January 10, 2023
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Photography by Guille Faingold/Stocksy United
Taking care of your mental and physical health is crucial throughout your journey, especially as you navigate the first few months of your diagnosis.
When you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, it can take a long time to process the news and feelings that come with it. You may feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster of anger, grief, confusion, and hope — or even feeling them all at the same time.
Starting treatment can be as equally complicated to navigate. The choices, treatments, and side effects can all be overwhelming.
Taking care of your mental health, like practicing extra self-love and kindness, is very important throughout your journey.
Members of the breast cancer community understand the emotions behind starting treatment because they’ve been there themselves. Here are their tips to take care of your mental and physical health during the process:
“I will never forget what one of my nurses told me. She said, ‘This isn’t your mother’s or grandmother’s breast cancer treatment. Treatments have improved tremendously over the years, and you detected an issue early.’ That stuck with me.
We are lucky enough to be able to detect breast cancer early and treat it with advanced therapies. I felt I was in good hands.” — Christina Thomsen, Bezzy BC Facebook member
“Hydrate and move! I walked throughout my entire treatment. Not only great for you physically but mentally as well. Movement helps you heal faster, in my opinion.” — Jil Wentz Tarman, Bezzy BC Facebook member
“Do not over ‘Google.’ Only read information from professional websites.” — Suzanne D’Ambrose, Bezzy BC Facebook member
“Communicate with your doctor about what you’re experiencing, especially if you’re having side effects that aren’t well controlled. Your doctor can change your medications, but she has to know what is or isn’t working for you.” — Anne Fullerton, Bezzy BC Facebook member
“Finding support was so helpful for me. In 2018 I relied on a friend who is a 10-year survivor, and she was so compassionate and generous with her time and experiences.
In 2019 I wanted to provide women with the same support my friend provided. So, I trained, and now volunteer for the ACS Reach to Recovery, ABCD, After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, and the Firefly Sisterhood.” — Christina99, Bezzy BC Community member
“Don’t forget to feel whatever you need to at any time you need to feel it. Breathe. And dress up; I’ve found when I look good, I feel even better.” — Stephia E, Bezzy BC Community member
“Keep all the poop pills handy: The ones that make you go, stop the go, ease the go. You never know how your bowels will react to treatment.” — Katie Peters, Bezzy BC Facebook member
“Get outside in the fresh air whenever possible.” — Brenda Kurincak-Ferek, Bezzy BC Facebook member
Navigating treatment can be daunting, but you’re not alone. Your care team, friends, family, and fellow Bezzy BC community members are all on this journey with you.
To hear more advice from people who’ve been there, visit the Treatment and Side Effects forum.
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