Welcome to Research for Wellness
I originally started this project with the intent to share the information I had collected with other cancer survivors, but I quickly realized that these resources might be beneficial for anyone interested in starting a plan to make changes for their own long-term health and well-being.
Let me share how all this started. I was diagnosed with early-stage Melanoma in 2002 and besides coming to the realization that my daylong beach outings were probably over, I didn’t feel motivated to make any other changes to my lifestyle. I finally found that motivation in 2014 and it involved a Kidney Cancer diagnosis. Once again my cancer was discovered before it decided to take a road trip to another body part, so I am one of the lucky ones and I know it. After getting through the surgery, I was given a follow-up schedule of blood work tests and scans as part of a “watch & wait” plan, since chemo or radiation weren’t considered part of the protocol. This “watch & wait” approach wasn’t enough of a plan for me, so rather than hanging out in between CT Scans, I decided there had to be a better strategy moving forward. I hit the computer to find some direction and support and haven’t stopped researching since then. Let’s just say my little part-time hobby has turned into a much larger scale project and after 5 years, I still discover new research and resources every time I log on.
If you’ve been coping with a cancer diagnosis and have made it through surgery or finished the initial treatment and are looking for some direction, I am hoping the resources in For Cancer Survivors will help get you started. As a starting point, the approach that worked best for me was to make over one small aspect of my lifestyle at a time. As one example, I recently watched my friend completely change her diet overnight and that’s a huge impressive accomplishment! For me, just 2 changes at the same time were overwhelming, like cutting out nightly dessert (trying to boot white sugar from my life) while at the same time trying to face my morning coffee without half & half (I read that dairy should hit the road too). It felt like all these recommendations were like being in some kind of food prison and I was beginning to wonder how I could possibly do this long-term! The best plan for me was by starting to reduce, but not completely eliminate things like white sugar. I decided to exchange my nightly dessert for a weekend “one night only” splurge treat. Next, I tackled my coffee dilemma and ultimately decided that my homemade almond-hazelnut milk, which I daringly tried one morning in my coffee, was actually even better than my half & half. The bottom line is everyone needs to figure out a path that will work best for their own long-term success.
So whether your diet could use some tweaking, or maybe you’re nowhere close to meeting the weekly exercise recommendation of 150 minutes (that currently would be me!), or you are feeling way too stressed out on a daily basis and might benefit from some mindfulness techniques, just know that I am still at my computer working to find new resources to support your efforts and still on the hunt for research to remind or even convince you that making healthier choices matter!
Founder, Research for Wellness
My Research Picks - Some additional sources of personal interest that I've found along the way.
The Science of Laughter and Chocolate with Dr. Lee Berk and Ryan Berk - Stein Institute for Research on Aging (56 min. video)
Beauty without Bunnies - PETA
If you want to expand your wellness journey to have an impact on your furry friends and family members, please visit Beauty without Bunnies. Their searchable database has over 3200 cruelty-free companies, where you can check to see if your makeup and personal-care products are made by companies that test on animals. Bunny Free is their App version available free only for ios devices in the Apple store.