Cancer, Chemo, and Guided Imagery

Staying relaxed, centered, and pro-active has a calming effect during treatment--and afterward

BY: Belleruth Naparstek

 
Q: I was diagnosed with cancer last May and have been going through chemo and radiation treatments. When I was first diagnosed, my physician introduced me to your tapes. They helped me see my treatments and surgery as positive and healing rather than frightening. Even my doctors noticed a big difference in my attitude once I started listening to the tapes. I am doing very well and have one more round of chemo to complete then I will be free! Have you considered making a tape about positive affirmations and visual imaging after cancer? It would be great to listen to a tape that specifically says, "My cancer is gone...never to return again!"

A: Thanks for the kind words about the tapes. I'm delighted they had such a good effect on you!

Just to warn you, many people get anxious when their last chemo treatment is over, even though they're totally delighted not to have to put up with them any more. It's normal to feel this way. It's sort of the Yikes! What-do-I-do-now Syndrome.

The anxiety comes from not having the rigors of the treatments to focus on anymore--all those side effects, logistics, the whole routine. And even if you hated the chemo, at least you felt you were doing something to clobber the cancer. The absence of having something--anything--to do often causes anxiety...for a while, anyway.

What I would recommend is general health and wellness imagery tapes (general wellness, stress, healthful sleep, confidence, or affirmations audio programs) and not just our tapes. There are many wellness imagery audios that are excellent for this. Emmett Miller, Marty Rossman, Jeanne Achterberg, and others have created some fine imagery for this, and there are others.

Aside from the fact that they help to keep people relaxed, centered, and pro-active about their health, they also have the calming effect of having you do something after the cancer has been eliminated by the chemo.

I also think it's a good idea to use imagery that has nothing to do with cancer, because that's a way of signaling your body that now you are well and strong--and intend to stay that way!

So, yes, I think you have the right idea--keep working with imagery, but now focus on your wellness, not the cancer, which is no longer relevant. And a toast to your good health!
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