Moms Battling Cancer

Can meditation help with anxiety, insomnia, depression during or after a cancer diagnosis?

December 05, 2019 The Warrior Box interviews Loving Meditations Season 1 Episode 5
Moms Battling Cancer
Can meditation help with anxiety, insomnia, depression during or after a cancer diagnosis?
Chapters
Moms Battling Cancer
Can meditation help with anxiety, insomnia, depression during or after a cancer diagnosis?
Dec 05, 2019 Season 1 Episode 5
The Warrior Box interviews Loving Meditations

What a pleasure to be joined by Tamara Green and David Dachinger, the creators of The Loving Meditations app and authors of Live Calm with Cancer (and Beyond).

Having been affected by cancer, David and Tamara share some personal moments of their journey and how they were able to navigate the choppy waters of a cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.

The outcome of their cancer experience resulted in the creations of Loving Meditations. A meditation app and tool created to help decrease stress, depression, severe anxiety that every single cancer survivor can sureley attest is very real and very present in their mind, body and soul.

Living with the "What ifs" is definitely a constant struggle.

I wanted to bring this tool to our listeners. You know who you are! I'm talking to all those Warrior Moms, like myself, who have way too many things on their plate, to even consider adding something new, like meditation, to it. HOLD ON MAMAS !
I am serious, I gave this a two minute try and I fell in love. For real :)

Listen to the episode and decide for yourself!

Tamara and David have even added a 50% discount link just for our listeners.  HOW GREAT. You have nothing to lose. The entire year will cost you about 10$ US...
Follow the link below for details:
https://lovingmeditations.com/warriorbox2020/

Tamara and David are also giving our listeners access to the first chapter of their audio book for free.
Follow link below:

https://lovingmeditations.com/live-calm-with-cancer-book/

And of course I wants to hear all about it from you. Don't forget to subscribe to our podcast and give us a review. We love reading them.

Stay up to date with our latest tips and resources and discount codes by hopping over to http://www.thewarriorbox.com and subscribing to our newsletter. 



Show Notes Transcript

What a pleasure to be joined by Tamara Green and David Dachinger, the creators of The Loving Meditations app and authors of Live Calm with Cancer (and Beyond).

Having been affected by cancer, David and Tamara share some personal moments of their journey and how they were able to navigate the choppy waters of a cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.

The outcome of their cancer experience resulted in the creations of Loving Meditations. A meditation app and tool created to help decrease stress, depression, severe anxiety that every single cancer survivor can sureley attest is very real and very present in their mind, body and soul.

Living with the "What ifs" is definitely a constant struggle.

I wanted to bring this tool to our listeners. You know who you are! I'm talking to all those Warrior Moms, like myself, who have way too many things on their plate, to even consider adding something new, like meditation, to it. HOLD ON MAMAS !
I am serious, I gave this a two minute try and I fell in love. For real :)

Listen to the episode and decide for yourself!

Tamara and David have even added a 50% discount link just for our listeners.  HOW GREAT. You have nothing to lose. The entire year will cost you about 10$ US...
Follow the link below for details:
https://lovingmeditations.com/warriorbox2020/

Tamara and David are also giving our listeners access to the first chapter of their audio book for free.
Follow link below:

https://lovingmeditations.com/live-calm-with-cancer-book/

And of course I wants to hear all about it from you. Don't forget to subscribe to our podcast and give us a review. We love reading them.

Stay up to date with our latest tips and resources and discount codes by hopping over to http://www.thewarriorbox.com and subscribing to our newsletter. 



outro:

Hi, I'm Koula and I'm Christina. We're sisters with six kids between us and business partners. In 2017 cancer affected our family and turned our world upside down. Since then, our priorities and our values have completely shifted. We found a new purpose serving moms fighting cancer and raising kids. Join us here every week as we talk to mom stuff with a splash of cancer.

Koula:

So joining me today, we have Tamra Green and David Dachinger, owners of a company called loving meditation. Thank you so much for joining me today.

