarily reflect the
opinions of the publishers. In the Know assumes no responsibility for the products or services advertised in this magazine. Publisher reserves the right to edit any material or refuse any advertising submitted.

MORE THAN

YEARS

FIGHT
CANCER
When you’re treated at Texas Oncology, you can be sure you’re getting world-renowned cancer care right here in El Paso.
Our physicians provide compassionate patient care, offer the latest treatment innovations and share one goal: to be the best
at what they do. With more than 150 locations and 350 oncologists throughout the state, every Texan can receive recognized
cancer care close to home.
Maria C. Aloba, M.D. • Byron Chesbro, M.D. • Jesus A. Gomez, M.D.
Nanda K. Gopalan, M.D. • Anuradha Gupta, M.D. • Stephanie C. Han, M.D. • Juan Herrada, M.D. • Arsenio Lopez, M.D.
Raul Portillo, M.D. • Ragene Rivera, M.D. • Ines Sanchez-Rivera, M.D. • Panagiotis Valilis, M.D.

EL PASO CANCER TREATMENT CENTER
GATEWAY
7848 Gateway East
El Paso, TX 79915
915-599-1313

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1901 Grandview Avenue
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915-544-6750

1-888-864-I CAN (4226) • www.TexasOncology.com

HOW TEXANS FIGHT CANCER.

EL PASO CANCER TREATMENT CENTER
JOE BATTLE
3270 Joe Battle Boulevard, Suite 312
El Paso, TX 79938
915-849-2700

f

I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink, 
I'm so tired, my mind is on the
blink. 
I wonder should I get up and fix
myself a drink. 
– Lennon/McCartney

the

fatigue
By Patty Tiscareño

factor

For most people, feeling tired is a temporary condition –
something you feel after physical exertion, but for a cancer
patient, feeling tired is more aligned with fatigue. Fatigue is a
tiredness not from exertion or exercise, but rather one from
changes in the body caused by cancer and cancer treatment.
It is a common medical condition which can become chronic
and seriously affect their health and quality of life.

>

know more

6

Tips for Managing Fatigue

Coping with Fatigue

People’s experience with cancer treatment
and fatigue differ; some people return
quickly to work or normal activity while
others struggle to get out of bed.
Regardless of the severity of your fatigue,
these tips can help lessen yours.

Learning about fatigue patterns like how bad
it might be and how long it might last are key
to dealing with the condition. Many times, a
family member who learns with you can help
you stay on target. You may consider the
following to help manage and reduce your
fatigue.

the

fatigue

factor

What Causes Fatigue?
One of the most common causes of
fatigue is chemotherapy treatment, which
can lower the number of red cells in your
blood. Red blood cells carry oxygen through
your body and give you energy, so having
fewer blood cells means that your body is
‘out of breath’.
Anemia or a lower than normal number of
red blood cells can result in symptoms like
shortness of breath and fatigue.
Cancer pain can make you less active,
make you not want to eat, cause sleep
problems and depression – all of which can
lead to fatigue.
Body changes such as loss of appetite or
not getting enough calories and nutrients
and dehydration (the loss of too much water
from the body, such as from severe diarrhea
or vomiting) are culprits for fatigue.
People diagnosed with cancer go through
a rollercoaster of emotions – from anger to
anxiety – with an overal effect of distress on
the mind and body. These types of stresses
can contribute to and worsen the fatigue
factor.
Many medications, other than
chemotherapy, can cause fatigue and
problems such as confusion and
drowsiness. Anti-depressants, anti-nausea
or antihistamines can contribute to a fatigue
side-effect. Alcohol consumption can also
disrupt sleep and actually make you feel
more tired.
The body needs protein, carbohydrates,
fats, vitamins, minerals and water to do its
work. Cancer treatment can change the way
in which the body breaks down and uses
food. Sometimes a poor appetite or side
effects from treatment will cause good
nutrition to go by the wayside.
Many cancer patients find that treatment,
along with less physical activity, can make
you less able to do the things you are used
to doing. Although it may seem
contradictory, physical exercise during this
tiring time, can actually help build up your
stamina.

• Engage all your care team –doctors,
nurses, social workers, physical therapists,
nutritionists – in helping you determine
your cause of fatigue. There is often more
than one factor contributing to your
condition.
• Save your energy – you may need to
accept the fact that you can’t do
everything you want to do, so decide
which things are most important to you
and focus on those tasks. Do them
slowly; let others help you.
• Use distraction – sometimes feeling tired
can become so discouraging that it
becomes all you think about. Try to
distract yourself with a good book,
listening to music or having relaxing visits
with family and friends.
• Use attention-restoring activities –
certain activities can help you relax and
better focus. A walk in the park,
gardening or bird watching can be
restorative. Guided imagery or relaxation
tapes are available to help you clear your
mind, without even leaving the comfort of
your home.
• Exercise – check with your doctor before
you engage in any physical activity. A visit
with your physical therapist will enable you
to learn exercise routines best suited for
you. Remember to engage in exercise
when you are best energized; avoid
exercising late in the evening which can
disrupt your sleep.
• Get nutritional counseling – talking with
a registered dietician will help ensure you
get the right amounts of fluids, calories
and nutrients you need to help keep your
blood chemistry balanced.
• Improve sleep – Sleep experts tell us that
having regular times to go to bed and get
up helps maintain a healthy routine. Avoid
caffeine, certain medicines or even foods
(like chocolate) for at least 8 hours before
you go to bed.

• List your activities in order of how
important they are to you, so you can do
the more important ones when you have
the most energy.
• Ask for help and have other people do
things for you when possible.
• Focus on one thing at a time; don’t try to
multi-task.
• Put things you often use within easy
reach.
• Set up and follow a structured daily
routine, keeping as normal a level of
activity as possible.
• Keep a record of how you feel each day.
Take it with you when you see your doctor.
• Your health care team is there for you!
Talk to them about managing pain, nausea
or depression. Get an OK from the team
before you begin any exercise program,
then report back to them on how you are
doing.
• Unless you are given other instructions,
eat a balanced diet that includes protein
and don’t forget to drink about 8 to 10
glasses of water a day.
• Get fresh air, if possible.
Remember that cancer-related fatigue is a
side effect of your treatment and will likely
diminish as you recover. Working with your
health care team to find and treat the causes
of your condition is your best approach.

