“You have breast cancer,” is scary for any woman to hear no matter her age or race. We’re the glue that holds everything together – no time for a medical crisis. When faced with hardships, the true spirit of what it means to be a woman will shine through the darkness.
From the teen years, our breasts have grown up with us: those bosom buddies took us into a wonderful place called womanhood. They have stood strong and done an amazing job, including the ability to feed new lives. While there is no set prescription or timetable if you suffer breast loss, how you approach recovery sets the stage for healing.
Where do you start?
Having breast cancer leaves so many unanswered questions that way heavily on our mind. Spending time and energy about what you could have done won’t change the fact it’s time to take control by putting on those boxing gloves and fight like a girl. Cancercare.org offers tips to start emotionally healing:
- Share your feelings: it can be a comfort for you and the people who care about you
- Be specific: if you need a ride to appointments, be sure to ask for help
- Take steps to look and feel your best:
- Let yourself feel loved and cared for by family and friends
- Talk to your spouse or partner about the physical closeness you need
- Discuss your concerns with your doctor or nurse.
Coping your way!
As women, part of our uniqueness comes from the ability to handle tough life events. Even as resilient warriors ask advice from loved ones, caregivers and your cancer care team. This will boost your strength to push forward. The Mayo Clinic recommends the following coping skills:
- Practice relaxation techniques
- Keep a journal to help organize your thoughts
- When faced with difficult decisions list the pros and cons for each choice
- Find a source of spiritual support
- Set aside time to be alone
- Remain involved with work and leisure activities as much as you can
Treat the whole person
Thanks to advances in medicine and an all-embracing view of providing both physical and emotional support for patients, breast cancer treatment takes a whole person approach to recovery. One of the foremost programs available is the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program (DCPSP). They offer a variety of programs including:
- Cancer Survivorship Clinic
- Cancer Nutrition
- Exercise Consults
- Physical and Occupational Therapy
- Tai Chi Classes
- Self-Image Support Services
A breast cancer diagnosis does not define the incredible woman you are. Those who love and admire you remain committed to sharing in this journey. It’s time to cross the finish line of recovery and ring that bell loud and proud!
The information on this site is intended to raise awareness and understanding of specific health issues. It should not be used for diagnosis or a substitute for health care by your physician.