David:

Well, it's great to be here with you Koula.

Tamara:

Yeah, wonderful. Thank you for happiness.

Koula:

Oh my God. It's my pleasure. We've been trying to connect for a little while, so I'm just, I'm thrilled that it's actually happening right now. You guys have been very busy. I wanted to talk a about your company loving meditation. If you guys can just give our listeners a little summary of what this company is about.

David:

Sure. We would like to do. Then this all started with my journey as a stage four cancer patient and Tamara as my caregiver. And through that journey we discovered that there really weren't tools to help us through the different stages, the initial stage of the diagnosis where we were overwhelmed and stunned and just in denial and spending hours in the infusion center with nothing to do that inspired us to create something that cancer patients or those living with cancer and Thrivers who have been through cancer and the caregivers who take care of them could use in any setting at any time, any place. And access meditation, mindfulness, self care tools that really help to shift from a place of possibly a place of negativity and depression into a state of more positivity and change the lens which we're looking at the cancer experience. So out of that whole journey that we took as a cancer patient and caregiver, we created the app called loving meditations.

Koula:

Yes, yes. So the app was something that struck me when I was reading, when I was on your website and I was reading and I thought, how great could this app be? So basically it's a download. Is it? Let's talk about meditation in forms of an app. Cause I am a mom, I'm busy mom. And on top of it I went through my personal cancer journey as well and I have never done meditation. So I never even considered that while I was on my chemo journey specifically when things were really stressing, um, stressful in my house, physically, personally, emotionally, spiritually, uh, just to even think about that. So let's talk about this app and how someone, uh, more specifically moms going through cancer can actually benefit from it. What it is and how we can use.

Tamara:

Sure. I'm a mom too. David's a dad. We have two wonderful children. And while David, he was diagnosed with stage four cancer, but four days before his diagnosis, our, at the time 13 year old son was diagnosed with Lyme disease. So as a mom, uh, there was a lot going on, a lot of things to take care of right away. And I want to start by answering your question Koula by saying you don't have to be practicing meditation before your diagnosis to actually get benefit out of it. One of the things that we offer on our app are what we call one minute to come little techniques and tools. And it literally only can take one minute for us, very, very busy, busy moms or caregivers or people going through chemo and all of that. And so just is it okay if I just give a quick little example so people understand how powerful even just a few seconds.

Tamara:

Is that okay? I would love that. Okay, so if you're sitting, it's best to put your feet flat on your floor if you're driving while listen to this. Okay. Just, you know, be mindful of your surroundings as you do this. And what you're doing right now is just placing some attention on how your feet feel within your shoes. Or maybe you don't have shoes on, that's okay on the floor and feel your thighs and how they feel against the chair or the car seat and then the back and feel the back against the chair and just what you're doing is kind of dropping into your body and out of your mind. Because where your attention and focus goes is actually where your energy goes. And as soon as you drop into your body, and I don't know if you can feel that already, I'm already feeling kind of an expanded feeling here. You go right into calm. Did you experience that Koula

Koula:

I am and I have to be very honest. I have tears in my eyes. Tom are really, yeah. So used to, you know, not thinking of, you know, just compartmentalizing everything. So I'm still having a hard time readjusting to being in the present. So I definitely feel this

Tamara:

good. Good. Yeah. And like what's happening for you right now? The emotion is coming up and the thing about feelings and emotions is that they're always just trying to leave our system or leave our body, right? So when they surface, the best thing for you to do is exactly what you just did. Koula and that is going, you know, saying, Ooh, I'm emotional or I'm tear, I'm tearing up, I feel scared or I feel sad, or, or just by naming it, you're helping it to just leave your system and that's good. That's a very good thing to do. So those are the kinds of things that we're doing on the app or just helping people in whatever situation they're in. They're just about ready to go into a scan or they're just about ready to get the results of the scan, which is also, you know, traumatizing or chemo or I'm trying to get some sleep or whatever for caregivers. So survivors, patients, and we're helping you along the way now with so many different techniques on the app, whether it's guided meditations or it's hypnotherapy or sleep type meditation's so there's all different techniques. There's no one cookie cutter approach that works for everybody.