Sources: American Cancer Society
www.cancer.org
National Cancer Institute www.cancer.gov
Cancer Care www.cancercare.org

7

Conserving your energy
Conserving physical energy is something you can manage with a little planning and commitment. According to Mavis J. Matheson,
MD, the main principles of conserving energy are (1) doing what you most want to do, (2) planning activities for times when you have
most energy, (3) learning what your maximum work is and respecting the signs of fatigue you experience and (4) stopping before you
become exhausted.
Whether you are a cancer patient, a caregiver or just a hard-working person, here are some practical tips to help you achieve
maximum energy use.

Activities of Daily Living
• Plan ahead to avoid rushing.
• Sit down to bathe and dry off. Wear a terry robe instead of drying
off.
• Use a shower/bath organizer to decrease leaning and reaching.
• Use extension handles on sponges and brushes.
• Install grab rails in the bathroom or use an elevated toilet seat.
• Lay out clothes and toiletries before dressing.
• Minimize leaning over to put on clothes and shoes. Bring your foot
to your knee to apply socks and shoes. Fasten bra in front then turn
to back.
• Modify your home to maximize efficient energy use. For example,
place chairs strategically to allow for rest stops — for instance,
along a long hallway.
• Wear comfortable shoes and low-heeled, slip on shoes. Wear
button front shirts rather than pullovers.
Housekeeping
• Schedule household tasks throughout the week.
• Do housework sitting down when possible. Use long-handled
dusters, dust mops, etc. Use a wheeled cart or carpenter's apron to
carry supplies.
• Delegate heavy housework, shopping, laundry and child care when
possible.
• Drag or slide objects rather than lifting. If you do need to lift an
object, use your leg muscles rather than your back muscles.
• Sit when ironing and take rest periods.
• Stop working before becoming overly tired.
Shopping
• Organize list by aisle.
• Use a grocery cart for support.
• Shop at less busy times.
• Ask for help in getting to the car.
• Buy clothes that don't require ironing.
Meal Preparation
• Use convenient and easy-to-prepare foods.
• Use small appliances that take less effort to use.
• Arrange the preparation environment for easy access to frequently
used items.
• Prepare meals sitting down.
• Soak dishes instead of scrubbing and let dishes air dry.
• Prepare double portions and freeze half.
Child Care
• Plan activities that can be done sitting down, such as drawing
pictures, playing games, reading, and computer games.
• Encourage children to climb up onto your lap or into the highchair
instead of being lifted.
• Make a game of the household chores so that children will want to
help.
• Delegate child care when possible.

Workplace
• Plan workload to take advantage of peak energy times. Alternate
physically demanding tasks with less demanding tasks.
• Arrange work environment for easy access to commonly used
equipment and supplies.
Leisure
• Do activities with a companion.
• Select activities that match your energy level.
• Balance activity and rest. Don't get over-tired.
Source: Adapted from Suggested Strategies for Energy
Conservation by the Oncology Nursing Society 2001
Get to Know our writer: Patty Tiscareño
In our household, “I’m tired” is a frequent uttering from our 14-year old grandson,
Noah, who is seemingly perpetually weary. He takes naps
after school, can hardly get out of bed in the morning, often
sleeps half the weekends away and still seems low on energy.
Even after all that rest!
Teenagers often have poor habits. I know Noah goes to bed
at a reasonable hour, but when he actually gets to sleep is
another story; one interrupted by phones, computers and
screens which distract from quality snooze time . Couple that
with the fact that most teens don’t eat well or drink enough
fluids or barely exercise, and it is no wonder they need a nap
after school!
Remember that cancer-related fatigue is a side effect of your treatment and will likely
diminish as you recover. Working with your health care team to find and treat the causes
of your condition is your best approach.
Unless you are a teenager. Then, my best advice is to disconnect the IPod, do your
homework and chores and go to bed early

KNOW MORE>

Learning the art of
delegation
We’ve all heard the expression that
“if you want the job done right, do it
yourself!” But when a cancer
diagnosis or other illness strikes,
many of those “do it yourself” people
find themselves in new and unfamiliar
territory.
Asking for help is not an easy thing
to do, but fatigue caused by cancer
and cancer treatment can make it
difficult to accomplish even the
smallest of tasks. Having other people
around who can help you with these
everyday tasks can alleviate the
fatigue, but delegating responsibilities
to others can be a difficult task in
itself.
Here are some tips to help guide
you in delegating tasks to others.
Remember, if you want the job done
right, you don’t have to do it yourself!
Know Your World
Ask yourself what is contributing to your
fatigue.
• Is it the cancer diagnosis?
• Is it the symptoms related to your cancer
or cancer treatment?
• Is it the change of roles at home?
• Is it financial stress?
• Is it emotional and/or physical stress?
Know Yourself
Discover what personal barriers you need
to overcome to realize the benefits of
delegating to others.
• Would it cause a sense of anger?
• Would you feel a loss of control?
• Are you concerned that things won't be
done right?
• Would you feel like you wouldn't be
needed?
• Would it threaten a loss of your "normal"
role in the family?
Know What Needs to Be Done
• Make a list of what you need done.
• Plan and prioritize your list into items that
must get done, items that can be done
later and those that can be dropped.
• Make a list of all your friends and family
members who might be recruited to
assist you. Also, think of individuals
associated with an organization, such as
a church or synagogue, who might be
able to help recruiting others. Remember
that the more people there are to help,
the easier it is for everyone.

• If possible, find a friend or family member
who can divide duties among your family
members and friends, considering their
skill and knowledge level, motivation and
personal traits. An easy way to let people
know how they can help is by sending out
an email list or calling individuals and
asking them to pick one or two tasks they
would like to do. It's important to be clear
about the responsibility and your
expectations.
• Evaluate and provide praise. Thank
people for their good work and, to the
extent possible, resist the temptation to
take over if things go wrong.
Communicate
• Openly and honestly, let your friends and
family members know your feelings.
• Use "I feel" and "I want" statements.
• Communicate who, what, where, when,
how and why.
Resolve Conflict
• Shift your focus. Determine what is
possible in this situation, and turn away
from negative feelings. Separate the
person from the problem.
• Create a positive, open attitude. Listen
and empathize with what the other
person wants or needs. Respect feelings
that are expressed.
• State your feelings. Be direct and honest.
State your feelings clearly and factually.
Determine what you are willing to do, or
give, to get what you want.

