It's important that everyone stay safe while walking outside in Winter. However, people with cancer need to be extra careful as they move about in the ice, snow, and cold. People with cancer have a higher risk of falling than the general population.

Chemotherapy, radiation, and other cancer treatments can cause side effects that increase the risk of falls. Weight loss, muscle weakness, numbness or tingling in the feet, dizziness, changes in eyesight, or fatigue may increase the risk. Losing sensation in the feet makes it harder to find balance during challenging situations, like walking on a slippery sidewalk. Finding one’s center of gravity may be harder.

Certain behaviors suggest that a person with a history of cancer may be at greater risk for falls. For instance, they might rely on furniture and walls for support when walking inside their home. The person could trip or almost fall at various times. If they’ve fallen in the past, they might avoid busy sidewalks, the grocery store, people’s homes, or other crowded environments.

There are steps people can take to minimize the risk of falling. For instance, secure throw rugs to the floor with nonslip backing. Clear clutter from walkways. Consider installing handrails in the bathroom. Implement a plan for snow removal before it begins. Wear boots with good traction. People can talk with their doctor to see whether physical therapy might help.

Everyone should keep a cell phone on them at all times in case of a fall or other emergency. They may be able to use a smartphone app that signals a fall to emergency responders. Or, a smartwatch might have an alert system that can tell if a fall occurs and can call 911 if needed.

If a person falls, they immediately should contact their medical team to determine whether they need follow-up care or a referral to physical therapy. If so, the physical therapist will show the person exercises that promote balance, strength, stability, and strategies for safely getting up from the floor if a fall occurs.

If you or someone you know has cancer, contact Chix 4 a Cause. Learn more about the financial and emotional support we provide through our Gifts of Love program. Visit today.

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As a cancer survivor, you may feel honored to provide help for a newly diagnosed person. They might reach out to ask for firsthand information because you’ve traveled the road before. Or, the person might want assurance that you’ll truthfully share information about your journey. Perhaps they need someone to walk beside them along their journey and help them feel less afraid.

Be gentle with the newly diagnosed person. It takes courage to reach out to a stranger for support. Let the person ask the questions they need. Answer them in an open, honest manner. Don’t overwhelm the person with too much information too quickly.

Spend more time listening than talking. You may pick up on things that aren’t spoken. Communicate camaraderie and understanding. Show that there is hope for the future.

If you or someone you know is battling cancer, reach out to Chix 4 a Cause. Learn more about our Gifts of Love program at today.

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Being diagnosed with cancer can feel like being stranded in a deep, dark jungle. Nothing looks or feels familiar. Danger may be anywhere. As a result, you need to find ways to fight for your life. Survival is key.

After surgery and treatment, you might be declared a survivor. As a survivor, you need to adapt your skills to make it through each day. As you physically and mentally heal, thoughts about cancer recurring may consume your world. For this reason, you may remain in survival mode for years. This might cause you to grow weary and discouraged. Especially when you have to figure things out on your own.

Use the skills you gained for surviving a cancer diagnosis to gradually shift from surviving to thriving. Although you can’t get back your old life, you can create your new normal. You might still feel weighed down from all the testing, scans, treatments, medications, doctor visits and other parts of surviving cancer. But, in order to thrive, you need to work on letting go of the past and moving forward.

If you have difficulty creating your new normal, talk with other cancer survivors for insight and ideas. They might suggest starting with a mindset shift. Leave behind a world of cancer. Focus on a life filled with excitement and joy.

Create a vision board of what you want your life to look like. Recite positive affirmations to counter your negative thoughts throughout the day. Write in a journal. Talk with a counselor. Make a conscious decision to do what feels best to move from survivor to thriver.

Give yourself time to adapt. Shifting from survival to thrival mode takes time. You’ll have ups and downs along the way. Go easy on yourself. Things won’t change overnight. They take time.

If you or someone you know is battling cancer, get in touch with Chix 4 a Cause. Learn more about our Gifts of Love program at today.

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