Taking Care Of Yourself With Cancer
Cancer obviously brings up many emotions for the person going through the experience. Breast cancer, in particular, causes a woman to evaluate her sexuality and appeal. It is a challenge to continue to feel beautiful, centered and in control through cancer. Here are some suggestions for this difficult time.
Allow For Emotions
You don't have to put on a brave, happy face each day while dealing with cancer. It's alright to cry, to have trouble getting out of bed, and to look to others for support through this period. Your emotions will probably feel like a huge roller coaster as you'll find yourself scared, angry, guilty, happy and more. If you enjoy the comfort, reach out to other people or organizations who have gone through a similar experience. Join a cancer support group; visit a religious professional; talk to a social worker.
Keep A Journal
For many people, it can be very helpful to keep a journal during this period. You will be free to write anything and everything. You don't need to censor yourself in any way. You can use it to remind yourself of positive things in your life, to vent, to draw pictures, and to work through your feelings. Buy yourself the prettiest journal that you can find and enjoy great pens, a terrific box of crayons and anything else that will help you to enjoy the process.
Stick To Healthy Routine
Most people do better when they are attached to some type of routine in their lives. Even if you've taken a break from work and have time to burn, try to create a routine for yourself that will allow you to feel in control. Build in a few hours a week to exercise with some type or routine that you can enjoy. Schedule reading and relaxing time; make a date for breakfast with a friend every week. Take a nap at the same time each afternoon. Certainly, you may find that you need to change your routine sometimes, and you may need to cancel appointments if you're having a hard day. Having the routine in place, however, helps to create a feeling of control and purpose.
You'll certainly want to be educated about your disease. The more that you know about the disease, your specific situation and your treatment options, the more you'll feel in control. You can find out a great deal about breast cancer online, at the library, through your doctors, and through others who have experience with this disease. Keep accurate records for yourself of all of your treatments. Make sure that you are taking your medications. Feel comfortable demanding things from your doctors and asking a lot of questions.
Nurture Your Body and Your Soul
It's not always easy to continue to feel beautiful with breast cancer. Try to nurture your body as much as you can. Enjoy a massage; buy a beautiful wig if your hair falls out; go swimming each week; enjoy watching the sunrise. Find ways to continue to nurture your spirit and your body while undergoing this traumatic experience. You deserve the physical, emotional and spiritual nurturing in whatever form you choose to enjoy it.
Lean On Those You Love
You don't want to feel like a burden during this time. However, people really do want you to lean on them and they are hoping that you will. Get rid of those feelings of guilt, of being a burden and of feeling uncomfortable being dependent. You have a right, and a need, during this time to get your emotional support and help from those around you. Don't be shy to rely on others and to ask for help when you need it.