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Breast Cancer

The uncertainty that comes with a breast cancer diagnosis

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so I spent some time thinking about what I wanted to share about my experiences with breast cancer.

One of my dear friends is two years free of breast cancer, and I am so proud of her commitment to creating a healthy and vibrant life.

I feel very honored that she feels comfortable sharing her thoughts and feeling about her journey back to health!

One of our conversations has been about the emotional journey and stress that begins with the diagnosis, continues with having cancer, then becoming cancer-free, and beyond.

If there is one word that might sum up the overall feeling of dealing with breast cancer, it is "uncertainty".

There is uncertainty about what treatment is the best, how am I going to handle the finances, how is my body image going to change, will I ever get better? Uncertainty adds another level of stress to an already difficult situation.

Some signs of stress are sleep problems, weakness and fatigue, body aches and pain, headaches, anxiety, and irritability.
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Finding ways to deal with the added emotional stress is important for keeping your spirits high during the process. Try not to let the uncertainty and stress overwhelm you and lead you in the direction of more anxiety or depression.

What can you do to manage the emotional stress?

- Accept that there are events out of your control and learn to go with flow.

- Share your feelings about what is going on so you can let them go.

- Relax.

- Exercise to the extent of your body's ability.

- Eat the most nutritious meals you can.

- Get sleep and rest.

- Pray and meditate. Connect with your higher Source.

- Practice guided imagery.

Recognizing that uncertainty will come up during your treatment and after you have a cancer-free diagnosis is an important step in understanding the stress that comes with this disease.

Learning to incorporating stress management exercises every day can support your positive attitude. This can help you manage the emotions that come with breast cancer.