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"Empowering You: Building a Life After Breast Cancer – Key Takeaways from BC Summit 2024"

This wordle picture represents the key points presented by Dr. Jenn Simmons: What to do after Breast Cancer.  One does not need to be a survivor to benefit from the highlighted concepts mentioned by Dr. Simmons.

Our immune systems are amazing when they are in working order. However, it needs help from us.  When our immune systems are weakened, we are more susceptible to illness. To strengthen and protect our immune system, Dr. Simmons discusses these key points:

Sleep is our time to rest and repair. If we don’t get enough sleep, our immune systems don’t function optimally. To support sleep, she recommends creating a comfortable sleeping environment, keeping it cool, removing electronic devices from nightstands, and using desk lamps instead of overhead lights.

Our diet is pivotal in supporting our digestive tract. When we eat foods that cause digestive problems, we put pressure on our white blood cells (the immune system) to break down the food.  Many illnesses can be caused by the food, drink, or other toxins we ingest.

Movement is important for a healthy body. It supports our body, immune system, and mind. She used the word "exercise," but I prefer the term move. So if you enjoy swinging a racket, hitting balls with holes in them, and interacting with others, pickleball is a great way for you to move.  Choose a way that you like to move and make it part of your day and/or week.

Many people will shy away from moving due to an injury or illness.  You don't need to move your full body to support your immune system.  I practiced yoga with a friend who broke her leg in multiple places while I was going through chemotherapy.  We both healed over several months doing yoga sitting down on the floor not using our left legs. Our journeys were made easier and kinder by practicing mindful movement.

The parasympathetic nervous system supports our immune system. Mindful boxed/yogi breathing, meditation, and yoga are all ways to support your parasympathetic nervous system. Stress is ever-present in our lives.  We are the ones to control what we accept and what we don't.  Knowing our purpose in life and recognizing we are worthy gives us the motivation and strength to keep going. The power of our mind can support us in making the changes necessary to achieve healing.  

I ask you to reread this post.  Write down some small changes you can begin today to build a stronger immune system. You are worth it!

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