Koula:

And this would be an app downloadable on a cell phone with different, can we describe a little bit the app, what to expect?

David:

Well, it's available for iOS and Android and download it to a cell phone or a tablet. And we kept it super simple. We didn't want to make a lot of bells and whistles, but just simply an easy way to dive right in and start using our tools on the app. So they, they're shown as videos where you can put in earbuds, close your eyes and just listen to the voice and the music or some of them don't have music, just voice. And if you choose to, you can keep your eyes open. And many of them have beautiful imagery that goes along and they'll take you on a journey. It takes you, um, hopefully on a quick brief vacation from being in that reality of getting chemo with the reality of stressing out in the waiting room. Or, I know for me, I had a hard time with some of the scans because of the claustrophobic nature of the MRI machine and literally had to talk myself off the ledge.

David:

And what I did was I started using breathing techniques that I had learned earlier to really just get out of that mind, the mindset of, you know, I have to get outta here. This is nuts. I can't take it. I'm, I just can't do it. And once I focused on nothing but my breathing, it made it totally possible. I was able to just let go of all that craziness that was going on and get through the scan. And so we've created some breathing meditations or guided breathing techniques on the app, which some of which are just a couple of minutes long and some of them are several minutes to 1415 minutes. So really it's an easy app to use once you download it and, and boot it up. It's, it's really just

Tamara:

diamonds meditations and find the one that's right for you right now.

Koula:

That's amazing. Now is this something that any mom can do with a child around or can ditch can, like I had my daughter when I was testing this out, I was folding laundry. It was after 7:00 PM baths had just ended. I was at the end of my energy level. Uh, that means that I was ready to just crash in bed and I was just folding a little bit of laundry because the items in the basket needed to be worn the next day, uh, by my children. So this is the only reason why I was folding. Just to give you an idea, my daughter was having her moment and then I played I one of your meditations that was talking about focusing on fingertips and hands from what I remember. And my daughter just stopped and she's five and she's, she's a little firecracker. She stopped and she just started moving around to the sound of the music. And I said, okay, I'm not going to put attention on her. I wanna see how far or how long I can get her attention to focus on this. And sure enough, there was no arguing going to bed. There was no arguing getting into bed. It was just like, it's just something happened to her. It happened to me, but it happened to her as well. She just benefited from it in some way.

Tamara:

Absolutely. You know, children are amazing because they're, you know, you don't have to scratch too far underneath the surface to get to their joy to get to their, their presence right there. They're just so there and it doesn't take them long. Not like I said dolts where we've been programmed for so long and holding so much stress and I judging ourselves and all that kind of stuff. So when you're meditating, it's amazing how children and pets too, by the way, they get so chilled out because the more chilled out you get, the more, oftentimes they're just reflecting back what's going on with us, even though we don't realize it. But the more calm we get, the more calm they get as well. So absolutely do it with your kids or maybe even as part of a, a bedtime routine. So you both benefit from it.

Koula:

Yes, and I'm sure a lot of moms can relate to this, is that the minute cancer enters your home, you're so used to holding down the Fort. So you're trying to keep it together. And the number one thing you start doing is spending a lot of money on incense or whatever is on the market, whatever is being publicized for calming effects or you're trying to, you're buying the books and you're buying the, the heavy blanket or the weighted blanket or I bought all these incense cause I said, I am feeling this. I don't want to give this, no, I don't want my, the rest of my family to feel what I'm feeling. So I try to set up as a mom of like being uh, uh, you know, like, uh, just protecting against me and what I was going through. So I just spent pointless money and just setting up my home so that the night routine or the PM shift would go smoother. And I think if had I known that there was a simple solution, I mean, don't we always carry our phone wherever we go?

