I'm sure you didn't wake up this morning and ask yourself, "Do I need a Cancer Survivor Wellness Coach?" Well, I'm here to tell you - maybe you should have! In this post you'll learn what a Cancer Survivor Wellness Coach is and why I think the world would be a better place with more of them.
Ahem. I mean, more of me.
What is a Cancer Survivor Wellness Coach?
A Cancer Survivor Wellness Coach is a health coach who specializes in supporting cancer survivors in reaching optimal wellness after cancer. According to The American Cancer Society, there were an estimated 15.5 million cancer survivors in the United States as of January 1, 2016. By 2026, it is estimated that there will be over 20 million cancer survivors alive in the United States. There is clearly a great need for wellness support for this special population.
Why would a cancer survivor need a wellness coach?
Well, some cancer survivors just get...stuck.
After treatment, cancer survivors can feel physically and emotionally steam rolled. You are exhausted from the effects of potent treatment. You are emotionally changed, which may leave you feeling misunderstood and lost. You must cope with these changes to function in work and life but friends and family don't understand what you're going through - they just want you to "get back to normal." At the same time, your oncologist has told you she's done all she can for your symptoms and you just need to recover.
This is where where a Cancer Survivor Wellness Coach comes in. Oncology offices are inundated with sick patients needing acute care and attention. If you are no longer one of those patients, that is a great thing. But if you don't access resources necessary to address your physical and emotional changes in an intentional way, you may be vulnerable to fatigue, depression, anxiety, poor nutrition, obesity, poor functional status and most alarming, a higher cancer recurrence risk.
Cancer survivors should not expect all their needs to be served by a 15 minute office visit with a nurse practitioner or physician. You need a strucured program to teach you how to heal, achieve lasting wellness, and thrive in your new normal. This is what survivor wellness coaches provide.
What should you expect from the cancer survivor wellness coaching experience?
You should expect a few things from a cancer survivor wellness coach. She will help you:
set goals, like increasing energy, eating a cancer prevention diet, and improving memory and focus
cope by framing your experiences and promoting openness to positive health change
use evidence based techniques and information in a structured format that is flexible and approachable
be accountable to your goals with firm, non-judgmental support
Cancer survivor wellness coaching can occur in a private one-on-one setting, in a group format, or even with independent study and group support.
Cancer Survivors are real people with real problems.
If you're a Cancer Survivor, you are definitely not alone. I've worked with innumerable cancer survivors just like you.
The woman with leukemia after a stem cell transplant who needed to restore her energy to take care of her disabled adult son.
The professor who survived colon cancer but couldn't think clearly enough to teach her students anymore.
The young lymphoma survivor who needed the energy to travel the world and become a nurse due to his experience with cancer.
The breast cancer survivor who needed to lose weight and eat well for her beloved children and cherished husband.
There are millions of you but you are all individuals who need to stay well after cancer for your own reasons. I work as an Oncology Nurse Practitioner because you inspire me. And I designed Brio Survivor Wellness to help you do what you need to do. Each and every day, of the rest of your life.
As you can see, Cancer Survivor Wellness Coaches can benefit cancer survivors in many ways. To get started NOW, check out Brio's FREE Morning Checklist - click the button below for 7 easy ways to add more energy to your day.
Take care, Survivor.