In your experience with breast cancer, you may have faced many challenges, overcome
many hurdles, and learned a lot—about yourself and about your disease.
Still, a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer can come as a shock. Here are some
coping strategies and suggestions you may find helpful.
Understand your emotions
Accepting the fact that you have
metastatic breast cancer can be difficult. Along with acceptance comes a range of other
emotions, including anger, fear, loneliness, guilt, and worry. The following tips may
help you deal with these emotions:
- Learn about your condition and current treatment options. Ask questions
to your doctor or nurse. The more you know about your options, the better equipped
you and your family will be to make informed decisions about your metastatic breast cancer treatment and overall
health. You may even feel more in control
- If you feel angry, don't pretend everything is OK. Talk it out,
even if it's difficult for you to open up. Talking may help you feel better. You
may also want to reach out to groups and organizations that offer support or counseling
to women with breast cancer and their loved ones. Often, hospitals (or your doctor's
office) will have a list of local organizations that can help. A social worker,
counselor, or member of the clergy may be a good resource
- Write down your thoughts and feelings. Keeping a journal allows
you the freedom to express emotions that might otherwise be kept inside. Consider
using it throughout the day to write down personal reflections, words of inspiration,
or things that brought you joy
Communication is key
Your health care team is a valuable resource when it comes to managing your condition.
It’s important that you keep your team informed when it comes to how you are feeling.
This means learning how to communicate
effectively with your health care team. You can do this by taking an active
role in your treatment, staying informed, and asking questions.
Stick to a healthy routine
Being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, and the many decisions associated
with it, may leave you feeling overwhelmed. Here are some ways to cope:
- Look beyond your cancer. Staying busy may help you feel better
- Eat a healthy diet. If you are having trouble eating, work with
your doctor or nurse to find ways to keep up your strength and energy
- Find time to exercise. There are several benefits to exercising
on a regular basis. Physical activity can help you stay fit and add to your overall
well-being. Please consult your doctor before trying a new exercise
- Don’t overdo it. Rest helps give your body the strength it needs.
Get more sleep, and nap during the day whenever you are tired
- Take care of you, not just your body. Take joy in the
simple things life has to offer—a beautiful sunrise, the feeling of clay between
your fingers, the smell of fresh-cut grass. Nurturing yourself isn’t a luxury; it’s
something you deserve
- Maintain a sense of order. It can be difficult to keep up with
the growing number of medical records, phone numbers, and scheduled appointments
associated with your diagnosis and treatment. Try keeping them in one place, where
you can be sure to find them when needed