David:

Yeah. It's pretty much that most people have it with them all the time. All the time. Yeah. It's more, we also created a book for getting away from technology for a second. We created a book that if you like reading books, it journals our cancer experience as patient and caregiver and does weave in some of the tools that you'll find on the app. But we wanted to share what we went through and what worked for us and some of the dark moments are in there as well. And that's our way of sort of extending, you know, our support to the community that, you know, we're all in a way, we're all in this together. We're all having a shared experience even though everyone's cancer journey is unique. I think there's a lot of common common emotions, common reactions and, and moments that we probably all have at some point or other during our cancer.

Koula:

Am I wrong to, to, to um, to say that there is a actual chat group on the app just to get back to edge cause I have a question for that,

David:

right. The app, um, we inviting people to our Facebook community, which is a online group for those touched by cancer and it's just a, um, you know, a gentle conversation that people can have to share. Um, whatever they feel comfortable sharing. And we're in the process of building virtual support groups. Tamar is an amazing facilitator and she's running a cancer caregiver support group here in New York and we're trying to move that to the virtual realm too so that we can create a forum for people all over the world who want to drop into, to be part of a support group that they can feel comfortable in. They can feel like they can share with people that are, you know, been through the same thing or going through the same thing.

Koula:

I think that's wonderful because I know that I was searching for that when I had exhausted my caretakers, which were my mom and my sisters and my fight and my husband and my family when I had exhausted them. And I felt like I, when I didn't want to bug them when I was feeling better in between chemos and I didn't want to bother them so that they can go back to their lives for a little bit and not have to worry about me even more. I would take to the internet and find groups and I, I had stage three colon cancer. So the groups that I was apart didn't necessarily like, they were wonderful and I've made lifelong friendships in those groups, but I couldn't find the moms where I can just vent about what it was like to, you know, raising children and doing everything and not wanting to hear kids' voices.

Koula:

God forbid. I would say that in the colon cancer support group, no, but the mom group that I created, everybody was like, yes, hands. Now I feel you. I am so thankful for both of you doing this and I think it's so needed. So thank you for that. I appreciate that. And a lot of moms would appreciate that as well or any other person who's been affected by cancer and their caregivers as well. So yes, you do mention your book and I mean the title just nails it like, you know, lift calm with cancer and beyond a patient and caregiver guide to finding more ease through the power of mindfulness. I think that's just right there. You know, that's just says it all. That's how we found you. That's how my sister and I originally found you by typing caretakers guides for caretakers and cancer patients. And the first thing we saw on Google was that that's how we found you.

Tamara:

Wonderful. Can I, I'm chomping at the bit to share something here. Yes. Um, so as I'm a psychotherapist as well, um, mostly working with women but, but tons of couples too and men. But what I hear quite a bit is how women, you know, I heard you talking about I don't want to bug anybody or I don't want my family to be effected by what I'm going through, right? You know, we deeply care. But here, here's a mindfulness tip for all of you. Amazing moms out there for all you do. What if you actually gave yourself praise and accolades for all that you do? Because not only are you going through cancer, you're also caregiving at the same time. It's a double whammy, right? And so what if you actually said, wow, look at me. I got out of bed today. I brushed my teeth. I'm literally getting my clothes on. Yay me. So not easy to be a human being on this planet, especially if you're going through cancer or living with cancer and then trying to take care of your kids in your family at the same time. So we, you know, we just deserve so much praise and accolades and that is kind of a form of mindfulness. We're going to a moment of presence to all that we do or gratitude, let's say.

Koula:

Yeah, right there. How difficult is it for any mom to show herself some self care and self love so hard. It is very hard. Yeah. I think that every mom out there right now, Tim hour's probably saying I love you. That's for sure David as well. But Oh so, so since 2013 you guys have been busy and there's been your company and then there's the book and then there's a nap and then there's something called the waiting room TV. And I'm just going to say right from the start of that, I shy away from going to any event like a gala's or a fundraisers. I will donate my time and possibly just resort and just giving a check. Then having to get dolled up and go out to a gala or a fundraiser nights. Suare number one, my husband and I, we're such homebodies and number two, just the thought of putting makeup on and getting dressed up.