• Evaluate mutual goals. Determine what
the other person is willing to do or give
up to get what he or she wants and
propose a solution that reflects
understanding of what you both want or
need.
Evaluate Feedback
The final step in this process is providing
positive and constructive feedback to your
friend or family member. If these words are
left unspoken, he or she may wonder, "Did
I do okay?" "Does he or she notice what I
do?" or even, "He or she never thanks me,
so what does it matter?" Sharing honest
feedback regarding a person's efforts and
performance takes courage. Providing
praise and constructive criticism will
strengthen your relationship and create a
greater sense of "team" and support of
one another as you face your cancer
diagnosis.
Finally...
Delegating tasks can empower family and
friends to enhance their talents and skills
and possibly develop new ones. In letting
go, you show friends and family that you
trust, respect them and need them.
Ultimately, by sharing the work, you can
devote more time and energy to activities
and areas that are most meaningful to
you.
Adapted from The Key to Delegation by the
Oncology Nursing Society 2001

9

MY PLAN:

BEAT
BREAST
CANCER
Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare strongly recommends a breast-health program of
annual mammograms starting at age 40. Detecting breast cancer in its early
stages can greatly increase your chances of survival up to 98 percent.
We’ve made a lot of progress toward beating breast cancer, but we still have
a long way to go.
• About 12,100 new cases of invasive breast cancer

are diagnosed in Texas women each year
• Breast cancer is the most common cancer among

women in Texas, regardless of race and ethnicity
• Among Texas women, breast cancer accounts for

30 percent of all cancer cases
Call your doctor today, get screened and encourage others to do the same.

To schedule a mammogram, call
Las Palmas Medical Center at 915.521.1150, or
Del Sol Medical Center at 915.595.9267.

L P DS H E A LT H C A R E .CO M

10

Give your
energy a
Kick start your mind, body, and
soul with energy boosting
changes to your lifestyle. There
are many ways to naturally boost
your energy and many reasons to do
so. Increasing energy levels in the
body can have a positive impact on your
overall well being whether you are
undergoing treatment, in remission, or
blessed with good health. You can easily tap into
By Sallie Damron
your body's natural energy sources through diet,
exercise, and meditation. Certain foods and supplements
excel in helping the body maintain a steady stream of energy just as certain types of exercise and
meditation can boost your mood and motivation throughout the day.
.
Energy Boosting Nutrition
Research has shown that there is a
concrete link between what we eat and
drink and how we feel. Changing your
diet can change your metabolism and
brain chemistry which ultimately affects
your energy level and mood. All foods
boost energy but there are foods that are
better at keeping blood sugar and energy
levels steady. These foods typically
contain fiber, natural sugars, complex
carbohydrates, protein, iron, and
magnesium.
In general, a high intake of fruits and
vegetables leave the body feeling
calmer, happier, and more energetic.
Most fruit contains fiber and natural
sugar which help maintain blood sugar
levels. Refined sugar, on the other hand,
causes surges in blood sugar which
eventually lead to energy crashes.
Vegetables are also natural energy

boosters, particularly leafy greens and
asparagus. Spinach contains iron which
is a component of energy production in
the body and asparagus has an
impressive list of B vitamins, fiber, and
protein—all of which help regulate blood
sugar levels.
A diet composed of 45 to 65 percent
carbohydrates helps ensure positive
energy levels but eating the right kind of
carbohydrates is equally important.
Complex carbohydrates are
recommended over simple

carbohydrates for their ability to maintain
energy levels. Simple carbohydrates
cause peaks and valleys in energy levels
and should be avoided so if you want a
snack, choose popcorn (complex) over
candy (simple). Whole grains, starchy
vegetables, and legumes all contain
energy-packed complex carbohydrates.
Nuts such as cashews, almonds, and
hazelnuts are also an excellent energy
boosting snack. They are rich in protein
and magnesium, a mineral known for
converting sugar into energy. Staying
more alert and focused is also possible
through the consumption of lean proteins
such as lean pork, lean beef, skinless
chicken, and turkey.
Caffeine is the most common (and
potent) energy supplement currently on
the market. When consumed in large
quantities caffeine can cause negative
side effects such as sleeplessness,
anxiety, and agitation. Try a natural
alternative to caffeine such as kola nut,
yerba mate, green tea extract, and

11
guarana. These supplements have
similar effects of caffeine but may be
safer to use to boost physical and mental
energy. Supplements that are also
substances occurring naturally in the
body such as Coenzyme Q10, vitamin
B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, and amino
acids can also be energy boosters.
Research shows that people deficient in
these energy enhancing compounds can
benefit by taking them in supplement
form.
Another super simple way to stay
energized is through hydration. Even
mild dehydration can slow your
metabolism and sap your energy. Water
with a squeeze of lemon acts as a
natural energy drink that is packed with
electrolytes, which are critical for cells to
produce energy. Drinking at least six 8ounce glasses of water a day is
recommended.

moderate training heart rate range, is
best for generating the most energy.
There's no need to run 10 miles, sweat it
out on the Stairmaster or even attempt a
Boot Camp class because a peaceful
walk or two throughout the day will do
the trick. Walking leisurely is also the
most practical approach to exercise
when dealing with an illness.
Energy created during low-impact
exercise actually stays with you
throughout the day and allows you to
feel more alert and focused, which
means you'll be more productive and
have the time and energy to take
another short walk later in the day. If you
exercise regularly (at least 30 minutes
per day) high levels of dopamine and
serotonin are released into your brain
which increases energy levels and
staves off depression and anxiety.
Walking is one of the best forms of
exercise because, not only is it easy to
do, it can be snuck into daily activities.
You can take more steps by parking
further from your destination, taking
public transportation, taking the stairs
rather than the elevator, or even just
exploring your neighborhood. Other
energy boosting exercise includes Yoga
(see sidebar), Pilates, Tai Chi and
resistance training (when performed with
slow, deliberate motions). Be sure to
consult your physician before
participating in any exercise.

Energy Boosting Meditation

Energy Boosting Exercise
When fatigued it is difficult to imagine
exercise will actually give you energy but
it's true! Even the lightest form of
exercise, a 10 to 15 minute walk, has
shown to decrease fatigue as much as
65 percent. Low-intensity exercise,
where you're able to maintain a low to

Energy is depleted by stress, worry,
and anxiety; that is why it is important to
be able to pause your mind to allow it to
reboot and recharge. Meditation is a
reboot and recharge for the body, mind,
and soul; it increases mental and
physical energy levels and can even help
you conserve energy in stressful
situations. Meditation has been proven to
decrease activity in the parietal lobe
which allows a person to live life "in the
moment" with less anxiety, less worry,
and less stress. It also helps reduce
physical pain.
Meditation is a learned skill of multiple
techniques that involve breathing and
active engagement. If you're a beginner
consider taking a guided meditation
class with others. If you'd rather do it by
yourself there are many meditation

DVDs and books on the market. You
may need to experiment with multiple
techniques before you find what works
for you, for example, not everyone can
meditate in the classic cross-legged
position, sitting in a chair or even laying
down may work best for you.
Meditation can be challenging and it
does take practice but, once you learn
how to calm and quiet your mind, you
will eventually reach a higher level of
awareness and inner calm. You will be
able to meditate anywhere and at any
time. Simply start by making mediation
part of your daily routine. Set aside a
specific time everyday and stick with it.
Consistently rebooting and recharging
your mind, body, and soul through
meditation will mean higher energy
levels, lower stress levels, and a
healthier and happier you.

