Most of the pages within NACES integrate the Medicine Wheel (Spirit, Body, Emotion, Mind) and some also include "Social" aspects to health and well-being. Although some tribal nations prefer the "Circle of Life" the NACES Team had to select a model and both were important and had similarities. The NACES Team selected the Medicine Wheel and hopes the tribal members who prefer the "Circle of Life" are able to visualize the relatedness to the Circle and still benefit from the Medicine Wheel content on the webpages.
Cancer patients of all cultures typically find great comfort in embracing their individual spirituality. For American Indian and Alaska Native patients, almost all who have been involved with NACES have benefited greatly from their spiritual strengths. Even AIANs who have allowed their spiritual practices to lapse in years prior to the cancer diagnosis, frequently find greater strength, hope, healing and recovery when they become more involved in the spiritual beliefs again.
Your search for resources can have an affect on your body. Also, how your body is feeling during and after cancer treatment can make a difference in your ability to search for the resources you need.
Fighting cancer is very hard on the body. The work it takes to get some of the resources you need can be extra hard on top of that.
Some of the possible side effects of cancer and cancer treatment on the body that can make it difficult to search for resources are:
Each of these side effects and others can interfere with your search for resources. For example:
There are things you can do to help make the search for resources easier on your body.
Emotions during the cancer experience can fluctuate quickly and frequently (happy to be alive to feeling anxious or stressed, depressed and frightened or lonely to hopeful and calm). Emotions affect how your body reacts to others and how it reacts to cancer treatments. Talking with the local traditional healer or a counselor has helped may AIAN cancer patients help their emotions regain balance.
Cancer treatments, especially some combinations of chemo drugs, can affect how clearly you are able to focus or concentrate. You also may have memory issues or experience bouts of confusion. These are side effects from the cancer treatments. These side effects will gradually lessen, but some, such as "chemo brain" or foggy feelings you have in your brain can take 2 years to subside. Let your traditional healers and Western Medicine healthcare providers know you are having these issues.