So my post for the week for Breast Cancer awareness month is tips, advice and encouraging words from a breast cancer survivor! My mother, she shared 10 little advice type tips for those about to embark in this battle both during diagnosis process and during treatment process. Then a small interview at the end! Some of these advice types can be applied for any type of illness or disease not saying it will help or all illnesses are the same. I sat down with my mother as she helped me write this out!
Regardless if you think a lump, bump, or spot is nothing GO GET IT CHECKED OUT! It is better to have a doctor say that its nothing or nothing to worry about than to have it be something and get worse.
“As hard as it is to admit how much of a fool I was not to go in when I first felt something because I thought it’s nothing, it’s important that even if you think it’s nothing go get yourself checked” My Mother
Dont Count your Chickens Before They Hatch.
During the diagnosing process its important not to over think it and not to over stress it. Don’t make it out to be something that probably isn’t. I can’t say it’s always going to be this way, often times it is what we fear but it’s important not to over dramatize it.
Be Comfortable with Your Doc
Dont be afraid to look at all your options and switch doctors if you aren’t 100% comfortable with them. Don’t let your doctor intimidate you or push a one way plan down your throat. As long as they are with in your provider plan find a doctor that is right for you
wow that sounded like those medication commercials!
Research Your Type and Battle Plan
Always when you find out what you have research after you get the diagnosis. One reason is because doing it before you know what you have brings you back to point Dont Count Your Chickens. However when you do find out, always do a little dirt digging, that way you know exactly what you have not a summary and know how to fight it correctly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and reasearch different forms of treatment!
Like I mentioned above don’t let doctors tell you there is only one way to heal and fight. Research your opinions and find whats best for you but with this being said always tell your doctor your comfortable with your plan. They are there to help you! They can advise you better than anyone, ask questions some more!
You wont see results right way, and you will definitely have your ups and downs. That is perfectly ok. Try to have a better/positive outlook because it seriously does help. Keep in your mind that you will beat this and you will live has a better outcome than letting your cancer beat you.
With that being said it’s ok to ask why me? My mom said she asked that a lot of times when she had her down days but important thing is not to let that why me drag you down. Its ok not to be positive all the time but try to keep a positive frame of mind.
Whether it’s family, friends,
your dog, or a support group find people to talk to. You don’t have to go through this alone and you have people who can relate. Don’t isolate your self and be alone through this, it’s a long never-ending battle and you need someone at one point to go through it with you.
You don’t have to talk everyday and you certainly don’t always have to say everything. Just knowing someone is there to help and talk to is just as supporting as actually talking! It is supper important that you can find someone to talk to through this!
The Good, The Bad, and The Tired
No matter what kind of day it is, rest! Even when you have good energy and you feel like you can do a million things, rest. You will get tired fast, there were countless times I felt good and over exhausted myself because I thought I felt good enough to do it. Don’t be afraid to sleep and just rest up!
Don’t force yourself to eat! There will be times during chemo that you will not have an appetite. That is where protein drinks come in handy, even then you don’t feel like drinking them. You don’t ever have to finish them a drink or finish foods but just take a sip and put it in the fridge. Eat/drink when you are ready!
More than likely you will at one point lose your hair. Some people don’t, some people it just thins out! For my mother it was easy to lose her hair because she had the mentality of it will grow back its just hair. However it did do something emotional, losing her hair ment it was real and this was happening. She did have people stare at her at times and give her looks but she did say this
“Let them stare, let them judge you because they don’t know what you are going through. When they stare kindly as you can go up to them and say something, tell them you have cancer and talk about prevention”
Don’t let their rudeness affect you!
I specificity remember after my mother had her double mastectomy and her hair was still gone. We were out together and an older lady in her 60s at most gave me and her a mean stare and was muttering under her breath. My mom didn’t notice but I did and let my mother continue forward as I stopped and approached the lady. I told her sarcastically
It’s nice to see such defined women of age not judge another person for having cancer. She’s been through hell and back, lost her boobs, and her hair. So I love it when I see people not making rude comments about her because they think otherwise.
The older lady didn’t know what to say, she gave me a look as though she felt bad and walked away. I can’t say that I didn’t want to make her feel bad because I did, that is wrong of me, but I couldn’t just stand there and watch someone judge her for what she looked like for all the crap that she was going through. I later told my mother as she smiled not because I told an old lady off but because I had her back. My mom still gets looks and comments but she often wares her great cancer pins to help divert those who stare.
Moral of the story is if you see something don’t be afraid to talk to them about it because chances are they don’t know your story.
Lastly find a hobby you can occupy your time with! Not only just to keep you distracted but to bring you comfort! My mom used crochet as a way to keep her comfort and distracted, she also kept working! Not always will you find time or the energy to do your hobbies but at least find something you enjoy to bring peace of mind and a smile to your face.
Paint, draw, sing, music, go bike riding just find something to bring you not through this. Poor your emotions into it!
Interview with a Survivor
–What is one thing you feared most?
Leaving my family behind!
– What is one thing you looked forward to?
–Taking the time to enjoy the small things God and life have to offer
–What is something going through cancer made you realize more?
–Don’t be so serious, have fun and enjoy life
–What is one thing about chemo that bothered you the most?
–Seeing those with out support and those who are doing this alone.
–What is one thing you could have done differently?
–Gone to the doctor sooner and got early detection. It probably wouldn’t have been as bad.
–What is one thing you cared about most?
–Making sure my family was ok..
–What was the hardest part of you battle?
–Staying positive and not over reacting! Especially with all the things that social media has to say about cancer or cancer related things
-What was the easiest part of your battle?
– Learning to readjust my priorities, I’m not one to adjust easily to things but it was I found it easy.