Simple Habit Humans: A Cancer Warrior

I ended up in the ER. It was very stressful. I went to get my phone to listen to a session and just seeing the Simple Habit logo was all I needed. It calmed me down. It gave me some control back.

 

Carol is a Sales Manager at the Mermaid Event Center in Minnesota who uses Simple Habit to help manage the stress that comes from a cancer diagnosis received in October of 2016. She started looking for alternative treatment where she found a set of principles that included eliminating stress through meditation. She recently made the hard decision to start chemo because her doctors believed she could qualify for some new trials if she did chemo first. With this decision came quite a bit of anxiety. She used Simple Habit to help her make this decision, which brought her back to the present and helped her think about her choices instead of reacting out of fear.

How did you learn about meditation?

I started practicing yoga about 10 years ago. Meditation is part of the lifestyle, but I was never very good or consistent. My first quest to find meditation brought me to YouTube, where I found guided meditations that were helpful. Still, I usually just fell asleep which was not really what I was going for.

How did you learn about Simple Habit?

I saw Simple Habit on Shark Tank. When I heard Yunha start to explain that the Simple Habit app helps people learn meditation in five minutes, it was an “AHHHH” moment for me. I downloaded Simple Habit before her pitch was over and have been using it ever since.

Why do you meditate?

I first started using Simple Habit to manage the stress from a cancer diagnosis. Last Friday, (two days after my chemo treatment) I was having a lot of problems. My blood pressure was very high and my heartbeat was very low (38-40 beats/minute). I ended up in the ER. There were about eight different doctors working to find out what was wrong – it was very stressful. I went to get my phone to listen to a session and just seeing the Simple Habit logo was all I needed. It calmed me down, I started to slow my breath and it gave me some control back. I ended up getting admitted and my nurse saw me meditating. She gave me a big hug and said “that’s AWESOME.” She was very supportive of me and the things I was doing, which meant so much to me. Eastern medicine is starting to make its way into western medicine. People are looking for new ideas and answers to disease prevention, management and cures. People are demanding it – AMEN:).

About two weeks ago, I had to have a steroid injection that was guided by x-ray. I knew it was going to be about an 8-10 inch needle EKK!!! Before the procedure I listened to Jay Chodagam’s session in Taking a Break from Stressful Days series. This really helped me calm down and gain control of my fear. When I went into the procedure room the doctor prepped me for the procedure. He numbed me first and then said “we are going to begin the injection.” Much to my surprise, he said to use breathing to help. He guided me through some deep relaxing breaths before he started and was very surprised to see that I was breathing into my belly not just my chest (I learned this from JC). This breathing continued as he eventually got to a point in my body which didn’t know it was supposed to be numb!! My breathing became vocal but it kept me from tensing up which would have made it much harder for the doctor to finish.

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What are some of your favorite meditations?

I have 3 favorite teachers whose voices I connect with. I tend to choose sessions by teacher – not title. My favorites are Cory Muscara, Simon Moyes and Jay Chodagam.

How did you turn meditation into a habit?

I started looking for alternative treatment for my cancer and this is where I found a set of principles that included an organic and vegan diet, detoxing, eliminating stress through meditation, spiritual healing and forgiveness, exercising, healing herbs and supplements, and testing your progress. All of these principles, along with daily meditation, became my way of life. I set a reminder on my phone for 8:30am and 2:30pm. Now, I don’t need the reminder – it’s just part of my life.

How has meditation improved your life?

This is way too big to put in a few sentences. It started out as stress management. Now it’s so much more: it gives me control of life’s ups and downs, it grounds me, it can take me from being so scared of the future to looking forward to it, it reminds me that I have power over my life when it seems out of control, it brings me back to the present, gives me a sense of internal calmness, and I could go on and on and on. I’m now past 100 days in a row. I see a change in myself that I have wanted for a long time. I’m more patient, I try to stop and think about what good can be addressed instead of the bad. I help people find the good in their bad days. I’m proud of the person that is emerging because of this newfound patience.

Additionally, my doctors are very happy with my now awesome blood pressure. I’m consistently about 106/68, which is amazing as I only have one kidney. I also had a scan last week on four organs that all came out clear – no cancer! I truly believe meditation is helping my body fight this cancer and I feel more positive things are coming my way because of it.

 

Why would you recommend meditation or Simple Habit to others?

The 5 minute sessions, I think, are key to getting people on board. Everyone can find 5 minutes. I work at a restaurant, sports bar, bowling center, hotel & event center. It is my second home as I’ve been there for about 27 years. I recruited our chef, Mark, to Simple Habit. About a month ago, he was having a bad day and called me while I was at my desk and said, “can you just come to the kitchen for 5 minutes… I need to meditate.” About two weeks ago he had to have his appendix out – he posted on Facebook that Simple Habit helped him with stress and pain management from the operation. 5 minutes can be AMAZING.

Thanks for sharing your amazing story, Carol – we are so inspired by your courage and strength. We are humbled to be part of your journey!

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Share your journey and milestones with us, we care: feedback@simplehabit.com. 

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