Breast cancer is undoubtedly a life altering disease. It can have a devastating effect on a woman’s life. Not only the person involved, it hampers the family too. The husband, the kids, all feel the pinch of this deadly disorder. Not only is it physically challenging, but emotionally too. It tests you and your family of the metal they are made up of. Such is the demise breast cancer brings. In a matter of few tests and examinations, your life can take a different route that you wouldn't have planned in your wildest dreams. Sadly though, women across the globe are not fully aware of the causes and consequences of breast cancer. When it comes to knowledge and education about breast cancer, the numbers can be eyebrow raising. There have been workshops, conferences, seminars organized in different parts of the world. But still there is a lot to be done to make today’s women fully aware of breast cancer.
One needs to be emotionally strapping rather than physically to fight with breast cancer. To live with the fact that you have been diagnosed with this disease can affect you mentally. However, with support from friends and family members, it is easier to surpass the tough phase. In reality, it is all about how you prepare yourself to deal with it. Here are some vital tips for family members cope with a loved one’s diagnosis.
- Throw hesitation out of the picture. It doesn't fit in. If you have any queries then go ahead and ask the doctor. When you accompany your loved one to the doctor, feel free to clear your doubts. It will certainly help later on. In case you have a habit of forgetting, write them down.
- There will be some over all changes in your loved one, mentally and physically. Medications, pain, restlessness, stress may lead to depression and mood swings. You need to be prepared for that in advance.
- You may find your loved one’s self esteem and confidence down. In order to boost it up, spend time with her. Encourage her to be active and dependent. Make her understand the true meaning of living a life with family by side. These small things can often work as a charm.
- Devoting much of the time to her can be exhausting for you and somewhere or the other you may forget to care about yourself. So be pragmatic and make sure that you are equally getting time out to perform your day-to-day activities. You taking care of your needs run in sync with your loved one’s requirements.
- As much as you are helping, don’t forget to ask other family members to lend their hand. They would be willing to grab the opportunity to see a smile on her face.
Family members and friends may find themselves under a bit of stress while helping the diagnosed individual. You can fight stress
and depression by using these techniques:
- Keep a never say die attitude. Even though the situation is mentally demanding and morale downing, keeping a fresh spirit towards life can help in many ways that you can’t imagine.
- Sometimes you just have to allow things to happen. In short, they are out of your control. Accept this fact and move on. Just believe in yourself.
- Instead of showing anguish over the situation, stay calm and composed. It is hard, no doubt but you can attain peace with meditation. Asservate your feelings rather than getting angry or passive.
- Exercise regularly and keep a check on your food habits. Eat a balanced diet and workout daily for some time. A healthy body is more adept at handling stress.
- Rest well and sleep properly. Getting right amount of sleep helps mind and body recover from stressful events. Do not indulge too much in alcohol and smoking.
Here are some well tarnished and proven ways to acquire relaxation while fighting breast cancer:
- Close your eyes. Breathe normally and switch your thoughts to yourself while you breathe. Exhale slowly and say to you, “I am in peace.” Continue this for at least 15 minutes. Your mind will wander and when this happens, remind yourself of the exercise. Steady your breathing.
- Simple exercises like rotating head in circular motion and rolling shoulders forward and backwards many times can help loosen the tensed muscles. Recall a good thought and let all your muscles completely relax.
Other than family and friends support, assistance is duly given to the diagnosed individual outside her home. Social workers can provide critical counselling regarding lifestyle changes
and referrals to various support groups especially set up for women dealing high level stress due to breast cancer
. A social worker can provide ample means to fight depression.
Some women may feel at ease when their issues are addressed in one-on-one environment. By enrolling yourself for individual counselling, you may be better placed to expressing your feelings, state of mind etc. strategies can be designed by judging your overall mental toughness i.e. how able you are in handling stress. Some medicines may be required to treat depression
Support groups are increasingly becoming popular for treating depression among diagnosed women. They create an atmosphere where you can discover new ways to fight depression. Sometimes you meet people who have gone through similar ordeal. When you get in touch with them, it’s natural that you become friends. You get strength knowing you are not alone in this world that has gone through the hardships.
In the end, you have to accept the fact that you are diagnosed with breast cancer. There is no alternate to it. It is how you conceive the thought. If you take it in your strides, the emotional impact will be far less. Stay calm, composed and behave normally. This might be tough task but eventually you’ll get over it.