There are several treatment options for treating breast cancer including surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radiotherapy. These treatments often time will cause inevitable side effects on the patients. Knowing what to expect and how to manage it can be an important tool to help the patients and their caretakers equip themselves.
The emotional burden of breast cancer treatment
Not only that the disease itself can take a toll on you, choosing to undergo the treatment can be as excruciating as well. Side effects of the treatment can be physically and emotionally challenging and stressful. Knowing the effects of the treatment on your immune system and other factors of your health can be stressful. So does coming to the realisation of the restrictions that you will have to endure during and after each round of treatments. The anticipatory of the side effects itself can be equally daunting.
You will also be dealing with anxiety. There is a fear of uncertainty on whether or not you will be cured or cancer free. The fear of the future and even the fear of whether or not you will be physically and mentally strong to continue with the long treatment process and procedures.
What should I do to manage these emotions?
The first step that you could take is to acknowledge the 5 stages of grief that you may encounter when faced with illness. Often time, you will be faced with denial, followed by anger, depression, bargaining and finally, acceptance.
It is important to note that understanding the stages of grief is to come to terms and accepting the anxiety and stress that one is facing after being diagnosed with cancer. Only then you will be able to manage the emotional effects of the treatment.
- Communicate and express yourself
Talk to others, people you trust and your loved ones. Do not keep your worries and fears to yourself. Go out and live rather than siting and waiting for things to get better. Express yourself via art and writing.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Enjoy sports and try to be active. It might be difficult, but having a company might boost your motivation.
Take good care of your diet through a well-balanced meal and healthy that the body needs to recuperate and to improve the immune system. Be proactive in finding out about what is suitable for your current health condition.
- Get professional help
Get advice on diet and physical movements through physical therapy that can help your body cope with the treatment. Go for a face to face consultation with a psychologist for an emotional support. Communicate with your doctors and be aware and well informed of your current health condition.
By getting treatment and seeking support from people around you, you may improve your quality of life through this ordeal.
Read also: 7 Basic Symptoms of Breast Cancer