Erica Farmer, 66 was diagnosed with blood cancer 13 years ago at 53 years old and felt as though she was the only person in the world with the disease. Her gynaecologist told her there was nothing more he could do for her and her exercise levels had dropped so low she couldn’t even sit up properly.
Erica knew how important looking after her body was after her energy levels dropped so low she could not even do any exercise. We interviewed Erica about her incredible journey to battling and beating blood cancer and discovered her incredible journey to health and wellbeing.
‘I have never had to tell anyone this, but you have chronic lymphatic leukaemia’
How did you discover you had blood cancer? ‘I had an operation and I just didn’t feel better’, Erica reminisces. ‘I remember that the gynaecologist ordered some blood tests for me to see why I wasn’t healing’, Erica says. ‘He looked me in the eye and said, I have never had to tell anyone this before, but you have chronic lymphatic leukaemia and I can’t do anymore for you – go and see your GP’, Erica reveals. ‘I left the doctors with the word chronic dancing in zigzags around my face. I was in shock, I just went outside and burst into tears’, Erica remembers.
At that time the life expectancy for lymphatic leukaemia was 5-10 years, feeling anxious; fearful and upset Erica started researching online in hope she wasn’t the only person in the world suffering with this illness.
‘I found the bloodwise site online, which gave me something to relate to’, Erica says. ‘For the first time I started to feel reassured that I wasn’t the only person in the world that had this disease’, says Erica.
‘I knew I should be doing exercise I just couldn’t…’
‘I hadn’t got the motivation to do anything at this point, I couldn’t even do basic things like travel in work in rush hour because I couldn’t stand for that long’, Erica reveals. The hardest part about suffering was that Erica couldn’t start the treatment immediately she would have to constantly manage her blood tests to watch for trends. ‘You can get resistant to the treatment so you can’t begin treatment or a while’, Erica reminisces. ‘I had no energy and although I knew I should be doing exercise I just couldn’t’, Erica reveals.
How did yoga help?
‘Bloodwise introduced me to Yogaia.com which gave me a way to exercise from home,’ Erica says. ‘Yoga helped my breathing because I noticed that when I was anxious I actually stopped breathing’, Erica says. ‘It helped me open my lungs and get oxygen into my body whilst helping me fix my posture, I found it allowed me to sit up properly’, Erica states.
The wonderful idea of Yogaia was doing it from my own home
‘It improved my body as doing exercise actually helps the fatigue, the wonderful idea of Yogaia was doing it from my own home, if I was feeling tired and it was pouring with rain I could do it from the comfort of my own home’, Erica says. ‘Exercise really boosted my overall energy levels and I’m so pleased that I found yoga when I did’, Erica says.
How does yoga help aid blood cancer?
Research shows that exercise such as Yoga, can have positive effects on life after cancer, recovery rates, recurrence and length of life. Some people with cancer who have used yoga say that it not only helps to calm their mind so that they can cope better with their cancer and treatments but that it also helps to reduce symptoms and side effects such as pain, tiredness, sleep problems and depression.
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