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Last January, my husband and I were in a waiting room on our first visit to Moffitt. My husband had been diagnosed with cancer of the jaw and was facing extensive surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. The previous 10 months had been rough for us. My mother died; I had a heart attack and had been told I needed surgery. I knew I needed to do something to protect myself from the effects of the mounting stress. Regular exercise, though helpful, was not enough.

A flyer in the waiting room offered a weekly meditation class at Moffitt for patients and caregivers. I began attending regularly. Soon I was involved in yoga classes as well as additional classes on mindfulness and meditation, all at Moffitt. I learned about living in the moment, enjoying simple tasks, and counting the many blessings that occur daily.

I became less focused on things that could go wrong in the future. I listened to guided meditations to help me sleep and morning meditations to help me start the day on a positive note.

In May, after my husband had had his surgery and was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, I was preparing for my own surgery. I could not believe that I felt good in the midst of all of this. I was sleeping well. I was stronger, less stressed and happier. Now in September, I continue to attend meditation classes and meditate at home. I am much more confident that I can handle whatever bumps occur on the road ahead.

Editor’s note: The author of this article chose to remain anonymous

Content for this story is from PARTNERS spring 2017; a newsletter of the Patient and Family Advisory Program. For more information about the Patient and Family Advisory Program, please email or call 813-745-1390.