Cancer is just a word. It cannot have my mental health . A breast cancer diagnosis comes laden with questions, negative thoughts, fears, anxiety, and a host of different emotions. Give yourself time to let this diagnosis sink-in. Be kind to yourself! Give yourself time to grieve. It may seem overwhelming. You may think this is ordained and there is nothing you can do but lay-down and allow things to happen you. Sure, you cannot control the disease that’s ravaging your body. However, you are not powerless. You can control two of the most powerful tools you have, your mind and thoughts. It is essential that you recognize your power and move forward. That is easy to say, and I understand. I went through the tough battles, low moments, the pain, and sickness myself. I want you to recognize how to help yourself sooner than I did.
The best prescription is to stay positive. I know Rome is falling! For your health you must stay positive! Studies have shown that keeping a cheerful outlook does not change prognosis. Positivity does affect your well-being and could positively affect your treatment. Researchers from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center say that patients who had emotional issues such as anxiety, depression, low optimism, or lack of social support before a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) had a higher risk for hospital readmission and stayed longer when they were readmitted compared to those in better overall mental health. There are many other studies that show outlook will determine your well-being and quality of life.
Some tips to follow:
- Recognize and be honest about what you’re feeling
- Talk about your feelings with a trusted loved one
- Seek out cancer support groups Have Questions?
- Eat a balanced, nutritious diet
- Get plenty of sleep
- Take a nap
- Engage in physical activity (e.g., walking, swimming)
- Try relaxation techniques, such as meditation, mindfulness, breathwork, or yoga
- Write your feelings down in a journal
- Look for positive experiences—whether that’s with a beloved pet, friends, or a solo activity that brings joy
- Talk to your healthcare providers if your feelings of depression and/or anxiety persist
- Enjoy your personal hobbies
Have experiences that will make you laugh, cry, or yell out!