Teen with a Dream™ is a 501 (c) (3) charity founded specifically to enrich the lives of pediatric cancer patients and the lives of their families by combating the effects of social isolation and loneliness during chemotherapy through specialized social, educational, and financial programs.
Follow our blogs for daily tips, advice, tricks, stories, and information that will help you on your cancer journey!
1. Find a quiet place, and lie down on your back. With your feet on the floor, bend your knees and let them lean in together comfortably.
2. Set a timer for the amount of time that you will meditate. I recommend starting with just 2 minutes at first, then increasing as you become more comfortable and your ability to focus grows. I usually do 10 minute sessions, and am working up to 15– but it’s not a race. Take your time, and just choose what seems the most doable for you.
3. Place your hands on your belly, relax your body, and listen to your breath. Don’t do anything to try to control your breath– simply observe.
4. Now, bring in some visualization. As you exhale, picture an ocean wave breaking on the sand. As you inhale, see it rolling back into the sea. With every inhale and exhale, watch the waves go in and out– the sound of your breath is the soundtrack to these waves going in and out, and will set the pace.
5. If your mind wanders, bring yourself back to the sound of your breathing and the images of the waves. Again, do not try to change your breathing in any way– simply match the motion of the waves to the sound of your breath.
Today’s post is for those of you who may be out of treatment. Whether you have recently finished treatment or if it has been years, it is still important to cleanse yourself from the emotional trauma you may have experienced.
Establish Routines. This is so important in feeling a sense of normalcy in your life again.
Be prepared for people’s questions. This can be a difficult aspect because sometime the way people ask about your experiences may come off may not always suit you. Just be prepared for the different questions that may come up and learn what answers will satisfy you.
Cope with your feelings.
Recognize + Manage side effects that treatment will cause.
For today’s Emotional Support, we want to share this wonderful chart from LifeHack. This chart depicts where emotional struggles reflect physical discomfort in our bodies and why.
As apart of our emotional cleanse process we have been focusing heavily on this month, take a moment to evaluate if unexplained physical discomfort coincides with particular emotions you are experiencing.
Happy Monday Dreamers! Today’s Tips and Tricks to Chemo is investing in and stocking up on your favorite cold treats for your treatment days!
Even though we are in the mist of winter, these cold treats are said to help side effects. Spencer, our founder, found himself constantly craving chilly treats during treatment.
Take this even further by stocking up on more tart/sour cold treats such as Popsicle’s Sour Patch Kids series. The sour taste will also help combat that yucky taste in your mouth from chemo! Also you can check out these amazing recipes for homemade popsicles on Pinterest to ensure they are just what your taste buds crave!
Today, we want to share these amazing series of 15 Clean Eating Snacks for Kids! These clean eating recipes are delicious resources for after school, or possibly even treatment, fuel!
If you are a parent, or a patient, you know how hectic your schedule can be-snacking can end up being the staple fuel in your daily routines. We hope that this awesome series of recipes will help you snack healthier!
Here is our favorite snack:
These simple ingredients can create a fun beach scene for your kiddos!
We hope that you are all having a truly wonderful Saturday! This month we have focused heavily on accomplishing self cleansing, detoxing, de-cluttering, coping and healing. We hope that there has been a post that has spoken to you, and helps you “take the reigns” in this process!
Each pose is designed to focus on various forms of “cleansing” and provides you with an opportunity to take a moment away from the chaos and relax!
One of our favorite poses is the Standing Forward Fold:
The benefit: Standing Forward Fold Pose is a resting pose for your heart, because when you’re in it, your head is below your heart. Use the pose to stretch and relax your upper body. Like all inversions, it clears and balances your mind. If your hamstrings are tight or your lower back is weak, bend your knees softly.
How to do it: From Urdhva Hastasana, fold forward hingeing at the hips, bringing your palms to the ground. Press your chest toward your thighs and bring your chin toward your shins. Draw the crown of your head down toward the mat. Allow your neck to be long. If your palms don’t reach the mat, put a soft bend in your knees. Take this pose twice more, resting for 2 breaths in between.
Happy Friday Dream Team! For this SPLURGE! Friday we want to share these awesome Calming Jars. These jars are designed to be calm + soothe a child in times of high stress. For our parents out there, you may know the high stress that the poking and prodding can provoke at doctors appointments. So today, take time together to create your very own Calming Jar, to take with you on the road!
What Calming Jars can do:
Provide an interactive and engaging activity.
Ultimately stray the child’s mind from the stress that is occurring and draws them into a pleasant visualization.
Materials you will need:
Recycled Jar [Based on your child’s age, these can be either plastic or glass-this just depends on your preference]
For today’s program resource we would like to focus on preparing to apply for college scholarships. This month we have spent everyday sharing tips and tricks to “cleanse”, “de-clutter”, and “organize” numerous aspects of your life. By taking the time nowto get all of your “ducks in a row” for scholarship applications, will help eliminate immense stress later down the row.
Things to prepare + have ready before you start applying:
Transcripts. Some may require the most recent record of your grades but make sure you are aware of how to obtain these and plan ahead to ensure receiving them in a timely manner. Additionally, make sure to note which applications ask for “Official Transcripts” versus “Unofficial”.
