Moving Beyond Breast Cancer
The National Cancer Institute has posted a wonderful video that discusses the topic of moving beyond breast cancer. Check it out by clicking on this link.
Several breast cancer survivors are interviewed in the video and discuss their transition back to “normal” life and the difficulties they have encountered once their treatment was over. I found this to be a really informative video and pretty life affirming.
One of the things that most cancer survivors talk about is how they feel once the treatments end.
Everyone Seems to Think You Should be Normal Now, But…
Once the treatments have concluded and your cancer battle is seemingly over, then what? Your friends and family are relieved and happy for you and everyone seems to think you will be able to get back to normal really quickly.
But all too often, that just isn’t the case. Some say it takes as long to get back to “normal” as it did to go through the treatment! And they don’t expect that, they often think there’s something wrong with them.
That was certainly true for me – in fact, here it is 8 years later for me and I still notice the after-effects of some of the treatment I received. For one thing, I have these darned tropical moments all the time! And sometimes I don’t seem to be able to cope with too much excitement – it’s like my nerves are shot and I do know they take a beating from some forms of chemotherapy.
For a long time, every ache and pain would send me into a fit of worries thinking “Oh no – is it back again?”
Not to mention the fact that cancer changes you in a very big way – you will never view the world – and your life – the same way again.
The women in the video discuss their physical exhaustion, the sense that the treatments turned their bodies upside down, some suffered from depression, some had intimacy issues.
Dealing With These Problems
The video had a few suggestions on dealing with the problems.
Dr Susan Love, a renowned breast surgeon, suggested that having high expectations could set you up for failure. Lay down and take a nap if you feel you need it!
One woman found that meditation really helped her a lot. Another found that joining a support group was extremely beneficial.
I highly recommend actively dealing with the issues that come along, rather than sweeping them under the rug and ignoring them because – believe me – they don’t go away.
In some respects, I feel my cancer was a gift. An opportunity to create a wonderful new life for myself. Not many get that chance.
Sometimes growth can be painful but it almost always leads to something better.
My New Program
One of the many things that breast cancer survivors have to deal with is finances that are in ruins. Between the cost of treatments, taking time off work to go through the treatments or to heal from surgeries, there is usually some degree of pain being experienced, financially speaking. I’ve put together a new program to help with that and it’s outlined on my page Moving Beyond Breast Cancer. Any questions, just contact me!
Wishing you wonderful things in your healing journey,
I was so inspired by this lovely story – a portrait of a breast cancer survivor named Victoria Behm, who is a NYC artist. She was diagnosed at the age of 57 with the exact same kind of breast cancer I had.
She made an illustrated notebook of her nine-month journey through breast cancer treatment – see her whole story HERE, along with some of her amazing artwork. I loved this story because it brought such an element of personal triumph over her breast cancer diagnosis. I loved her artwork (some of it will make you laugh, especially slide 9) and I especially loved that she’s a survivor.
Enjoy the story and for those of you actively fighting this disease, remember the words of Winston Churchill:
“If you’re going through hell, KEEP GOING“!!!!!!
I send my love to everyone taking this journey right now. If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.