When the Doctor Tells You – You Have Breast Cancer
A cancer diagnosis often comes with little warning and confronting your own mortality after a breast cancer diagnosis, may leave you feeling anxious, afraid, overwhelmed and wondering how you will be able to cope during the days ahead. Knowing what to expect and making plans for how to proceed can help make this stressful time easier.
Try to get as much basic and useful information as possible about your cancer diagnosis. Maybe bring a family member or close friend to the first few doctor appointments to help you remember what is said.
Maintaining an honest, two-way communication with your loved ones, doctors and others will help you from feeling isolated so express your emotions and gain strength from each other.
Right after your diagnosis and before you begin treatment — is the best time to plan for changes so begin to prepare yourself so you will be able to cope better later with things like hair loss, drug side effects, etc. Connect with others who have been through the process and ask for any tips that may have helped them and others.
Keep working on your energy level through eating a healthy diet, exercising and getting enough rest to manage the stress and fatigue that cancer and its treatment will bring. Studies suggest that people who maintain some physical exercise during treatment not only cope better, but may also live longer.
This is a time to determine what’s really important in your life and a time to do the things that are most fulfilling and give you the most meaning. Try to find new openness with loved ones and share your thoughts and feelings with them.
Learning to accept help from those who care about you, will give them a sense of making a contribution at a difficult time. A cancer diagnosis affects the entire family and even your close friends.
On the other side of things, remember ~ it’s the small acts of kindness that matter most when it’s about a family member or friend who has been diagnosed with Cancer.
- Do their grocery shopping and their dishes
- Do they need help getting to the doctor?
- Cook a meal.
Be there for them after the initial shock has worn off and throughout the process of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy. Many times we get busy and forget that for a friend with cancer, that can mean feeling abandoned to deal with the aftermath.
Encourage. Listen. Hug. Love.