Hello, I’m Ellen Cooke, MD, Radiation Oncologist and mindfulness instructor. I’m really grateful that our paths have crossed on this journey to better understand AND apply mindfulness practices into cancer treatment and recovery. Whether you are a patient, caregiver or healthcare professional, I am certain you will find the information provided in this blog to be interesting, useful and accessible.
Perhaps you were just diagnosed with cancer?
Or you’ve been dealing with the effects of the disease and treatments for years?
Or you have witnessed the suffering of countless patients?
You have come to the right place to learn an approach for easing the burden of a cancer diagnosis.
In the coming weeks and months, I will introduce you to a stepwise approach to incorporate mindful practices into your daily life.
You will learn the science behind mindfulness (of which there is a lot of really interesting stuff!).
You will learn specific tools to make coping easier.
I’m certain your life will be transformed, as mine has been, through applying these practices.
So…what is mindfulness?
As we discuss this topic, you will begin to see that there are two facets to this: there is the practice of mindfulness meditation, and then there is the act of being mindful in the moment. As you become versed in meditation practice, it becomes easier to be mindful in each moment.
There are three essential aspects to mindfulness:
- Present moment awareness and self-regulation of your attention on the immediate experience
- An attitude of openness and acceptance of this moment’s experience
- A sense of nonjudgment and gentleness
How is this helpful for cancer?
Mindfulness has been shown in clinical studies to decrease stress, decrease anxiety, allow for better sleep, lessen fatigue, improve quality of life, and improve psychosocial adjustment. It has been shown to improve the experience of clinical procedures. It may possibly improve immune function and reduce pain.
I help patients with cancer and their care providers to harness the power of their minds to improve the experience of cancer treatment and recovery. I look forward to teaching these tools to you!