There are so many times when we find ourselves overwhelmed, stressed, and just utterly exhausted during a breast cancer diagnosis. Every day seems to bring a new ache or concern, but there are a few tricks we can all use to be gentle to ourselves.
1. Acknowledge that your titles are yours to name
If you don’t like the terms "survivor" or "warrior," then don’t use them – and be bold enough to request that of your community as well. You can determine how you want to be identified, or not at all! If your diagnosis and situation are things you’d prefer never to be addressed, then give people a gracious avenue to exit from ever talking about them again: “Oh, thank you for your concern. I’m doing well and will let you know if anything comes up that I need.”
2. Don’t stop positive health/mental care routines
You might have to tailor this for your new body structure or medicinal side effects. If you enjoy yoga, don’t fight against yourself if you are only able to do it for 5 minutes at a time – just try to adjust your mental attitude to celebrate those 5 minutes of hard work. Are you only able to walk very slowly, and for just a little while? Do that, and realize that it is something that can increase when your body is ready. Find ways to boost your mental health, no matter how small. Stand in the sunshine for a while, look at the small flower outside of your window, marvel at the intricacy of a snowflake, or just binge your favorite show while eating chocolate!
"Find ways to boost your mental health, no matter how small. Stand in the sunshine for just a while, look at the small flower outside of your window, marvel at the intricacy of a snowflake… or just binge your favorite show while eating chocolate!"
This is crucial; share what you think, feel, and need. Share with your health care team – they are busy, yes, but they do care deeply and have myriad resources for you. Don’t hesitate to connect with your religious leader, if you have one. There are also communities online with your exact diagnosis on a global scale. This means that there is someone able to chat with you 24/7 and offer ideas and suggestions, or just listen.
Help us invest in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer by purchasing limited edition Wild Pink scrubs from Skechers by Barco. A portion of all proceeds will go to Susan G. Komen®. See website for more details.