Letters of Recommendation. These letters can make a profound impact on the individual who is choosing scholarship recipients. Make sure to have a list of people you can ask for letters of recommendation and most importantly ensure to ask them in a timely manner. This can be especially true for teachers who are asked to write a multitude of letters within a small window of time.
Letter from your Oncologist. If you are applying for cancer specific scholarship this will be extremely important to have. This letter will state the date and specific diagnosis you received. This is a requirement for the Teen with a Dream scholarship application.
Tips to applying for scholarships:
Take time with your essays. Although writing multiple essays for various scholarships can seem tedious, this is the part where you really shed light on who you are! Essays provide a great opportunity to include your personal touch on whatever generic topic you are assigned. Be thorough, be creative!
Follow the application guidelines to the tee! Something as simple as not following application guidelines may kick you out of the running to receive the scholarship. Assure to keep track of the specific rules when filling out each application. It may help to make a second copy of the application where you can highlight and make notes of these rules for yourself while filling out the other copy that you will be sending.
Print out a calendar and mark what application is due, when. This will provide you will a visual aid to ensure you are getting everything done for each application. This will also assist in making sure you don’t miss any due dates.
Apply, apply, apply! Don’t exclude any options because you are fearful that you won’t be chosen. Apply for everything and anything that you can!
If you would like to apply for the Teen with a Dream scholarship please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org !
Today’s inspirational story features two truly adorable and strong little ones, Violet [4yr] + Juniper [3yr]. The two met during their treatment for retinoblastoma at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
When they were granted their Make-a-Wish, the two had a similar choices. Violet was the first to go to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland. When it was Juniper’s time to pick her “wish”, who better than her dearest friend Violet, to tell her that fabulous news!
Watch the viral video now + you can read more about this inspiring story here!
Visualization is a self-guided therapeutic technique that can be done alone or with the help of a trained professional. Today we want to share a few basic guidelines in order to effectively practice visualization. Before that, lets discuss what this therapeutic technique can help with…
Visualization can help with:
Getting through a procedure.
Coping with Trauma.
Distancing yourself from negative feelings, memories, or people.
Basic steps to take while practicing visualization:
Utilize all of your sense. This is extremely important and will help with your mental images.
Be present. Make sure to not take the back seat during your visualization journey. Be the driver.
Keep a Journal of your experiences. Log your experiences: what worked? What did not? This would be the perfect type of thing to put in your journal we discussed last tuesday!
Practice! This type of self guided therapeutic technique may take some time to master, or cater to your needs.
Yesterday, we discussed kid friendly body cleanses, so today we would like to share another physical cleanse. Bath time is something that every parent accounts for into their schedule- so tonight try this kid friendly detox bath provided by The Paleo Mama.
STEP ONE: Add the Epsom Salt to a tub of hot water
Epsom salt dosage:
For children under 60 lbs, add ½ cup to a standard bath.
For children 60 lbs to 100 lbs, add 1 cup to a standard bath.
For people 100 lbs and up, add 2 cups or more to a standard bath. (source)
STEP TWO: Add the baking soda (optional)
Adding baking soda to a detox bath helps to neutralize the chemicals in the water, especially chlorine. I have well water, so I don’t need to do this. But, if you unsure about your water, or if you know that it is not filtered, then add in some baking soda.
Baking Soda Dosage:
For children under 60 lbs, add ¼th cup to a standard bath.
For children 60 lbs to 100 lbs, add ½ cup to a standard bath.
For people 100 lbs and up, add 1 cup to a standard bath.
STEP THREE: Add the coconut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
The average American family is constantly on the go, from sport’s practices to play dates, it can be easy to rely on fast food. This can be even more difficult when you are adding numerous doctor appointments and treatment days to the equation!
That is why today we would like to share this truly amazing, safe and healthy “Kids Cleanse” from Small Fry Blog! Although there are countless “cleanses” for adults, this resource has provided a rare cleanse for kiddos!
To begin here is what you will need for the cleansing juices:
Follow the entire step-by-step process on Small Fry Blog here!
Sometimes, something as simple as taking a deep breath can make an absolute world of difference. That is why we are excited to share these amazing exercises provided by the Psych Central!
“Five breaths per minute, which is the middle of the resonant breathing rate range”
“Resistance can be created by pursing the lips, placing the tip of the tongue against the inside of the upper teeth, hissing through the clenched teeth, tightening the throat muscles, partly closing the glottis, narrowing the space between the vocal cords, or using an external object such as breathing through a straw”
As you breathe in, imagine you are moving your breath to the top of your head.
As you breathe out, imagine you are moving your breath to the base of your spine, your perineum, your sit bones.
Each time you breathe in, move the breath to the top of the head.
Each time you breathe out, move the breath to the base of the spine.
We have found an awesome and simple craft for you Dream Team Members out there. These DIY Peace Rocks will be the perfect addition to any room and could serve as uplighting reminders on treatment days!
We are still continuing our journey to cleanse our minds of negative thoughts and stress. Today, take a moment to get a little therapeutic art in!
