Kristian Finstad on How to Stay Healthy and Happy During Cancer Treatment
In 2017 46-year-old entrepreneur and investor, Kristian Finstad, fell ill. Despite being rushed to hospital, doctors were still uncertain what was wrong with him. After making a gradual improvement, the father of two travelled to the UK to visit a world-renowned haematologist he’d seen in the past.
As a young child, Kristian donated blood and bone marrow to his older brother who was suffering with Leukaemia and sadly didn’t survive. Alas, the haematologist delivered Kristian with the devastating blow; he had a rare type of mutated acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
This was the start of Kristian’s cancer journey; taking large doses of Prednisolone and dealing with life-crippling side effects like gout, mobility issues and memory loss.
But Kristian was determined not to suffer the same fate as his brother. Through embarking on a series of wellness-enhancing lifestyle changes, Kristian discovered the importance of staying healthy and happy whilst suffering with cancer.
From overcoming feelings of isolation to nourishing your wellbeing, here Kristian shares his inspirational ways to cultivate a nourished body and mind, and how to stay healthy during cancer treatment.
Surround yourself with positivity
“Positivity isn’t just a mindset, it’s literally about what and who you surround yourself with. Without sounding like a cliché, I removed all negative and toxic people from my life. I spend as much time as I can with my children and embraced improvement.
By cultivating a mindset of calm acceptance and an ‘I’m not gonna let this get the better of me’ attitude, it’s enabled me to regain control of my life and business.”
Nourish your body and support your recovery by eating well
“It’s a no brainer that eating well leads to good health and this is never more relevant than when going through cancer. Chemotherapy devastates your immune system, so I support it by eliminating refined sugars, processed food and GMOs. I eat as many organic fruit and vegetables as I can, along with farm-to-table foods and fresh fish. I also drink lots of herbal teas.
Studies have shown that a healthy diet can significantly minimise the risk of cancer, so by flooding your body with vital vitamins, minerals and proteins, you’re turbocharging your strength and energy levels to help fight cancer.”
Keep moving (even if it’s just in moderation)
“When you’re battling cancer, exercise can seem unappealing. Undertaking as much (or little) physical activity as you can is profoundly beneficial, however. A growing body of research shows that it improves mental and physical health during treatment.
No matter what, I make sure I go for daily walks whether inside my home or hospital. When I can, I like to swim and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of Infrared saunas.”
Feelings of isolation are normal, but maintain good relationships for support
“When I first got sick, it affected everything – my work life, memory and mental state. As my life seemingly fell apart, my business crashed. I felt isolated and withdrew. I didn’t share anything with those close to me, I pushed them away, and felt I didn’t have anyone to talk to.
After a while, I managed to open up again and welcomed my nearest and dearest back into my life which was literally a lifesaver.
When you’re undergoing this rollercoaster journey by yourself (and no one else can understand the chemo-brain induced forgetfulness or joint pain!) it’s completely normal to feel alone.
The key is to find someone you trust and respect to open up to. Explain what you’re physically and mentally enduring rather than close off and you’ll treasure that support network.”