Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a life-changing experience that often brings many challenges and uncertainties. Coping with the physical and emotional toll of cancer treatment can be overwhelming for patients and their loved ones. That’s where cancer wellness coaches come in. Cancer wellness coaches are trained professionals who provide support, guidance, and education to help individuals navigate their cancer journey. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of hiring a cancer wellness coach when you get diagnosed.
1. Emotional Support
Cancer diagnosis can be a very emotional experience. It is normal to feel shocked, scared, angry, numb, or sad. A cancer wellness coach provides emotional support to newly diagnosed patients and their families, helping them to cope with their feelings and adjust to the new reality. When there is a gap between diagnosis and treatment starting, your coach can help you make a prehabilitation plan – a strategy to optimise treatment results. As treatment begins there are new relationships to navigate, the language of cancer to get familiar with, and treatment decisions to be made. Your cancer coach can help you identify and express your emotions, find coping strategies, and improve your quality of life from diagnosis through the phases of treatment and post-treatment survivorship.
2. Education and Empowerment
Cancer wellness coaches provide valuable education and information to patients about their disease, treatments, and side effects. They help patients understand medical jargon, explain treatment options, and help them make informed decisions about their care. By empowering patients with knowledge, cancer wellness coaches help patients feel more in control of their cancer journey. Our resident cancer wellness coach, Chandrika Gibson has an extensive background and training in complementary medicine and integrative therapies and can help you navigate the minefield of online information. As a published cancer researcher, Chandrika can source and interpret the latest research findings to help you understand your options.
3. Lifestyle and Nutrition Guidance
Cancer wellness coaches help patients adopt healthy habits and lifestyles that can improve their overall health and well-being. They can provide guidance on nutrition, exercise, stress management, and other self-care practices that can help patients feel better and improve their treatment outcomes. It is now proven that exercise is one of the most potent anti-cancer lifestyle activities, and many oncologists will recommend you exercise, however the details of how, what, when, and how much may need a more personalised approach. Your cancer wellness coach can help you stay motivated and where appropriate, recommend Exercise Physiologists, Physiotherapists or other exercise providers. Nutrition is another area where philosophies and fads run into scientific evidence. Chandrika’s background as a naturopathic nutritionist and her deep understanding of nutrition science mean she is well placed to help you avoid excessively restrictive fads and find the optimal eating approach for you. Using her skills as a yoga therapist and meditation guide, personalised stress management, sleep support, and breathing practices can be developed in collaboration with you, based on your needs, interests, and capacity.
4. Improved communication with healthcare providers
Cancer wellness coaches can serve as a bridge between patients and their healthcare providers. They can help patients communicate their needs and concerns to their medical team, and facilitate better communication between patients and their providers. This can improve the patient’s overall experience and treatment outcomes. It can sometimes feel like learning a new language and meaning can be lost when health professionals use jargon or euphemisms. Understanding and being understood flow both ways – Chandrika can help you communicate more effectively and get your needs met.
5. Personalised support
Cancer wellness coaches provide individualised support to each patient based on their unique needs, concerns, and goals. They work with patients to develop a personalised plan of care that meets their specific needs and helps them achieve their goals.
In conclusion, hiring a cancer wellness coach can be a valuable asset for anyone facing a cancer diagnosis. They provide emotional support, education, lifestyle guidance, improved communication with healthcare providers, and personalised support. By working with a cancer wellness coach, patients can improve their overall health, feel more in control of their cancer experience, and improve their quality of life. Cancer is a major life-interruption and can be traumatic in multiple ways, however seeking appropriate support to fill the gaps left by the medical model means not only a gentler cancer experience but also the best odds of completing treatment and recovering well – some might say bouncing forward not just bouncing back after cancer.