If you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, chances are that your world is spinning with facts, figures and various scary stories about medical mishaps.
With words like “chemotherapy” and “terminal illness” being used in your direction, it’s no wonder that you might be feeling a little more than afraid of the things to come.
If you’ve been feeling as though your mental health was under threat following your breast cancer diagnosis, you’ve come to the right place. This article will explore a few of the ways that you can ensure your own sanity in the wake of a breast cancer diagnosis.
Breast cancer patients: a few essentials you will need
- A group of supportive friends: While life may throw you a few curveballs during the course of your cancer treatment, you can be sure that with a group of supportive friends you will be just fine. Rally your support structure around yourself and take advantage of any offers of help of support when they are made. This means accepting dinner offers when you are ill, babysitting offers when needed and of course the odd cup of tea and a shoulder to cry on should it be needed.
- Uplifting breast cancer books: Sure, your neighbor or medical professional might be all too keen to share horror stories with you, but you need to surround yourself with positive messages and stories about cancer. Find books about alternative healing, stories about survival against the odds and any other positive reading material you can. Surrounding yourself with positive messages has a huge impact on your mental well-being!
- Your sense of humor: Sure, in the beginning you might not find much to laugh about but when it comes to surviving cancer; your sense of humor is your greatest weapon. Use in conjunction with your friends and you have a recipe for good mental health, no matter what course your cancer treatment takes.
Supporting a friend with breast cancer
Even if you aren’t the one who is suffering the impact of cancer, you probably want to lend your support in any way possible. This can be a bit easier said than done though, as you never really know exactly what kind of support your friend needs. As someone who has seen the devastating effects of breast cancer first hand, I can tell you that even the presence of a well-meaning friend can be a huge comfort.
Cancer can separate your real friends from those fair-weather friends we all have… But when it comes to showing your support, the best thing you can do is to be there. Go along to chemotherapy sessions, lend a hand in whatever practical ways you can think of and try to be a positive presence in whatever way you can.
Breast cancer isn’t a death sentence anymore. Many women go on to lead cancer free lives; you just need to ensure you have a solid support structure behind you, and every item on the breast cancer mental health checklist available to you, and you too can smile your way into remission.