Coping with metastatic breast cancer
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.
Be sure to talk to your doctor about treatment options that are
appropriate for you.
Understand your emotions
Accepting the fact that you have metastatic breast cancer can be difficult. Although denial can initially help you adjust to your diagnosis, it can be problematic if it lasts too long and prevents you from getting needed medical care. Many people are able to cope effectively with their initial feelings and move on. 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 of 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
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.
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- 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
FASLODEX is a prescription medicine used to treat hormone receptor-positive breast cancer in women who have gone through menopause whose disease has spread after treatment with antiestrogen medicine.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: You should not receive FASLODEX if you have had an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in FASLODEX. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to FASLODEX may include itching, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, or trouble breathing.
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