Thought bubbles contain various ways of self-care, from reading and taking a bath to crafting, watching movies, and talking to others.

Community Views: What Does Self-Care Look Like for People With Bladder Cancer?

Last updated: October 2022

Self-care is an important part of living with any condition, including cancer. Research has shown that it can reduce time spent in the hospital and improve survival rates.1

Some people living with bladder cancer and survivors practice self-care as part of managing their condition. But many others do not practice self-care or aren't sure how to do it.

We reached out to our community on Facebook and asked, "How can someone with bladder cancer practice self-care?" Below are some of their ideas.

Do something that helps you relax

Finding ways to relax is an essential way of taking care of yourself. This can look different for each person. Some people read a book or watch a movie. Others practice meditation or go for a short walk.

If you are living with bladder cancer, relaxing and reducing stress can help with managing treatment side effects. It also can help speed up recovery after treatment.1

"I am not a massive reader unless I am on vacation, but in the last few years, I have found getting lost in a book for a few hours is a great way to have some me time."

"I learned to crochet and enjoyed following crafters on Facebook, such as The Shabby Tree. I read books, have gotten into plants."

"I find putting my mobile phone on silent mode and enjoying a Sunday afternoon film, and a cocktail with my husband is therapeutic and often the self-help I need for several scenarios."

Pamper yourself

Going to a spa or doing an activity that allows you to have some "you" time can be a great way of taking care of yourself. You can also pamper yourself at home.

Pampering yourself can help you relax and de-stress. It can help take your mind off any thoughts or worries related to cancer.

"Getting my nails and toenails polished. Using good lotions, getting an updated haircut, watching a good series, indoor seasonal decorating."

"Enjoy time at a spa for relaxation. Men too!"

"Do what you love, splurge once in a while. Plan a fun day or weekend trip."

"Reduce your inflammation... Less stress, pamper yourself."

Stay active and eat well

Exercising and eating well can help people with bladder cancer manage treatment side effects and reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can improve cancer survivors' overall health. Your doctor or nutritionist can suggest physical activities and nutritious meals.1,2

"I'm pleased I joined a very affordable weight loss group. I get out of the house and go to meetings once a week."

"Taking time to carefully prepare ingredients to produce a healthy meal to nourish both my body and mind is good for the soul indeed."

Take care of your mental health

A big part of self-care is caring for your mental health. Taking a break from thinking about cancer can be helpful. Or some people write down their thoughts or worries to let them go. Sometimes reflecting on what you are grateful for can help you focus on any positives in your life at the moment.

"Plan things with family and friends where the subject of cancer is not allowed. Don't let cancer control your mind and body, or it will."

"Write down any concerns before bed to allow for a good night's sleep."

"When everything in my world gets too much, I take myself for a walk by the water, close to my home. It allows me to clear my head. To let go of thoughts crowding my mind and see things clearer. I find it spiritually cleansing."

"Focus on the positive half-full glass and not what might be and possibly never will be."

"If I take a step back to be grateful for the life my surgery afforded me, it helps put things in perspective."

Find purpose

For one of our Patient Leaders, raising awareness about bladder cancer and being part of the BladderCancer.net community is their form of self-care.

"Since being a Patient Advocate, working on many different initiatives through my social media advocacy work, the work with BladderCancer.net... And also my work with the UK Bladder Cancer Charity and engaging with Congress, I have realized that in some ways, raising awareness is my self-care.

I find, in particular, the work with BladderCancer.net so rewarding. It does provide a type of therapy when I need a break from my day job. It gives purpose to life in a way my day job never will."

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