Besides some kinds of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the US. It is likely that you or someone you know has been affected by breast cancer in some way. We always hear about the physical toll it takes, but what about the mental and emotional effects? Maintaining a good mental state is an important part of the fight, and in today’s blog we will be discussing ways to stay mentally fit when dealing with breast cancer.
It is important to remember that you are not fighting this alone. Family and friends are here to support you. It is also important to note though that they may not know how to help. Let them know what they can do to support you–whether it be a chat over brunch, help around the house, babysitting the kids while you’re in treatment–be clear in what would be helpful to you and when.
We’ve all been told not to keep our emotions bottled up, and while they can be difficult to talk about at first, it can also bring comfort. Humans are naturally social creatures, so keeping to yourself can contribute to feeling down. Schedule time together with friends or family! That doesn’t always mean going out and about, but could mean a phone call to catch up. This will also keep you accountable to maintaining a social life while undergoing this ordeal.
Cancer is in no way a “fun” experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the best of it. In most cases, women lose their hair during chemo treatments – which can feel uncomfortable and take a toll on your self-confidence. Don’t let it get you down though–you are going through a serious time in your life and are so incredibly strong! There are a couple of ways to make this fight seem not so daunting when it comes to your appearance and self-confidence. Ever wanted to go blonde? Now you can! With wigs, hats or scarves, the possibilities are endless. Even better, embrace your bald head. You are a fighter and not alone in this fight, so just know you are beautiful no matter how you choose to work your appearance. Wear things that make you feel stronger, like a Superman shirt or a necklace with a symbol of your faith. Your physical appearance will change throughout your fight, but there are ways to feel more comfortable and confident in who you are.
Ask for Help
In the midst of everything you are trying to do and accomplish, make sure to take time for your own mental health. This fight that you are going through is tough and draining at times, therefore making sure you are in the best state doesn’t mean just physically, but mentally as well. Support groups, therapists, and doctors are always there to help. Local groups like Pink Ribbon Girls are a great example of groups who provide help to breast cancer patients and their families. Also, most hospitals, especially cancer treatment centers, have excellent resources, you just need to ask. Just don’t forget: you are not a burden, people want to help you get through this!
Those diagnosed with cancer will run through emotions ranging from stress to fear, and may experience anxiety or depression. These feelings have a large impact on your psychological health, in turn affecting physical health. Decreases in these negative feelings will be beneficial in your fight. Don’t beat yourself up if you cannot bring yourself to be upbeat or happy all the time. Breast cancer at any stage can be incredibly emotional. Sometimes the best way to move past these emotions is to let them out. To schedule a mammogram or discuss your health in general, schedule an appointment at any of our three locations.