10. Think positive thoughts
Some women benefit from facing their diagnosis with a positive attitude while others may feel pressured to ‘stay positive’ when they feel frightened and concerned. There is no harm in reminding yourself that you can get better. If it is just one hour of not talking about breast cancer, not being concerned with your body image after treatment, and not feeling sick – use this time to rid your mind of negative thoughts. To remain positive means accepting your emotions, easing your worries, and not beating yourself up during those gloomy days.
Diagnosis and treatment can be frightening. Every woman’s experience with breast cancer is different. Some experience drastic shock and disbelief of the diagnosis itself, while others face the hard challenges of physical side effects, such as tiredness and nausea. There may be some things over which you will have no control over - including symptoms and treatment costs - and while you may not be able to change them, you can change your outlook on life. Whatever your feelings may be in regards to your condition, it is important that you talk openly and honestly about them. If you feel insecure sharing your fears and concerns with those closest to you, you can always turn to your doctor, a member of your healthcare team, or even a support group. You do not have to face these emotional challenges alone. It is not always easy but there is no right or wrong way to feel.
Rather than worrying about what the future will bring, focus on the now – focus on positive thinking. Breast cancer should not have to take away your dreams or shatter your plans for the future. You may need to make a few changes along the way, but you are in control of your life and if you are willing to keep that control, nothing should take that away from you – not even breast cancer. Surround yourself with family and friends. Surround yourself with those who understand that having cancer doesn’t mean that you should be treated differently. At the end of the day, everything is much easier said than done. Of course, there may be times when you feel that all you are doing is fighting and never winning. This is to be expected but if you can learn to cope with your emotions and limit negative feelings, you will ultimately be much happier. Choose to fight for yourself and for your loved ones. Choose to be happy. Choose to be you and not you + breast cancer.