Get to Know our writer: Salle Damron
Sallie has been a
freelance writer for
various El Paso
businesses since 2001
including Stanton Street,
Las Palmas and Del Sol
Medical Centers,
Coldwell Banker de
Wetter Hovious, and
Makios IT Services. She
lives and works in San Francisco and
manages a Post Production Department at
a Technicolor company.

12

1

Fatigue is always a sign of a
serious medical condition.
❑ True
❑ False
False. At some point, nearly everyone
suffers from fatigue. In most cases, it's
acute fatigue -- fatigue that occurs
suddenly but lasts less than three
months and is usually caused by
lifestyle or environmental factors such
as physical exertion, stress, lack of
sleep, dehydration, or inadequate diet.
In most cases, it's easily treated by
addressing the cause: by
reducing stress; getting more rest,
sleep, or better nutrition; or
hydrating properly.
Chronic fatigue lasts longer -- for more
than a few months -- and it's more
likely to be associated with an
underlying medical condition.

2

Is it fatigue?
Test your
energy IQ

Women are more likely than men to
experience fatigue.
❑ True
❑ False
True. Studies have consistently shown
that women are more likely than men
to experience fatigue. Women also are
four times as likely as men to develop
chronic fatigue syndrome.

3

If you complain of a generalized
lack of energy, you are complaining
of:
❑ Fatigue
❑ Weakness
❑ Chronic fatigue syndrome
❑ All of the above
Fatigue. Fatigue refers to a lack of
energy. It is different from weakness,
which refers to a loss of strength or
power, and drowsiness, because you
can feel tired without feeling drowsy or
sleepy. Although people sometimes
use these terms interchangeably, from
a medical perspective the symptoms
are distinctly different.
Chronic fatigue is one aspect of the
specific medical condition chronic
fatigue syndrome, but CFS involves
more than just fatigue. You can have

13
chronic fatigue without having
chronic fatigue syndrome. CFS is
extreme, long-term fatigue that is
associated with other multiple
symptoms. Also, in CFS, other
possible causes of fatigue have
been ruled out.

4

6

Which of the following can
cause acute fatigue?
❑ Alcohol
❑ Cigarettes
❑ Caffeine
❑ All of the above
All of the above. Fatigue is
sometimes a side
effect of psychoactive
substances such as alcohol,
nicotine, and caffeine. Other
substances that can cause fatigue
include many over-the-counter and
prescription medications, including
many antihistamines, blood
pressure medications, steroids,
tranquilizers, and painkillers as
well as marijuana and many other
illegal drugs.

5

All of the above. Fatigue is a
common feature of many, if not
most, illnesses. This includes all of
the above as well as cancer;
anemia; multiple sclerosis; eating
disorders; autoimmune diseases
(such as lupus); heart, liver, or
kidney disease; and a wide variety
of infections.

9

7

Hypothyroidism tends to make
people feel sluggish.
❑ True
❑ False
True. It is a condition in which the
thyroid gland does not make
enough thyroid hormone.
Inflammation of the thyroid gland is
the most common cause. Other
symptoms are being more
sensitive to cold, depression,
heavier menstrual periods,
weakness, and unintentional
weight gain.

8

Exercise can help counter the
effects of fatigue.
❑ True
❑ False
True. Exercise can often help
relieve the effects of fatigue,
especially more short-lived, acute
forms of fatigue. Other things that
may help: better hydration, better
diet, relaxation, and, of course,
more rest and better sleep.

Getting adequate rest can fight
short-term fatigue and alleviate
symptoms of more chronic
fatigue.
❑ True
❑ False
False. In most cases, chronic
fatigue is not substantially
improved by rest. Chronic fatigue
often makes it more difficult to get
adequate rest. Similarly, fatigue
can interfere with sleep, resulting
in unrefreshing sleep, difficulty
falling asleep, frequent awakening,
or sleep apnea. Rest is unlikely to
relieve fatigue caused by a
medical condition.

All of the above. Fatigue is
associated with a wide variety of
mental, emotional, or
psychological issues. It is both a
symptom of depression and a risk
factor for it. It's also associated
with grief, stress, anxiety, and
substance abuse.

Caffeine is known for its
stimulating effects, but long-term
heavy use can result in fatigue,
especially during periods of
withdrawal.
Which of the following medical
conditions can cause chronic
fatigue?
❑ Arthritis
❑ Cancer
❑ Hypothyroidism
❑ All of the above

Which of the following
emotional/psychological
conditions can cause chronic
fatigue?
❑ Grief
❑ Depression
❑ Anxiety
❑ All of the above

10

What percentage of patients
complain to their primary care
doctor about fatigue that
interferes with their daily lives?
❑ 8%
❑ 16%
❑ 27%
❑ 51%
27%. Fatigue is one of the most
common complaints in medicine,
accounting for an estimated 10
million doctor office visits each
year. Because fatigue is a
common feature of everyday life
but also a common symptom of so
many different medical conditions,
it can be difficult for doctors to
properly assess and treat. In many
cases, the most important medical
response to persistent fatigue is to
get tested for potential underlying
physical or psychological medical
conditions.

Caffeine and other stimulants may
help fight fatigue in the short term,
but longer-term, they may actually
contribute to the problem.
Source:
http://women.webmd.com/rm-quizfatigue-something-else

Or something else?

