The defeat of breast cancer is a monumental achievement, but sometimes the aftermath isn’t what survivors expect. You carry physical and emotional scars that require healing and you’ll need to continue fighting each day for the life you want to have. Surviving Life After Breast Cancer is a journey of coming out of the darkness and being as gentle with yourself as possible.
4 Tips for Surviving Life After Breast Cancer
You knew you’d be in for a battle when you received your diagnosis of breast cancer. Everything you read online, heard from survivors, and were instructed by the doctors indicated you were in for a tough fight.
Four Tips for Living Your Best Life After Cancer
But what nobody may have told you is how much energy is required to keep fighting after the many treatments and/or surgery. It’s a different kind of campaign, but a vital one nonetheless. Here’s how you can push through this phase and live your best life.
- Have Open Conversations
It’s imperative that you don’t bottle up your emotions and attempt to handle them on your own. You knew that during treatment, but it’s just as valid now.
Open dialogue with your family and friends will help you heal and sort through the emotional baggage you’ve been carrying all these months or years. Conversations also help your friends and family, because they have been affected by your cancer as well.
Inviting dialogue gives others a chance to say the things they might have been holding inside. It’s good for everyone, and can create a fresh foundation on which to build your future relationships. Life after breast cancer will have a lot to do with your relationship with yourself and with others.
- Give Yourself Time to Return to Normal
Being cleared by your medical team to return to normal activities and actually returning to them are separate activities. Just because you can do something, that doesn’t always mean you should. You need to give yourself time to return to normal.
Whether it’s your job, social obligations, parent responsibilities, or sex life, you may need weeks or months to feel sufficiently comfortable and strong to get back into your pre-cancer routines. In fact, you might not ever return to the same array of activities.
Take your time and figure out what you’re capable of, emotionally and physically. The people around you will understand.
- Consider Breast Augmentation
From a physical perspective, many women feel less confident about themselves after breast cancer. If you’re looking for more body confidence and want to appear younger and healthier, you might consider breast augmentation.
Though you may have already received some kind of breast implant if you underwent a mastectomy, you might not be entirely satisfied with the result. Further augmentation may raise your self-esteem to a more solid and lasting level.
- Help Others Who Are Fighting Cancer
One of the best ways you can heal, yet also help others who are dealing with breast cancer, is to be open with your story. It’s empowering to help others, and you can use that as much as they.
“Whether you’re looking for advice and strength from others, or are ready to share your experience with patients who have just started their cancer journeys, getting social is key,” Northwestern Medicine asserts.
“Reaching out to the community is a great way to gain confidence, find support and possibly even help others. While your own story is completely unique and personal, there are certain thoughts, feelings, fears and emotions that many breast cancer patients can benefit from sharing.”
Thriving After Breast Cancer Survival
When you beat cancer, you’ll feel a weight has been lifted. You feel as if you’ve been given a second chance and you need to make the most of it.
But a clear diagnosis doesn’t mean everything in your life thereafter will inevitably be great. Cancer might be behind you, but other challenges remain. Address them head on and you’ll thrive.
Jenna is a freelance writer from Renton, WA who is particularly interested in travel, nature, and parenting. Follow her on Twitter.