Koula:

It's just really something that I hate to doing. So this time, a few weeks ago I went to uh, my first ever a gala for a fundraising gala called the Lynn and Joe John T. Lee gala. And it hit close to home. It struck all the chords for me because there it's a mom and her husband who have dedicated a lot of their time and their energy and saving money and raising money for the hospital that Ms. Lynn and myself did our treatments and our surgeries. So it was from the same hospital. So I felt connected to it and they're raising money for this cause. The S the simple things that the government or the hospital don't get funded for. And I'll specify the chairs in the waiting room to make sure that they're clean and new and and comfortable for the, the blanket warmers and the machines for the car to that the volunteers push to give people something while they're doing chemo so they can have a bite or a ginger ale or something.

Koula:

Everything they're raising money for is for, and especially for the taxi tickets for people who have just finished some type of treatment and don't have a way to get home, especially in months like January and February, I was lucky enough to have someone drive me, but a lot of people resort to in taxis, Uber's or public transportation, which I don't, I don't even have words for that group of people who had no other way. So taxi tickets. So it struck a chord to me because the warrior box is all about practical essential items, not glorified, not fancy, just practical. And they're fundraisers all about practical. So when I read, they also fund the entire internet. Like the internet of the wifi is completely free on that section. So when you're waiting in the waiting room, you have access to the wifi completely free. So when I read that you guys have this other, the loving meditation waiting room TV, I thought that was, that warmed my heart. And I'd like to spend some time talking about this.

David:

Well, that was a, that's an amazing story and sounds like an amazing charitable event that you went to and they're doing some incredible work. There are so many elements to the process being treated for cancer that most people aren't aware of and you know, from having gone through it. Um, and we know from having gone through it that there are very important little touches that can make a huge difference in how, how you're gonna feel going into chemo or how you're going to feel going into the doctor visit or the scan. Because the waiting room is a place where we spend a lot of time. Many, many waiting rooms have the most, I'll use the word of noxious television programs on that are so unsensitive insensitive to how we're feeling, what we're going through. They have game shows, they have news programs, loud traumas, talk shows.

David:

And we went through this like why are we being bombarded with this at this time when we really need to be chilling? And we decided that we need to create something that would help people to chill in the waiting room. And the way that we do it is we have super easy to access channel, called loving meditations TV, which consists of many different topics, but they're visually interesting. They have soothing music and they have what we call mindful messaging. So it's a kind of a threefold approach where you can watch and we will give you some amazing facts about nature or the universe or the human body. We'll do some really simple mindful exercises like ask you to think about three things that you're grateful for right now. Simple stuff to kind of take you out of that monkey mind that we all get into.

David:

We're worried about the scan, we're worried about what the doctor is going to say, worried about how are we going to feel. And we just get into that present moment of, okay, just gonna relax and check this out, get with this TV program, which is not requiring a lot of thought. It's just requiring me to be in that moment and appreciate the nature that I'm watching. So yeah, so we've created that and we are happy to see that it's getting into places like hospitals and even counseling clinics. And our, our goal is to get it into as many different rooms as possible where people are need to, you know, kinda chill out and distress a little bit.

Koula:

That, that would be great. I'll tell you one thing. My teeth would sank you. You know why? Cause when I was sitting in the, uh, waiting room, all I would do is eat peppermint candy and even in the warrior box or our care package, we described the items and we say organic peppermint candy. They way they do not know. I said they do not possess the magical power of, you know, relieving all the chemo symptoms. But they do possess the magical power of decreasing, like making you feel like the waiting room time is, you know, shorter cause you're eating so many of them. So everybody, everybody and I laugh and I put a happy face on the bottom and everybody said totally. I would go through whether it was peppermint, Mentols, I think the Academy was gone. I used to go through so many of them just looking at the floor and eating candy, a one, two block block the sent to us to just waste my time because I was waiting.