14

Providing energy for two

Coping with fatigue while caring for your loved one
No Get Up and Go?
Caregiving Energy Zappers
One of the biggest complaints you
hear from a caregiver is that they
simply have no energy. Given that the
average caregiver works outside the
home, raises a family, and still
provides an average of 20 hours a
week to their loved one, it’s no wonder
caregivers are zapped of energy.
Between the daily monotony of pills,
food trays, doctor appointments and
laundry falls the other life ‘stuff’ –
working, raising children, being
involved in community activities and
maintaining life outside of caregiving.
In her blog about caring for a mother
with Alzheimers and Parkinson’s

Disease, writer Carol O’Dell made and
shared a remarkable discovery. “I was
caring for a lot of people, yes, but
when I began to observe what
was draining my energy, it was less
physically related than I initially
suspected”, she writes.
Here are what O’Dell calls the 5
Caregiving Energy Zappers
• Lack of sleep.
• Worry and Regret
• Control Issues/Boundary Issues
• Grieving
• Holding on too long/not letting go
Lack of sleep is obvious, and the
most physical of the 5 zappers. It’s
also perhaps the most detrimental
effect of caregiving.

So what can you do?
• Do you have a friend or neighbor or
relative who lives nearby that you
could go and sleep in a guest
bedroom once or twice a month? You
need to be OUT of your house, so
your body doesn’t have all those
cues to wake up.
• Call your local council on aging and
find out about respite services in
your area. Or call a large church and
ask for an adult sitter–or take your
loved one to an adult day care. Insist
they go. If they’re pouty, oh well. You
have to take care of your health.
Worry and regret: Worry is looking
forward, living in fear of a future that
isn’t even here yet. What if…?

15
Know more>
Caregiving Statistics
Regret is looking back, beating
yourself up for what’s already done.
Why did I? Both are not living in the
present.
• Worry and regret are just borrowing
trouble, and trouble multiplies. They
will eat at your mind, your heart and
your life and will never stop. There’s
always something to worry about,
always something to regret.
• Stop, turn around, face this bully and
say “NO.”I suggest wearing one of
those wrist bands (one of those
rubber band/bracelet things). and
every time you start to worry or
regret, snap it real hard. Say out
loud, STOP. Choose a good thought
to replace it with. Have 2-3 fall back
thoughts to replace the negative
ones with–or put on music but stop
the cycle.
Control Issues/ Boundary issues:
You’re either one way or the other. You
have to control everything–or you don’t
know how to say no. It comes with the
territory, and let’s face it, caregivers
are bossy. Either by nature or by
default, we’re used to running things.
We know how mom likes her eggs,
how to get her to take her pills, how
we like the bed made, and on and
on…. We don’t ask for help because
we want things done our way.
Caregivers are all people pleasers.
We like being needed, but the problem
is, it mounts and mounts, and we
simply can’t do it all. Stage left, in
comes worry and regret. We need to
give up our perfectionism and realize
that we don’t always have to be busy.
How to stop? Breathe. One deep
breath at a time. Ask for help, and
then tell yourself that no one has to do
it your way. Find small 5 minute
relaxers–a bath, a walk, and try not to
think ahead, plan, or organize your
thoughts. Just be. Each time you feel
your nerves building. Stop, Breathe.
Fill every ounce of your lungs. Do it
three times. The world can wait.
Breathing is a great stress reducer.

Grieving: Those of us who have a
loved one with a “life limiting illness or
disease” knows that our time with our
loved one is running out. We’re
already grieving. Our hearts ache, and
yet we have to keep on. Grieving is
hard, necessary work, but it’s still work
and it takes an enormous amount of
energy to grieve.
If this is where you are in your life,
first, recognize it. Second, be easy on
yourself. 
No wonder you don’t have energy.
Just get through. Grieve as only you
can. Look for ways to soothe your
soul–journal, pray or meditate, go out
in nature and just sit. Talk if that helps,
or be silent. This is a part of the
process and we have to honor grief.
When we do, when we don’t fight it but
let it naturally occur, then it’s healing
and cathartic–and it doesn’t last
forever.
Letting go: Holding up a cardboard
box isn’t difficult, right? It’s not heavy,
but stand there long enough and that
cardboard box starts feeling like a
boulder. Not letting go is the same
way. You can’t get your mother back
from cancer. I’m sorry. I really am. But
you can’t. You have to let go and
move on with your life.
Holding on is subtle and can go
undetected. I ask you, what are you
holding onto? What do you need to
grieve? What are you going to have to
let go of? When will you hold out your
empty hands and trust that something
or someone new will come into your
life. I can’t promise that you’re not
going to have to sit with that void for a
while, but I can promise you this:
Until you let go, you’re hindering all
the good out there that’s waiting to
come into your life.
Energy zappers keep us from our
joy and purpose. They make us
exhausted, grumpy and lost in a fog.
By identifying our nemesis, our energy
zapper–we can stop, turn, look at it for
what it is, and make better choices.
Adapted from :
http://caroldodell.wordpress.com/2008/04/1
1/no-get-up-and-go-5-caregiving-energyzappers/

A caregiver is an unpaid individual (a
spouse, partner, family member, friend,
or neighbor) involved in assisting others
with activities of daily living and/or
medical tasks. Formal caregivers are
paid care providers providing care in
one's home or in a care setting (daycare,
residential, care facility, etc.).
• 65 million caregivers, 29% of the U.S.
adult population, provide care to
someone who is ill, disabled or aged
during any given year and spend an
average of 20 hours per week providing
that care.
• Six out of ten family caregivers are
employed.
• The value of the services family
members provide for “free” when caring
for older adults is estimated to be $375
billion a year.
• Approximately 66% of family caregivers
are women. More than 37% have
children or grandchildren under 18
years old living with them.
• 47% of working caregivers indicate an
increase in caregiving expenses has
caused them to use up ALL or MOST of
their savings.
• 23% of family caregivers caring for
loved ones for 5 years or more report
their health is fair or poor.
• The stress of family caregiving has
been shown to impact a person’s
immune system for up to three years
after their caregiving ends.
• More than 1 in 10 of family caregivers
report that caregiving has caused their
physical health to deteriorate.
While caregiving will likely be the hardest
job you’ll ever do, it may also bring you
closer to your loved one. Caregiving
allows you to demonstrate your love and
respect, and it can give you a deep
sense of satisfaction and
accomplishment. Through caregiving,
you may find a new sense of purpose in
life, and you’ll undoubtedly learn things
about yourself that you didn’t know
before
Sources:National Alliance for Caregiving
in collaboration with AARP 2005 Patient
Resource.com

16

Caregiver
burnout
Caregiver burnout is a common occurrence among cancer caregivers. Mental and physical exhaustion plague the
caregiver, causing symptoms similar to mild to severe depression. The good news is that caregiver burnout can be
prevented and managed.
Signs of Caregiver Burnout
The signs of burnout can present
themselves in many ways, such as:
Changes in Sleep Pattern
Sleeping too often, too little, or
experiencing interrupted sleep can
often signal caregiver stress or
burnout.
Changes in Appetite
Take notice of any change of
appetite, such as eating more or
less. This can result in weight loss
and weight gain. Eating healthy can
provide the much-needed energy to
provide quality care.
Exhaustion
Feeling fatigued is often one of first
burnout symptoms people
experience. If exhaustion prevents
you from completing basic daily
activities or is persistent, see your
doctor.

