When initially diagnosed with breast cancer, it is not uncommon to experience feelings of shock, anger, disbelief, grief and uncertainty. Most women state that upon hearing their diagnosis they heard or remembered little what was said after that point. Their fears took control as they recalled all that they knew or heard about breast cancer in the past. You need to realize that breast cancer is usually a very treatable disease. Survival rates are at an all-time high. You have time to sort through your feelings, fears and emotions – to seek answers to your questions without endangering your health. When meeting with your physician bring a support person with you such as your partner or spouse, a family member or a trusted friend. This individual will be your second set of eyes and ears. In addition to providing both physical and emotional support, this person can take notes and/or ask questions you may forget to ask. This will provide you the opportunity to focus on what your physician is saying. A relationship built on trust, respect, and good communication between you and your doctor is important in helping you make critical life-saving decisions.
The doctors, nurses and care providers at the Huntington Hospital Breast Cancer Center are here for you. We will share your challenges and successes as we guide you through your personal journey.
When you reach the end of active breast cancer treatment, you may feel ready to move on with your life, but this isn’t always easy. You may struggle to come to terms with what you have been through. You have functioned for a long period of time in a protected environment, in constant communication with healthcare professionals who have closely monitored your progress. Some patients feel a “separation anxiety”. Though these fears will dissipate with time, it is important that you share these feelings, concerns and fears.
Life after treatment can be a stressful time. One may grow anxious, depressed or lonely. Some women feel compelled to act as if they are fine even if they are not. That is why it is important to remember that recovery is a process. The simple fact of cancer treatment ending does not automatically make one strong and well. The gradual pace of recovery, which sometimes takes longer than treatment, is often a surprise to patients, family members and friends. Emotional and physical support is as important now as it was during your initial course of treatment. Therefore, it is important that you communicate with your family and friends and let them know that, even though you may look well, you still require time, patience and support during your transition to wellness.