Hearing you have breast cancer is devastating and will bring up tons of different emotions and concerns. How the treatment will affect your body and the long-term outcome will be some of the biggest priorities, but there will be other concerns, too. It’s overwhelming news, and you’ll have many things to sort out while taking care of your health.
It’s important to check in with yourself and make sure you have ways to cope with a breast cancer diagnosis, both physically and emotionally.
Ask for Help
Don’t try to handle everything on your own, even though you may want to. It’s important to reach out to loved ones for support. Asking for help is difficult for many people, but the treatments will leave you ill and exhausted. And there will be hurdles you’ll have to accomplish that you might not have encountered before, such as knowing what to look for when buying a wig. Be kind to yourself and reach out for help.
When you do reach out to family and friends, be specific about what you need. Do you need them to run errands, or do you need to vent to them? Being direct about what you need will help limit frustrations for you and them. A health crisis can strain relationships since you and your partner are in new roles as patient and caregiver. They may not know what you need, and even though their intentions are good, having clear communication can ease any tension.
There will be effects on your body. Chemotherapy, lumpectomy or mastectomy, and early menopause can make women with breast cancer feel uncomfortable or insecure about their bodies. Do what you need to make yourself feel better. That can involve physical things like finding fun wigs or scarves for your hair loss or talking to your partner about how the changes in your physical appearance are making you feel about intimacy. Just make sure that you feel loved and cared for.
There are ways to cope with a breast cancer diagnosis, but it will still be an emotional rollercoaster. Rely on friends and family for support, and trust that you can get through this!