Withdrawing from Friends and
Family
Caregivers suffering from burnout
often withdraw from friends, family,
and social activities. This may be
due to feeling tired, experiencing
guilt about being away from the
patient, social anxiety or other
reasons.
Feeling Overly Emotional
Crying at the drop of a hat or feeling
angry for no reason are important
signs of burnout. Displaced anger
can often occur during burnout.
Preventing Caregiver Burnout
Nipping burnout in the bud benefits
both you, the caretaker, and the person
you care for. You'll feel better, and thus
be able to have more energy and ability
to provide for the individual in need.
Take Care of Yourself
You cannot possibly begin to care for
another if you aren't taking the time to
care for yourself. Keep up with your
regular doctor's appointments, exercise,
and a healthy diet.

Take Breaks
Make time for yourself to relax and
rejuvenate. Regularly schedule trusted
friends, family, or a home health aide to
relieve you of caregiving duties for a
period of time each day. Many
caregivers feel guilt about leaving the
bedside, but it's also good for the
patient. Seeing a new face and
knowing the primary caregiver is getting
relief can uplift morale. The patient may
feel like less of a burden if the
caregiving is shared.
Delegate Tasks to Family and
Friends
You will find friends and family are
more than happy to help in time of
need. You just need to ask. Things like
cooking meals, running errands or
cleaning can all be delegated to friends
and family. Having someone else pitch
in and help you with these tasks will
leave you with time to concentrate on
providing care for your loved one.
Educate Yourself about the Disease
The more you know, the better you'll
know what to expect. Ask doctors and
nurses about your loved one's condition

17
and what you as a caregiver need to know.
The Internet is also a very good way to
learn more about your loved one's disease.
The American Cancer Society and National
Cancer Institute are excellent places to start.
As you research, write any questions or
comments you may have for the doctor and
take them to the next appointment.
Get organized
Many caregivers also are responsible for
maintaining medical records, insurance
claims, and finances, not to mention
medication and eating schedules. The key
to success here is organization. Keep
medical records neat and accessible by
storing them in a large file, organized by
date. Medicine schedules can be created
with a spreadsheet, then printed out daily or
weekly. As each dose is given, you can
check it on the sheet with the time. The
same can be done for eating schedules.
Join a Caregiver Support Group
Whether it be online or through the hospital,
a caregiver support group is an excellent
way to meet others going through the same
thing as you. It really does help to have
someone who can provide you with tips or
can identify with daily caregiving life.
Most hospitals have a caregiver support
group. Check with the hospital
administration or social worker. Your local
American Cancer Society may have a local
support group in your area, too.
When to Seek Help
If you feel like you may be experiencing
caregiver burnout, see your primary care
physician. He or she can make
recommendations based on your symptoms
and personal information. Some caregivers
find relief in regularly talking to a therapist or
religious counselor while caregiving.
If you have thoughts of hurting yourself or
your loved one, go to your local emergency
room or call 911. Severe burnout can result
in these feelings, but help is always
available.

Free Download:
Vist rgcf.org to download
a handy medication log form designed to
help track medications and dosages.
Source:
"Taking Care of the Caregiver". My Planner. American Cancer
Society. 11 June 2008. Accessed 28 June 2008.
http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/00

18

bHealthy Habitsd

“People who eat a diet rich in
nuts, including peanuts, are
less likely to die from heart
disease or cancer, new
research suggests.”

Go nuts!
A recent study published in New
England Journal of Medicine gives a
new meaning to the phrase health nut. It
showed an association between
regularly eating nuts, and a reduction in
your risk of death from a major chronic
disease. That's it. Just a handful of nuts
and you can decrease your chances of
dying from heart disease, cancer and
other diseases.
A handful of nuts, according to the
study, translate to a daily 1-ounce
serving. That’s about 18 cashews, if
you are a cashew fan. Just that small
consumption, the study reported,
showed a 20 percent lower risk of death
from any cause, and people who ate
nuts at least five times per week had an
11 percent lower risk of death from
cancer compared with people who

didn’t’ eat nuts.
The variety of nut, including peanuts,
which are actually legumes, did not
seem to make a difference, said senior
author Dr. Charles Fuchs, of the DanaFarber Cancer Institute in Boston.
"The benefit really seems to span
across nuts," said Fuchs.
The two databases used in the
analysis included about 76,000 women
who are part of the ongoing Nurses'
Health Study and 42,000 men who are
regularly evaluated as part of the Health
Professionals Follow-up Study.
The researchers had to account for
the fact that nut eaters tended to be
healthier when it came to smoking,
alcohol consumption, obesity, exercise
habits and other elements of their diet,
such as eating more fruits and
vegetables.
Yet even when those factors were
taken into account, they said, nut
consumption seemed to be tied to a
lower risk of early death.

Researchers share that they don’t
exactly know what it is about nuts that
boost health or which nuts are the best.
Since the study doesn’t tend toward any
one nut varietal, they tell people to eat
mixed nuts.
So go nuts! Here are a few facts to
get you started toward better health!
Walnuts
The nutrients in several types of nuts
can help protect your body against the
damaging physical effects of being
stressed out. One study looked at nuts
rich in alpha-linoleic acid, like walnuts,
and found that they had a heartprotective benefit during times of acute
stress -- which are known to cause
cardiovascular strain.
Almonds
Almonds, thanks to high vitamin E,
vitamin B and magnesium content can
bolster your immune system when you're
stressed, reported Women's Health.

