Liz Mover joined SBC at the LBBC Thriving Together: 2023 Conference on Metastatic Breast Cancer through SBC’s Educational Grant Program. Read below for Liz’s takeaways from this incredible event!
Saturday started with a session called Ask the Expert: Diet, Physical Activity and Sleep, with nutrition expert Rachel Beller, MS, RDN and medical oncologist Pallav K. Mehta, MD.
They recommended getting at least six hours of sleep a night and developing a sleep routine.
Rachel Beller discussed a few superfoods: fiber and plant-based protein. Both will help with constipation and diarrhea that those undergoing chemotherapy may experience and the protein will help with fatigue.
She recommended getting about 35 grams of fiber a day and starting with at least 10 grams before noon. She encouraged us to look at where our fiber is coming from and it shouldn’t be from bars and powders. She mentioned some good sources of fiber: rolled oats/steel cut oats, fiber boosters like chia seeds, and berries. She also explained about flax seed gel (never heard of it before!) and how it can be really helpful with constipation.
Some guidelines on hydration: at least 8-10 cups of water per day. Some things that can help with bloating are drinks that you can make with parsley, fennel, and garlic. If nauseous, she suggested trying a teaspoon of ginger juice in water.
Dr. Mehta spoke about integrative oncology and encouraged people to look for an oncology certified personal trainer. He said two good places to look for someone who is certified in oncology is the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise.
Another session that I really enjoyed was Coping with Grief by Kelly Grosklags, LICSW, BCD, FAAGC. Anticipatory grief isn’t just about death. It can also be when there are changes in your treatment plan.
There is a big difference between loss and grief. Loss is the one-time event. Grief is the reaction/response to the loss. Secondary losses are often felt within the MBC community. Some examples are when you are so tired and can no longer attend a child’s sporting events or events with friends; medical menopause and you can no longer have children; your friend passed away and you can no longer call her. Some phrases she said that I really felt were:
“You can be hopeful and still scared.”
“You can grieve for someone and still be happy.”
“You can be grateful and still be upset.”
“It’s not our job to make someone comfortable with our story.”
“Find the people that understand that.”
“Remember that I lived – not that I died.”
Thank you, Liz, for attending the LBBC conference with SBC and sharing your takeaways with the SBC community!
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