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I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer eight years ago. Eight feels great, friends. I’m thrilled to mark off another milestone each year. Yet, the mental and physical trauma from cancer and its treatments don’t magically go aways once you’re done being treated. Since my diagnosis in 2008 I have undergone four surgeries, lost all my hair, been zapped with radiation, sat through at least a hundred doctor appointments, withstood more mammograms than one woman should in her lifetime, been robbed of my fertility and have never missed a day of taking my post-cancer medication.
But, damn, it’s good to be alive.
The medication I take is one a lot of breast cancer survivors take to help keep the cancer from returning. With it comes some pretty inconvenient aches and joint pain. My feet and knees are especially prone to these aches. I often feel like the oldest 41 year old woman in the world because of physical limitations. And my hands? Stiff fingers aren’t great for someone who makes an income banging on a keyboard.
While I wish I was a regimented yogi, I am not. I do however practice daily stretching which has tremendously improved my joint pain. The practice of stretching out my feet, hips and hands coupled with taking a quiet moment to reflect on what I’ve been through and to realize how far I’ve come helps me realize that my pain is manageable.
Movement is instrumental in alleviating the symptoms of arthritis and achy joints. I usually run through a series of quick stretches starting with my feet and hips as they tend to be the achiest each morning. This isn’t considered a grueling workout, at all. Most days – if I’m honest – I’m still wearing my pajamas!
I really love using a nylon strap to help aid in the stretches. I pull back on the handles and hold for 30-45 seconds, release and repeat until I feel like my joints are warmed up.
To alleviate pain in my hands I use a soft rubber ball and practice pinching my fingers and thumb together. Using a ball to pinch and squeeze helps build the muscles in the hands allowing better grip.
I often feel embarrassed at my lack of fine motor skills. Some evenings, after a day of typing and texting, I find that I struggle tying shoes, buttoning buttons, using scissors or a knife, and braiding hair. It’s usually then I realize I do not need to feel ashamed because these inconveniences can be managed through stretching and Advil.
The new Advil EZ Open Cap is perfect for people, like myself, who struggle with arthritis and joint pain. I can appreciate the simplicity of the design. The cap doesn’t need to pushed and turned simultaneously and its larger size makes it easy to grip. The product inside the bottle is the Advil proven stronger on Arthritis and other joint pain.*
May is National Arthritis Month and it affects a whopping 53 million Americans. The new Advil EZ Open Cap can be found at Walmart stores near the pharmacy or on a special display with other Advil products.
Cancer and its treatments can certainly disrupt a wonderful life. But, joint pain should never be an inconvenience when there are proven ways to help manage and alleviate that pain. Get more info and Better Living toolkit from the Arthritis Foundation and find Advil EZ Open Cap bottles at Walmart.
Now tell me…should I consider adding yoga to my daily practice?
*For minor arthritis pain. Among OTC pain relievers.