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Woman wants to know what to use after she has finished her chemo and radiation.

13 Jun
A woman finishes her course of surgery, chemo and radiation therapy for breast cancer, and found imagery very helpful. Now she wants to know what to do for the anxiety she feels about the cancer returning
Dear Belleruth: I came across your tapes last year at this time, when I was looking for some meditation tapes for while I went through cancer treatment. I had breast cancer and I found them to be invaluable as I went through surgery, chemo and radiation. I would listen to the chemo tape while I received the "poison".

But now I have a new issue and I am sure I am not alone. I finished treatment in July, and I am slowly reassembling my life, but I am constantly under the fear and anxiety of the cancer returning. Other cancer survivors have told me this is very normal. I have reviewed your list of tapes and CDs and nothing really seems to address this issue. Would you be willing to create something specific for cancer survivors? It seems once we are done with treatment we are somewhat forgotten. I think while you are going through treatment you are so busy getting from day to day with the physical issues you never really address the psychological issues. I feel like I have post traumatic stress syndrome. In the meantime, which of your tapes would you recommend? I am an RN and a Risk Management Consultant, and I would be more than happy to discuss this with you, if it would help you to help us survivors. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Hinda from Reno, NV



Dear Hinda,
For sure, you are not alone with this. A lot of people don’t feel the stress and anxiety of what they’ve been through until their course of treatment is over and they have a minute to actually think and feel. And recent studies of oncology patients do in fact show that a substantial percentage of them develop posttraumatic stress from their diagnosis, treatment or both.

I’ve actually given this a lot of thought (because we get asked about this a lot), and I suggest you work with the General Wellness imagery, which has the body doing it’s regular job of screening and scanning and zapping random cells that shouldn’t be there (all of us are wiping out the odd cancer cell that makes an appearance, after all). I think this might be preferable to imagery that focuses on cancer and keeps you a "cancer patient". The General Wellness tape addresses the same issues - encouraging the immune system to stay on task - without making you a person focused on cancer. Let’s assume you’re well and you’re going to stay that way!
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award