19

eat, live and be well
Heart Health and Nuts
Nuts, like almonds, hazel nuts, peanuts,
Brazil nuts, walnuts and cashews can all
play a role in reducing the risk of heart
disease, according to a Harvard review.
That's because nuts may help reduce
LDL cholesterol and incorporate a dose
of heart-healthy monounsaturated and
polyunsaturated fat and fiber, which has
a heart-protective effect. Nuts are also
rich in arginine, an amino acid that
converts to nitric oxide in the body and
helps blood vessels to relax.
Pistachios
A diet rich in pistachios may provide
some protection from lung cancer,
according to preliminary research
presented at the American Association
for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer
Prevention Research Conference. The
researchers theorize that the nut's
richness in gamma-tocopherol, a type of
vitamin E, may be the key to cancer
protection, although further research is
required.
Weight Maintenance
The 2013 review of nut health benefits
found a modest improvement in overall
weight, but several studies have found
that nuts can play a role in weight
maintenance. That's because nuts are
satisfying -- a "high satiety" food -- that
is metabolized slowly by the body,
thanks to high fiber counts. In other
words? Snackers are more satisfied
after eating nuts than after eating foods
of comparable caloric value, but less
nutrient density.
Cholesterol
A walnut a day may keep bad
cholesterol away, according to a 2010
study in the Archives of Internal
Medicine that found a 7.4 percent
reduction in "bad" LDL cholesterol and
an 8.3 percent reduction in the ratio of
LDL to HDL, reported WebMD. What's
more, triglyceride concentrations
declined by more than 10 percent.
Prostate Cancer
Brazil nuts, which are high in the mineral
selenium, may provide some protection
against advanced prostate cancer,

according to preliminary research
presented at the American Association
of Cancer Research. The research was
conducted on a Dutch cohort study and
found that men with high levels of
selenium, tested from toe nails, were 60
percent less likely develop advanced
prostate cancer within 17 years.
Brain Health
Thanks to the healthy dose of vitamin E
that nuts can deliver, they are
considered a brain food -- helping to
prevent cognitive decline that happens
with age. Peanuts (even though they are
legumes, we commonly group them with
nuts), in particular, may be a good
choice because they are high in the Bvitamin folate, which improves neural
health, reducing risk of cognitive decline.
Men's Reproductive Health
For men looking to start a family,
walnuts may have an effect on sperm
quality. Eating about two handfuls of
nuts, one UCLA study found, could
improve the quality of sperm, in terms of
its "vitality, motility, and morphology," the
researchers reported. What's more,
pistachios may play a role in reducing
erectile dysfunction, according to a
study in the International Journal of
Impotence Research
Source: Huffington Post

get cooking!
Farro with Pistachios & Herbs
Here we stir fresh parsley and crunchy
pistachios into farro for a scrumptious
side dish. Serve this simple grain right in
the same dish with a rich stew. The
nutty flavors of farro and pistachios are
the perfect complement to the rich broth
of the stew.
Ingredients
• 2 cups farro, (see Tip)
• 4 cups water
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
• 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon extravirgin olive oil, divided
• 1 large yellow onion, chopped

• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 4 ounces salted shelled pistachios,
(about 1 cup), toasted and chopped
(see Tip)
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper,
divided
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preparation
• Combine farro, water and 3/4 teaspoon
salt in a large heavy saucepan and
bring to a boil. Stir and reduce the heat
to a simmer; cook, uncovered, until the
farro is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
• Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a
medium skillet over medium heat. Add
onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until
translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove
from the heat.
• Combine pistachios, the remaining 1/2
teaspoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon pepper
in a large bowl; toss to combine.
• Drain the farro and add to the bowl
along with the onion mixture and
parsley. Season with the remaining 1/4
teaspoon salt and pepper. Toss to
combine.
Tips & Notes
• Make Ahead Tip: Prepare up to 2
hours ahead. Hold at room
temperature and reheat over low until
warm.
• Tips: Farro is a high-fiber whole grain
that is an ancestor of modern wheat. It
is commonly used in Italian cooking
and is becoming more popular in the
U.S. Find it in natural-foods stores and
amazon.com. Cooked barley can be
used as a substitute.
• Toast pistachios in a small dry skillet
over medium-low heat, stirring
constantly, until fragrant and lightly
browned, 4 to 6 minutes.
Makes: 10 servings, about 2/3 cup each
Total Time: 35 minutes
Nutrition
Per serving: 220 calories; 9 g fat ( 1 g sat ); 0 mg
cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrates; 8 g protein; 5 g
fiber; 163 mg sodium; 160 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Fiber (20% daily value)
Carbohydrate Servings: 2
Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 1/2 fat

20

bHealthy Habitsd eat, live and be well

yoga

by Erin Stroud

for

energy

Yoga is an integrative therapy that can
be used at any stage of illness to
improve the quality of life. We use
breath-control, gentle movement,
imagery, and meditations that allow
individuals to turn their focus inward, in
order to feel in control of their lives. It
has been documented that yoga aids in
reducing anxiety, depression, pain,
insomnia, and chronic fatigue that are
common side effects of cancer and its
treatments.
Yoga meets you exactly where you
are. Some days you feel strong and full
of energy, while others leave you feeling
like you’ll never make it out of bed. When
faced with the fatigue that comes with
cancer and its treatments, it’s a struggle
to know how we’ll feel when we wake up
in the morning, so making plans for an
exercise regimen becomes very difficult.
Yoga can take many different forms. Your

circumstances (your diagnosis, the kind
of treatment you’re undergoing, and how
you’re feeling) will determine your
practice. Restorative yoga is an ideal
physical practice for those with cancer.
Let’s take a second to consider the word,
restorative. Merriam-Webster defines the
word restorative as ‘having the ability to
make a person feel strong or healthy
again.’ When we’re fatigued, isn’t that
exactly how we’d like to feel, strong and
healthy? In Restorative Yoga, props are
used to support the body. The use of
props, such as blocks, bolsters and
blankets, allows the body to open
through passive stretching. Poses are
performed on the floor and are held for
longer periods of time allowing for a very
peaceful, meditative practice.
But what about those days when we
can’t muster up the energy to get out of
bed? Remember when I said yoga would

meet you where you are? Yes, there’s
even a practice for times when we’re
feeling fatigued, lethargic and defeated.
Prāṇa is the Sanskrit word for life
force. Prāṇāyāma is the "extension of the
prāṇa or breath" or, "extension of the life
force." Breathing is essential for
regulating and controlling the life force. A
simple yogic breath is a great way to
begin to redirect life force into the cells.
To practice this breath, sit tall, allowing
the lower abdomen to expand as you
breathe in. The shoulders should remain
still. Focus on filling up the lungs, without
straining. When you exhale, try to empty
the lungs completely, so the inhale
almost becomes a reflex. Very easy, very
controlled. Continue this pattern for as
long as you can, at least ten minutes
every day. The breath is something that