Here is how it works:
Brainstorm a word bank. The words you chose should bring happiness and peace to your mind. These words should relieve tension and help you take a breather when looking at them.
Find some smoothed edged rocks that will allow you have a well enough surface to write on, and even decorate if you would like!
Keep your peace rocks in places where you know you can grab them during stressful times!
When you are living with a cancer diagnosis in your life whether it is yourself, a child, a sibling or friend, it comes with a lot of information to process. That is why today we want to share this novel:
Living with Cancer: Inspirational and Practical Advice for Patients and Their Families (Beyond Miracles)
Just as much as faith and hope are a necessary trait to maintain through out this journey, sometimes you just want someone to point you in the right direction. This “practical” novel, may be able to help you with just that.
Amazon’s Brie Overview
“Written by a psychiatrist who specialises in the treatment of cancer this book includes information on h ow to manage stress & pain, how to communicate with medical staff, what to eat and approaches to alternative medicine an d therapies”
Last Tuesday we discussed steps to emotionally cleanse; today we are featuring another technique to implement in your life to begin to cope with and heal your emotional life: writing.
Why is writing your feelings down important?
“Catharsis” Effect. The term catharsis derives from Greek roots and is defined as “the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions”. Moreover, it is a process of “purging”.
Provides you with the opportunity to be honest. Be keeping a private journal allows you to share what you are thinking and feeling without censoring. This can be vital in order to truly begin to move forward from these feelings.
Organizing, Coping and Healing. By writing your thoughts, emotions, and feelings down on a physical piece of paper allows you to begin to “sift” through this typically overwhelming topics. You are then able to organize and cope with these stressors and ultimately heal from them.
Self Discovery. This process will help you discover/re-discovery who you are.
Tips for Emotional Writing
Designate a particular location that will allow you to feel comfortable, honest and effective while writing.
Be honest! This journal is for your eyes only. By censoring your thoughts/feelings will take away from your end goal: healing.
Do not be overly critical of your writing. Similar to our tip on honesty, this journal is for you.
Make sure to incorporate feelings of happiness and euphoria as well! Although we have primarily discussed writing down moments of stress or chaos, it is important to recognize the moments that bring you happiness as well.
Stick with it. If this process is new to you, or you have always been one to cope through writing, make sure to commit to taking time to write.
As we had mentioned last week during our 10 steps to “Unclutter” your Life post, we want to take today to share ways to get your medical life and paperwork in order to eliminate any extra stress!
We have found two extremely helpful resources to begin this process. First, lets start with this compellation of steps provided by Janice Simon on another Cancer oriented blog:
Make a list. Type a list of your medications and dosages so you have it with you during doctor visits and tests. By creating your list on the computer, you can print it out before leaving your home. You can also write down a list of your medications in a spiral notebook that you take with you to your doctor visits to make notes.
Manage your meds. Use a paper or digital calendar to remind yourself of when to take your medications. Several apps to manage your prescriptions are available for your smartphone, but check out reviews and recommendations from others before downloading them. If you need to track any sort of side effects for your doctor, make a note on the calendar and bring the calendar with you to doctor visits if needed.
Go digital. Get rid of the paper by scanning all of your paperwork into your computer. You can also use a cloud-based app to store your information and pull it from the web no matter where you are. This means your information isn’t stored on your hard drive and won’t be lost if your computer crashes.
Paper filing. If you prefer keeping your paperwork in a paper format, use file folders to organize your papers. You can create a separate folder for the insurance company, prescriptions, each doctor you’re seeing, lab works and medical tests or procedures. If folders are not adequate for the amount of paper you have, use file trays or boxes for each category.
Digital filing. Digital files are easier to manage since you can quickly sort them into digital folders. Like the paper files, you can create separate electronic folders for the insurance company, prescriptions, tests, procedures, lab work and the doctors you’re seeing. Just as you can scan in your paper, you can “drop” those newly-scanned documents into your electronic folders.
Managing others. If you are taking care of other family members as well as yourself, the paperwork can quickly become overwhelming. Using the strategies outlined above, make sure each family member has his or her own medication list, reminders, and paper or digital files. This helps to cut down on confusion. You can even use these tips to manage the medical paperwork for the family pets.
Today begin your organization journey to get all of your medical files in order. This will help you keep track and provide you with more time to focus on the important things.
LIVESTRONG also shares this awesome video that may provide you with other helpful tips.
Happiest of [football] Sundays to you Dream Team! As you know this month we are all about cleansing. We have focused a lot on the mind and spirit, so for today’s nutrition topic we would like to share this awesome series of 34 Clean Eating Recipes from Buzzfeed!
Here is one of our favorites from the list-it is quick, easy and delicious! This would be a great way to start your week off, especially on those pesky treatment days!
The night before: Grab a medium bowl and mash the banana until smooth. Now stir in the chia, oats, cinnamon, milk, and water until combined. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning: Scoop the oat mixture into a medium pot. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat immediately to medium-low, and stir frequently until heated throughout and thickened. At the end of cooking, stir in flax (optional).
Pour oats into bowl. Garnish with your desired toppings.
Check out the full list of 34 Clean Eating Recipes You’ll Actually Want to Eat HERE!