My Story

I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Her2 positive breast cancer Dec. 27th, 2011. I had three large tumors in my left breast, I also had two positive lymph nodes and so with 5 positive biopsies I started my journey. In the beginning, it was a whirlwind and within a week, I was getting a port and preparing for chemo and the rush to save my life was on. Eight months later (August 20th) after stopping chemo (12 sessions) and not having surgery (a suggested double mastectomy) or radiation like my doctors wanted me to, I sat at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Illinois and heard the results of a mammogram, MRI, Pet Scan and blood tests were that they could find no cancer in my body. The nurses and doctors were baffled and no one could explain how I could have had this terrible cancer and it was now gone, except for me. I said the Lord healed me through prayers, education, diet and supplements. I started this blog when I was first diagnosed, it is not just about on cancer, but my life and day-to-day thoughts and activities. There are suggested websites, blogs, videos and more here that I believe can benefit those dealing with cancer and those who want to be preventative. My hope is that you and yours will learn, be encouraged and healed. My family prays every night for those with cancer and that you will be not only be healed but that you will live long and happy lives.
Please check out the right side and scroll down to "This blog" for highlights.
Love and Blessings on your journey.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sleep! It's so Important - Part 3 - August 27, 2013

If you missed Part 2, here are the sleep tips I gave then along with many new ones. Print this up and make a checklist for a better nights sleep tonight and every night.

Start your day right. Most experts suggest that exercise should be a part of your morning routine and that at least 30 minutes of cardio activity should help with sleep later. I want to get a treadmill so I can do that more easily. Don't exercise within three hours of bedtime.

Eat early. Eat your dinner four hours before you go to bed and eat a modest healthy meal. I have noticed that when I eat beef which I limit because of cancer that I don't sleep as well.

Shut out the light at night. This has been a big one for me. We still don't have blackout curtains and we have lived here for 5 years! Anyways, turn out all of the lights, shut the curtains (use blackout curtains if you can), and turn the alarm clock and radio lights around or cover them up. Watching the time is a bad habit to get in because you want to sleep but you keep thinking about the time and how you are still up.

Get a message from your spouse. You can use oils and hands or get a small handheld massager from a store like the Sharper Image or Brookstone. I hardly ever have Mark do this now but during rough patches of little sleep I'll ask for a 5 minute massage for relaxation.

Take a warm bath. Adding soothing bath smells like lavender are helpful. Epsom salt has magnesium which relaxes the body and helps. I suggest organic products.Check out Whole Foods.

Have a routine. Schedule a relaxing and peaceful bedtime routine. Concentrate on the things that make you restful and try to do them consistently. I take my holistic sleep meds, put lavender on my temples, hit my CD player with thunderstorms, read a book, and turn out the light. I lay awake for a while and pray until I fall asleep.

Listen to nature One thing that helped me a bunch was getting the TV out of the bedroom and putting in rain music with thunderstorms instead. Each night we turn it on and it helps so much. Music, even classical wasn't good for me. I would even think about the composers and what I knew of their lives and how they were thinking when they composed the piece and it would just be a mess because my thoughts were everywhere! Nature is calming and peaceful. You can buy a sound machine where you can pick rainfall, the beach, the tropics and more.

Go to bed on time. Ninety - 95% of your 60 - 100 trillion cells are replaced each year and much of that is done during your sleep. So as I said in Part 1 renewing is huge when it comes to sleep, you are even renewing your cells!  You gotta get in bed and head off to sleep by 10 or 11 at the latest to get ample sleep especially if you have to get up early. 9pm is when sleep specialist sya is the best time to get your shuteye started.

Don't watch TV or get on the computer before bed;  stay away from scary and violent things and the news which can cause fear and stress. The light from the TV along with quick imagery can keep you from restful sleep and make it difficult to even go to sleep with some people. Shutting it off at least 1 - 2 hours before bed is best. Reading, visiting with friends and family and playing a board game are a few good alternatives.

Write a journal  Keeping a to-do list helps you release your mind from trying to remember it all and the same with thoughts of the day and the future. You can also write down your sleep patterns to try to figure out what works and doesn't. Say you eat a big steak and watch TV and go to bed at 12 one night and the next night you eat a small vegetarian meal, read a book and go to bed at 9. Most likely you will see a difference in how long and well you sleep. You can see if you are still tired in the morning or rearing to go. This will help you make better decisions.

Take a light walk after dinner. Walking after a meal helps aid in the digestion. A light walk in nice weather especially is very relaxing and enjoyable. Make this a habit to become part of evening ritual and your body will thank you.

Don't sleep with the kids. Okay, so I write this with a 45 pound 3 year old  in my bed, but seriously this is a great helpful hint. Kids need to learn to sleep on their own and form good habits and you don't need the wiggly little guys in your bed kicking you in the back with their knees. The only reason Hudson is in our bed now is because he outgrew his baby bed and his big brothers don't want to share their beds anymore and so it was just one night and tonight he's getting his own big boy bed.

Make your bedroom relaxing.  This one is often a difficult one, especially for us mothers of young children. I can't tell you how often I have little boy shoes on the floor, books on the bed and piles of laundry on the bed. In fact right now we don't even have carpet as we pulled it up because of the gross factor and in an attempt to get rid of the allergens in the room. But, I do aspire to have a sanctuary of peace and calm in our bedroom. If you can keep it clean, keep work somewhere else, keep the bedroom for sleeping and well you know..., instead of multitasking, you'll be able to rest and relax.. Make it an environment you desire to be in.

Take care of your bed. Make the bed each day, buy comfortable and good quality sheets, blankets and a comforter. Cotton breaths and so consider that first. Remember to flip your mattress and if you have a soft pad addition remember dust mites and dirt accumulate and so every  year they should be replaced. Your mattress should last about 8 years.

Consider your air. Many sleep specialist suggest a humidifier throughout the entire year and a fan to move the air. I also would like a purifier and have read the many benefits to just having cleaner air.

Calm your thoughts.  If you are up worried and stressed you just can't sleep. I think Dr.Caroline Leaf ( is wonderful at helping you to learn to renew your mind and take your thoughts captive. I also use imagery and literally say things out loud such as prayers, quotes or even just one word like peace or sleep. Recently I read about a woman that when she has a worry come to her mind she imagines a cloud coming by and her putting her worry on it and blowing it away as she literally blows it away. Try new things.

Try a tea and natural sleep aids.  You can buy many sleepy time teas at the stores I get the majority of mine at Whole Foods,  Spouts and believe it or not, Homegoods. You can also use lavender oil and camomile oils to help you relax. I use lavender on my temples and put some on my pillow.

Limit your alcohol intake   Limit your alcohol intake to only one glass of wine or one beer as this can interfere with your sleep and dream cycles. You may think you are sleeping better but one reason people get hangovers is because of the lack of actual rest the body gets with alcohol and the work the body has to do to process it.

Think about it.  If you make sleep and sleep quality a priority you will improve your whole life. If the average night's sleep is eight hours (ie one third of a day), one sleeps for one third of one's life. If you live, say, 75 years, that's 25 years asleep, or 9,125 days!  God wants us to have our rest and renew our mind and body and so make this a priority in your life.


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