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Living Life After Cancer: Moving Forward with Hope

After undergoing double mastectomy due to cancer, it can be challenging to adjust to life after the trauma. Coping with the diagnosis and the treatment journey makes it harder. However, moving forward with hope, purpose, and support from friends and family can help in finding a new normal.

Process the Diagnosis

"You have cancer" is a phrase nobody ever wants to hear. Shock, fear, and uncertainty can take over. It's essential to give yourself time to process and come to terms with the diagnosis. Connect with loved ones, doctors, and support groups to learn more about the diagnosis, potential treatments, and your options.

Coping with Treatment

Be kind to yourself

Cancer treatment is an endurance test, and it's vital to be gentle with yourself. Resting, eating healthily, and practicing self-care can refill your emotional energy and help your body recover.

Stay connected with loved ones

Even if you may not always have the energy to be social, reach out to friends and family for support. Consider having a friend spend the day with you or talking to people who have undergone cancer therapy.

Use creativity to reduce stress

Engage in creative hobbies or read, listen to music, or play games to relax amid the physically and emotionally exhausting treatment nature.

Adjusting to Life After Cancer

Body image changes

Through treatment, you may develop scars, lose your hair, or gain or lose weight. These changes can affect your body image and personal confidence. It's necessary to voice your concerns and challenges.

Changes in relationships

Cancer may have a lasting impact on your social life, family dynamics, and sex life. You can work on reconnecting in small ways and seek the support of couples therapies, sexual health counselors, friends, and family members.

Maintaining wellness

Adopting healthy habits, such as physical activities, eating healthy, journaling, and meditation can improve the overall well-being and quality of life, which, in turn, helps post-cancer recovery.

Advocating for Other Women

Raise awareness

Use social media platforms, community groups, and events to spread the word and raise awareness of cancer symptoms and potential treatment options. Talk about what you've experienced and encourage others to take preventive steps.

Become an advocate

You can become a cancer research fundraiser, participate in workshops, and help other women access cancer treatment through fundraisers or peer support.

Share your story

Writing or talking about your cancer journey can inspire and encourage people in similar situations. Share your experiences to help others make informed decisions and stay motivated through cancer treatment.

Finding Meaning and Purpose

For some cancer survivors, after the trauma, comes with the necessity of finding new meaning and purpose in life. This might entail looking into a different career path, starting a family or renewing relationships.

Support Resources

Support Groups

Join support groups in your area to connect with other cancer survivors in group meetings in-person or online

Reading on cancer

Search for cancer-related books, journals, and articles to gain insight into other survivors and to feel better understood or informed.

Physical Activities

Start or continue physical exercise such as running, yoga, or walking. These activities are proven to lift up mood and increase the body's well-being.

Therapy

Seek professional support from a qualified therapist to help you deal with emotional trauma and adjustment issues.

Moving Forward with Hope

Breathe and Relax

Take some time to breathe slowly and deeply, relax your muscles, and think positively. Try not to become overwhelmed in negative thoughts.

Set goals and take action

Set small goals in mind, visualize, and take action towards them. Celebrate every small achievement, and slowly work at increasing your productivity and enthusiasm.

Spread positivity

Encourage and inspire others to stay positive and focus on their good moments, as well as their bad ones. Lead by example and demonstrate your ability to overcome tough situations.

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before cancer.....

Before my breast cancer diagnosis, I was incredibly shallow. I was obsessed with my appearance and always striving to live up to the model image I had created for myself. I even dreamed of posing for Playboy one day. But after a double mastectomy, I am now so self-conscious that I can hardly recognize myself. It took me almost a month to look down at my chest after the surgery. I cried and cried for hours in the bathroom, wondering how this could be happening to me. I had always been so confident in my body, and now I felt like a stranger in my own skin. As a mother, I struggled with how to teach my daughter to be confident when I was struggling so much myself. How could I tell her to love herself when I didn't even recognize myself anymore? I was grateful for my surgeon's skilled hands and for getting the cancer out, but I hated the results. When people say that a mastectomy is not a boob job, they are right. The scars and the fact that I will never have sensation again at 34

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