Coping with Chemo: What to Expect and How to Handle it

Bald woman sitting on yoga mat happy

A breast cancer diagnosis is a life-changing experience. There’s no denying that simple fact. To do otherwise would ignore everything your body has meant to you. Imminent surgery is already a lot to handle. You will have to decide with your doctor how you want to approach it. You can maintain a level of control in regard to your decision of when or if to have reconstructive surgery; however, when it comes to chemotherapy, control can often seem out of reach. This can make coping with chemotherapy very difficult.

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Tackling the Psychological Effects of Breast Cancer

Daughter hugging cancer survivor mother helping with breast cancer depression

It is never easy to receive a cancer diagnosis. Everyone responds differently. Some treat it as a call to action, immediately scheduling and researching everything they possibly can. Others freeze for a moment, unable to fully process what just occurred. Regardless of the manner in which you respond to your cancer diagnosis, there is one consideration that is almost unique to breast cancer, the fact that your body will never look the same again. Breast cancer depression is very real, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps to counter it.

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Taking Control with Breast Cancer Fighting Foods

Pink ribbon on dining table for breast cancer fighting foods

We all worry about what we’re putting in our bodies. However, the rush of daily life so often gets in the way. However, when it comes to cancer, patients must engage with these decisions in a whole new way. It’s no longer a question of a healthy weight or ultimate longevity in the far-off future. When you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, your diet becomes one of the few fighting tools you still have control over. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective breast cancer fighting foods.

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Feeling Beautiful with Breast Cancer

breast cancer surgeon in Houston

A diagnosis of breast cancer means many changes to the body you know and love. Working with your breast cancer surgeon in Houston through each stage of treatment and recovery, you must learn to adjust to new changes in your appearance. Many of these changes will be temporary; some will be permanent. During this time of upheaval, taking time to appreciate your beauty as it is not only comforting but can positively impact your health and well-being.

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Coping with Breast Cancer

Coping With Breast Cancer

Being diagnosed with breast cancer can spark a range of emotional reactions: fear, sadness, shock, anger, anxiety. Learning to cope with these emotions and feelings can feel impossible at times, but you are capable of much more than you realize.

From diagnosis to recovery, having a support system, whether that be your family, your friends, or a support group, is integral as you go through treatments and beyond. Coping with breast cancer may sometime feel like an incredible hurdle, but it is one you can surely overcome with the right information and support. For more support and medical expertise, contact the best breast cancer doctor in Houston, Dr. Miltenburg today.

You are not Alone

Feeling overwhelmed during your diagnosis or treatment is incredibly common, so you do not need to feel like you are alone. You absolutely are not. Depression, anxiety, fear, and sadness are not only common, they are normal. It is normal to feel these feelings during uncertain times, and a health scare can shake even the steadiest of grounds.

Issues like this can also come up after treatment. Fear of cancer returning, acknowledgement of the effects your cancer experience has had on your family, friends, and career, or a newfound perspective on your life and relationships can all contribute to continued or exacerbated fears, anxiety, or sadness. Financial concerns, unexpected issues, and many other factors may make you anxious.

For many women, particularly young women, the change in appearance or sexuality might trigger a very stressful reaction. Some who still plan to have a family or have more children might worry about how their cancer might affect their family planning, and some with existing families might worry about how this experience may have affected them. For some, the treatments and chemotherapy might trigger early menopause, which can also cause stress.

When you feel that you are standing on shaky ground, reaching out for the support of your family, friends or others is something we highly encourage you to do. Whether you find these people on your family tree, through your church, or through your hospital, it is important to find them. Not only are all of these reactions completely normal, but they are expected. This is also a time where you could, and should, reach out to the support system you built during your treatment.

The Importance of Finding Support

A vast majority of current or former cancer patients benefit greatly from the assistance and ability to lean on and rely on their support system, whether that be a group of family members, friends, coworkers, hospital staff, religious group members, or anyone else. Some cancer patients feel more comfortable in peer-support groups, online support groups, or educational groups. Some prefer one-on-one with a counselor, some prefer talking to a lifelong friend. Luckily, all of these options are readily available.

These groups can provide strength, comfort, and perspective for you. Each person prefers a different source of strength and comfort and deciding which of these would make you most comfortable and content will make your entire experience much smoother.

Your journey through cancer, no matter which stage you are in, can feel lonely and emotionally distressing. You are not alone and should not try to deal with all of your emotions on your own. Your loved ones and the support communities around you are there to help you through this time, and your diagnosis is not a burden on them. They are ready and willing to help you through this.

Best Breast Cancer Doctor in Houston

At the Breast Institute of Houston, we aim to make your journey through breast cancer as smooth as it possibly can be. We are here to provide not only a health resource, but a recovery one, as well. If you are struggling to cope with your breast cancer, please reach out to the best breast cancer doctor in Houston, Dr. Miltenburg. Our keep an eye on the latest breast cancer topics by following our blog.