21

l
know more>

is lost when we’re fatigued, anxious or
depressed. Try focusing on the breath
while in your car, in line at the grocery
store or during treatments and see, just by
simply breathing, how much more calm
you feel.
Breathing and meditation are the
components of yoga that have the biggest
impact on fatigue, vitality, depression, as
well as a reduction of inflammation.
Spending just 5 minutes of your day,
turning your attention inward, can make all
the difference in the world. You begin to
feel connected to your body in a way that
you weren’t before.
Unfortunately, meditation is a practice
that most individuals find unattainable, or
overwhelming. I’m here to tell you that
anyone can do it! Begin by sitting in a
comfortable position, eyes closed and
breathe, using that yogic breath. Try this
for 5 minutes. Acknowledge thoughts as
they enter the mind and then release them.
Acknowledge and release. Using the
breath to find that mental, emotional and
physical release.
The use of mantras, imagery or guided
mediation also allows us to clear the mind,
creating a reality of health and wellness.
For example, using imagery during
radiation or chemotherapy can dramatically
change our experience. Instead of
whatever negative connotations we carry
with us into treatments, think of the
treatment instead as healing nectar, or
healing waves of energy. See it as your
ally in helping to rid your body of cancer.
Use the inhale to manifest positive
thoughts and emotions into your being,
and the exhale to rid yourself of feelings of
hopelessness, sadness, fear, anger and
resentment.
Carving time out for yourself is the key.
By starting small, and creating these
positive associations, we have the power
to change our entire outlook, allowing us to
feel in control of our lives and treatment.

Cancer patients who practice yoga as
therapy during their treatment often refer to
their yoga practice as a life-saver. No
matter how sick from treatments and no
matter how little energy, many find that the
one thing that would bring relief were a
gentle set of therapeutic yoga poses
geared for cancer patients.
When battling cancer, the worst part is
not just the symptoms of the disease itself,
but often the discomfort and debilitating
fatigue brought on from cancer treatments.
Whether faced with the scar-tissue of
surgery or ongoing nausea and weakness
from chemotherapy or radiation, cancer
patients endure a long road of physical
trials.
But as many cancer patients and cancer
survivors are discovering, there are ways
to strengthen their bodies and deal with
the uncomfortable side-effects of
treatment, both during and after treatment.
As the interest in more holistic approaches
to healing is growing, yoga therapy for
cancer patients and cancer survivors is
emerging as one of the more successful
methods for combating the physical
discomfort of cancer and cancer treatment.
How does yoga help relieve the suffering
that cancer all too often brings with it?
Gentle yoga poses for cancer patients can
work magic on many levels. First of all,
yoga used as therapy for cancer can help
clear out toxins accrued during cancer
treatment more effectively. Yoga asanas
stimulate not just muscles, but also
increases blood flow, balances the glands
and enhances the lymphatic flow in the
body, all of which enhances the body's
internal purification processes. The deep,
relaxing breathing often emphasized in
yoga for cancer therapy also increases the
current of oxygen-rich blood to the cells,
delivering vital nutrients to tired cells and
further clearing out toxins.
In addition to removing toxins, yoga for
cancer can help dissipate tension and
anxiety and enable cancer patients to
settle into a greater sense of ease and
well-being. Stress depresses the body's
natural immune function, which may be
one of the reasons that there is evidence
that people who practice yoga for cancer
have greater recovery rates.
Regular exercise also has been shown
to stimulate the body's natural anti-cancer
defenses. However, few cancer patients or
cancer survivors feel up to the task of

engaging in a 'regular' exercise regimen.
Many find that yoga as therapy for cancer
provides an ideal, balanced form of wholebody exercise. It's no wonder that more
and more doctors have begun to
recommend yoga for cancer patients and
cancer survivors.
For those enduring chemotherapy and
radiation, yoga for cancer provides a
means to strengthen the body, boost them
immune system, and produce a muchsought-after feeling of well-being. For
those recovering from surgery, such as
that for breast cancer, yoga can help
restore motion and flexibility in a gentle,
balanced manner.
Yoga for cancer survivors and patients
also provides an internal anchor of calm.
Many practicing yoga therapy have
discovered an interesting, subtle benefit,
an increased awareness of a great,
internal stillness and sense of unity.
They've found, at the most fundamental
level of their own consciousness, a sense
of true health and vitality that spills over
into other aspects of life.
Get to Know our writer
Erin attended her first yoga
class in 1999 and continued
to practice intermittently for
almost 10 years. In 2008,
she began to incorporate
yoga as part of her regular
routine for the physical
benefits it offered while training for
marathons. She continued to seek the purely
physical part of yoga until she lost her mother
to cancer. Her practice immediately
deepened as she worked through the grief
process and in June 2013 she completed her
teacher training at Casa de Yoga in El Paso,
Texas. Erin strives to deliver an emotionally
uplifting class, encouraging her students to
practice self-love and acceptance. Pursuing
her dream of working with individuals
undergoing treatment for various forms of
cancer, as well as with cancer survivors, Erin
hopes to expand the available resources for
care to the cancer population within her
community.

$20 for a week of
unlimited sessions for
first time guests, at
either location
11660 Montwood, Suite M,
El Paso, Texas 79936
(915) 921-1980

2419 North Stanton
El Paso, Texas, 79902
(915) 792-0020

22

know
on the go!
in the

understanding the cancer experience

Comes in All
Colors Released
A colorful holiday crowd of about 150
music lovers enjoyed an evening of
good food, lively spirits and great music
at the December 19th CD release party
for “Comes in All Colors”, a joint venture
between musicians Patty Tiscareño and
Billy Townes. A collection of songs
done in tribute to friends and family
members whose lives have been
impacted by cancer, the album is the
second fundraiser of its kind for the Rio
Grande Cancer Foundation.
The first project, “The Kitchen Project”
by PT & the Cruisers has generated
$40,000 in proceeds to the foundation.
Hosted by proprietor Mark Heins of
The Greenery, guests were treated to a
delectable buffet while they enjoyed a
live performance by jazz artists who
contributed to the project. Vocalist
Patty Tiscareño entertained the crowd
with some of the selections from the
album, including “Smile”, “The Look of
Love” and “Bye Bye Blackbird”.
All proceeds from the sale of “Comes
in All Colors” benefit the programs and
services at the Rio Grande Cancer
Foundation, the community’s foremost
center for enhancing the quality of life
for those affected by cancer.
To order your copy of either CD, visit
our website at www.rgcf.org or contact
the Foundation at (915) 562-7660.

events & happenings

Rio Grande Cancer Foundation
10460 Vista del Sol Suite 101
El Paso, TX 79925

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PAID
EL PASO, TX
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