Cancer survivors face an emotional toll in addition to a physical one. Research shows that relaxation breathing can help reduce stress and anxiety during recovery. When people feel stressed, they usually take quick, shallow breaths. During relaxation breathing, the goal is to breathe slowly and deeply. Being aware of your breath can have a calming effect and allow you to focus your energy toward healing.
This is great advice from the excellent site cancer.net. Yet they only speak about the stress during recovery.
I have found that stress in cancer patients is ever present. You feel stress when you go through multiple rounds of tests to find out if the cancer has spread, if the treatment working, and has it come back years later. In many cases cancer survivors feel stress at a very high level for years. A simple ailment or sharp pain can send their stress through the roof. Is my cancer back they fear! Often stress is heightened as survivors try to regain their lives that they had prior to developing cancer. There are multiple ways a cancer patient and their family members will be in this stress vortex for a long time.
You and your family have the right to feel stressed and unfortunately this is now a part of your life and could continue for years.
Regardless of where the stress originates, having the ability to control your breathing abd develop mindfulness will allow you to gain better control over your feelings and the effects stress has on your body and mind.
For me I found both during my treatment and as a survivor, my angel stretches, which I continue to do 12 years post treatment, give me a breathing pattern and body motion that calms me and at the same time engages both my body and mind to work together. It is a reminder I am still here and for that I am grateful.