Koula:

They're anxious and scared. So yeah. So my teeth would thank you. If there was something like that on TV, that's for sure. Yeah. Oh well it just, I wanted to wrap this up with a final thought and a final note actually, you know, moms were, so, um, we're, we tend to be like, we tend to put our time on everybody else and we do it with love. And I would, if I would, if I could go back a few years ago and relive my life, I would be putting the same amount of energy to my kids. To my home and the same amount of energy, unfortunately to myself, which is not a lot, but that's what moms do. I think there's different stages and in your life when your kids are younger, that time and energy needs to be given to them much more. Now, some people might disagree, but in my world and in many mom's world, this is the case.

Koula:

This is why when we hear meditation or yoga or, uh, you know, carrying a journal or spending some times just focusing on you, we think, nah, nah, we, you know, we'll get to it. We'll get to it. When the kids are independent, we'll get to it when, and you don't have to breastfeed anymore. We'll get to it when the kids are able to use the washroom on their own. These are all, this is how mommy's gets suckered into neglecting themselves. But I think that having you on the show to describe what, you know, just the two minute meditation we did and how it just, I felt it right there. It felt calm. I felt, uh, you know, something that I push off because I'm doing something for someone else. I think moms need to hear this and I definitely think that they need to give it a try.

Koula:

So I thank you for that. And this is why I was so eager to have you on because the doctors will push pills, anti anxiety and sleeping pills and stuff that I never had in my cabinets. But I thought that because I had cancer is just, I had to have them. But there's other ways to deal with stress. So there's other ways to mend a broken spirit. Cause I talk about just being broken spirited more than physically and mentally. And I think that this is such a great way without shoving more stuff in your mouth, but you don't need to, right. We'd like to see meditation, not medication.

Tamara:

Yes. If I can add one more thing, I, I'm, I'm having a champion at the bid moment again. Kula think of it this way, that the biggest gift you can actually give your is to be a role model. You know, they're, they're watching our every move, right? Yeah. They're so getting everything up. So what if we actually take a moment for ourselves and you know, mommy is uh, you know, taking 10 deep breaths right now. You want to do it with me or you know, that kind of thing. He's going to listen to our app and she needs five minutes please. Your teaching, your children how to uh, an amazing coping mechanism and amazing practice for them as well.

Koula:

Yeah, definitely, definitely. Well just the perfect way to wrap it up. Can you, uh, by telling everybody also where we can find you if they're interested for more information work in the find you and reach you.

David:

Our website is called loving meditations.com and on the site you can find, um, access to more information about the app, about the book, about loving meditations, TV. It has, um, an easy way to get to our online support group on Facebook and also our social media links are all there. So, uh, we invite you to loving meditations.com.

Koula:

Yeah, and I encourage everybody, just our listeners just to take a second and just Google it, just check it out. It's definitely something worth taking two minutes to take a look at, that's for sure. And David and Tamara, I'm going to wish you a wonderful day and I will end it like I always do by saying health above all, everything else always falls into place and I wish you guys the best of luck.

David:

Thank you. Cool. It was so great to talk with you today,

Tamara:

so, so good to talk to you. Thank you.

Koula:

Thank you so much. David and Tamara being super generous with us and all of our listeners here at the mom bottling cancer, they're giving all of her followers a 50% off. Yes, a 50% off the annual premium subscription to their app, to the loving meditations app. If anybody is interested, all you have to do is follow the link. I will post in the show notes, follow it through, it'll guide you.

Koula:

So Christmas is coming early because they're also giving us access for free to the first chapter of their audio book. Live calm with cancer and beyond. It's a great read. So if anybody's interested in giving that a try, I will also post that link in the show notes and you'll be able to have access to that as well. So thank you so much to David and Tamra, I really appreciate it and I'm sure anybody who's going to give it a try will love it as much as I do.

outro:

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