Wellbeing (Well-being)

Our goal for CALMERme is to enable your wellbeing. Well-being can be defined as a state characterized by health (body), happiness (mind), and meaning in life/fulfillment (spirit). We believe that the goal of all healthcare should be wellbeing – but too often it focuses only on symptom management and physical health, and ignores the mind and spirit.

When diagnosed with cancer, conventional medicine might include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and possibly, the newest modality – immunotherapy. In other words, conventional medicine will throw everything at the cancer  to try to get rid of it.

During these treatments, your physical signs and symptoms will be carefully monitored. However, other equally important areas of your life and wellbeing get little, if any, attention.  

So while conventional treatments might look at ridding the body of cancer, we also need to make the body inhospitable to cancer so that it doesn’t recur. This can be accomplished by supporting key pathways for health, so that the body can utilize its self-healing capacity. Five key pathways to examine are:

  • digestion
  • inflammation
  • immune function
  • hormonal balance – including stress hormones, sex hormones, and insulin/blood glucose hormones
  • detoxification

This approach is more akin to considering your body as a garden, rather than the typical medical approach of considering your body as a machine. By thinking of the body as a garden, we can liken the body’s needs to those of thriving plants, whereas the weeds are the cancer. The surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation might destroy the weed but, to prevent it from coming back, we need to make sure the ‘garden’ has all the things its needs to flourish – soil, food, air, water, and sunshine to make sure those weeds don’t come back.  

Image shows a very young boy in dungarees and a straw hat watering sunflowers using a large old-fashioned watering can. Use this scene to imagine the body as a garden being gently tended to, as described in this article on CALMERme.com.

 

For the mind and spirit, we need to consider how the diagnosis and treatment of cancer is affecting our life and the meaning of our lives. 

  • How is the illness affecting your marriage, children, family, friendships?
  • How are you coping with work and financial concerns?
  • Are you managing to find enjoyment in life?
  • Are you finding meaning in life?
  • Can you see yourself moving forward after treatment with all the uncertainty and anxiety, so you can live life fully again?
  • What are your thoughts, feelings, fears, beliefs, expectations about the future?
  • How can you prevent cancer coming back?

Often these areas are not addressed by physicians/oncologists because of time constraints or because you (or they) don’t feel ready to talk about them. Yes, patients want their doctors to cure them but their reason for wanting a cure is so they can happily live out the rest of their lives, feeling love and joy again; however, their diagnosis of cancer has shaken this expectation, and leaves them with many unanswered questions. 

Through this website, we want to help you find your way forward. We want to support you as you find answers to these and other questions. Your well-being is an important consideration in all the treatment decisions you make. For example, “Will this treatment allow me to continue to do what is important to me? What trade-offs am I expected to make versus what trade-offs am I willing to make?”

There are three pillars of action and information that support well-being: lifestyle medicine, empowerment, and research. Together they will address your mind, body, and spirit, offering a multifactorial approach to cancer, which is itself a multifactorial disease.  

We want this website to help educate and empower you so that you can move forward from your diagnosis and live your life fully, with meaning and well-being. Ideally, what you learn from this website will help prevent cancer from entering your life.

There is plenty of evidence-based information out there that can help us all, but it is difficult and time-consuming to find and even more difficult and time-consuming to sift through it all to determine what is useful. Through this website, we want to create a resource that will get this information out to you more easily, whether you or a loved one have recently received a cancer diagnosis or whether you’re interested in the prevention of cancer. We want the website to help you apply and incorporate the information into your life. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments, or suggestions of what you would like us to cover. We’d love to hear from you.