The changing of seasons is here and it is finally October. Pink ribbons start to appear around the country in hopes to raise awareness for breast cancer prevention and to honor the survivors. Below are five things we want to make sure you know, and remember every day.
You are never alone.
In fact, you belong to a community of almost 4 million breast cancer survivors just in the U.S! Along with family members and friends who have went the extra mile to care and support you through this journey. They may have comfort you during difficult appointments, helped you clean when you didn’t have the strength, or even cooked your favorite dish. This month is about the challenges you over came and those that helped along the way. Spread love to those who were by your side through the tick and the thin and most importantly, remember you are never alone.
Life as a breast cancer survivor has its own set of challenges, and that’s OK.
Receiving your last radiation treatment or chemotherapy infusion is a cause for celebration for any survivor, and now you’re about to embark on a new leg of the journey. This one is all about adjusting to your “new normal” life. From relationships with your family, to continuing healthy eating habits and easing back into your exercise routine, breast cancer will change your life in ways that last after treatments end. How do you fight constant fatigue? What precautions should you take to help prevent a lapse in remission? Is there something more you can do? These are just a few questions that may hang over your head as you as you make the transition from breast cancer treatment to breast cancer survivor. Feeling isolated, low or anxious are normal and apart of the process. It is always encouraged to express your thoughts, questions and concerns to put your mind at ease.
Recovery is a journey, not a race.
Everyone is excited and ready for your treatments to be over, not just you. Although your coworkers, friends and family members have been supportive through the process, they may expect you to pick up life right where it was left off. When the therapy ends, that doesn’t mean that the effects of treatments stop instantly as well. Life after breast cancer is an educational process for both you and them. Having a balance of managing expectations and decreasing stress will aid in the recovery process. Physically and mentally, your body has gone through a lot and needs time to heal. The path to a full recovery is a journey, not a race.
You’re in control.
It is an overwhelming feeling to be free from receiving multiple scheduled rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. A part of you may feel worried and fear the cancer could come back without the same frequency of visits. After the completion of treatments, your doctors will want to watch you closely. By going to all of your follow-up appointments, educating yourself about your aftercare procedures and asking questions you can start to feel more in control of your life again. Make sure to do something good for yourself from time to time and recognize how far you have come and what you have accomplished. Now you’re in control and not the disease.
Stay positive, this too shall pass.
Once in remission, you may be flooded with waves of emotions. Happy, sad, angry, anxious and just down right exhausted. Often easier said than done, staying positive and looking on the brighter side of things can make a world of difference. Connecting with other survivors or joining support groups can be a great way to stay surrounded by positive energy. One tactic many patients and survivors use to help them through the tough times is to live life one day at a time. Always appreciate the small things and celebrate each accomplishment. If you are ever in a place where you don’t feel your best just remember, this too shall pass.
Nurses 24/7 is more than just a nurses staffing agency, we are a family here to support one another. Today we honor the survivors as well a those who are still fighting and hope for a cure.