Breast cancer is an illness that weakens the mind and affects the survivor and their loved ones so much. It is our main responsibility to support someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer with words and actions.
Offer your full support, because it will mean everything to the one suffering. Cancer survivors need care and attention so that they don’t feel like they’re losing everything in life.
But if you are diagnosed with breast cancer, here are 7 things we want you to know;
7 – You’re not alone
You’re actually in the group of over 3 million breast cancer survivors in the United States alone!
And millions of friends and family members who went to appointments, washed, nursed, cooked, carpooled, and so much more while their loved one was suffering from breast cancer. Thousands of women across the world go through breast cancer every day, and many of them survive this.
6 – It’s not the end of the world
Whatever fears you may have, you should know that your condition doesn’t automatically mean that your life is coming to an end; it does not mean that you will lose your career or your home.
Don’t make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions. Breast cancer is just going to be a chapter in your life, not even the whole story.
There’s going to be a time in life when you think everything is over but that’s going to be the beginning.
You’re stronger than you think, braver than you seem, smarter than you imagine, and twice as stunning as you’d ever imagined.
5 – There is always something new to learn
When it comes to breast cancer, knowledge is power. By being properly educated about your condition, counselling and follow-up treatment, you can feel more control of your life again, improve treatment satisfaction, increase your confidence in decision-making, reduce your anxiety, and improve your ability to cope with diagnosis and treatment.
So the next time you’re going for a doctor’s appointment, get a pen and a paper and consider asking the following questions;
- What support services are available for me?
- What is the chance of the cancer coming back? Should I monitor specific signs or symptoms?
- Based on the cancer treatment I received, what long-term side effects or late effects are possible?
- What would my follow-up care plan be after my treatment ends?
- How often do I need to see a doctor?
- How do I make sure that I continue my recommended follow-up care schedule if I move or need to switch doctors?
- What follow-up tests do I need, and how often do I need those tests?
- Can I get copies of my results from the laboratory test?
- Who will monitor my follow-up care?
4 – The fear
Breast cancer recurrence is absolutely normal. Many women are worried they will have cancer or that it will come back after their breast cancer treatment ends. In breast cancer survivors, fear of recurrence is very common.
Majority of all survivors face some fear, but in 20-50%, the fear is clinically significant and has a profound impact on their lives.
The reality is that breast cancer can recur, and also spread to other areas of the body. This is why visiting your health care provider on a regular basis after treatment is important.
3 – Healthy choices are the key
Getting to a healthy weight, being physically active, eating a healthy diet, and staying away from tobacco and alcohol may help reduce your risk of breast cancer.
Research has shown that survivors of breast cancer who consume diets rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish appear to live longer than those who eat diets with more refined sugars, fats, red meats, and processed meats such as hot dogs.
Studies have found a clear link between physical activity and a lower risk of breast cancer among breast cancer survivors. Physical activity has also been associated with changes in quality of life, physical function, and reduced signs of fatigue. So, healthy choices go a long way!
2 – It’s alright to ask for help
Your experience with breast cancer may have brought a whirlwind of emotions – pain, shock, fear, anxiety, denial, sorrow, frustration, anger, depression.
It can be overwhelming to think about insurance, finances or seek services. That is why there are organizations and services that provide funding, help and guidance. So, asking for help is OK!
1 – Spread the love
And lastly, spread the love today to those who were with you as you battled breast cancer, but if you start to feel depressed, go read inspiring stories from people who have been right where you are. Then you will be grateful, inspired, and will know you are not alone.