You would think that after fighting a hard battle against breast cancer that it would be over. Somehow “normal” comes to greet you at the door and life goes on without any problems. This couldn’t be further from reality. You’ll have a whole host of physical and emotional issues to deal with that can take years to overcome. There are some very specific things you can do to help the process along to feeling healthy and whole once again.
Diet and Exercise
Keeping and maintaining good overall health with exercise and diet does a lot to keep our bodies cancer free. Devise a good workout routine and stick with it. Create a mini routine that you can do on the days you aren’t feeling so well. The point is to at least get up and do something. Take a long walk through a park. It will get your blood flowing and stave off depressive thoughts. Serious illness and recuperation periods can leave us vulnerable to depression when our abilities are limited and energy is depleted. See a nutritionist that has experience in dealing with after-treatment nutrition. They can offer the best suggestions on eating healthy foods that have cancer killing qualities and help boost your immune system and energy levels.
Defeating the Fog
Anyone that has undergone chemotherapy treatments can testify to the foggy state it seems to keep your brain in for months after the final round. You feel tired, listless and at times, it’s hard to focus and remember things. This is all easily compounded by further surgical procedures and additional medications for hormone adjustment. The best thing you can do during this time is ask those around you to be understanding and take a lot of good notes. You’ll have to develop your own sense of what normal is for you. Take a nap when you are tired and eat when you are hungry. Throw societal norms out the window. It may mean that you have to cut back on work hours, which can hinder your finances, but it’s important to let this part of your healing progress at it’s own pace.
Reconstructive Surgery Options
Fair or not, society has made it clear that no matter what, women are expected to have breasts. It doesn’t matter that you may have had to make a tough choice on removal to save your life. This is a part of the healing process that might be difficult if you have had a double mastectomy and opted to not receive reconstructive surgery. This is always a personal choice, but it pays to at least explore all of the options open to you before having a mastectomy procedure done. The surgeon can immediately begin the process of stretching the skin to take implants. Areola tattoo pigmentation can then be added, giving you remarkably natural looking breasts. Permanent makeup options such as these not only give the nipple real dimension, but provide exceptionally realistic skin and areola color as well, making the survivor feel complete and whole again.
Make it Your Wellness Year
You need to take an entire calendar year and concentrate on your health and emotional well-being above everything else. Everyone might be ready for you to jump back on the bandwagon of civic and familial duties, but your mind and body are not willing participants. Delegate various duties as much as you can for an entire year to allow your energy and concentration to come back. So you might miss a few PTA meetings and the annual county bake-off. The world will keep revolving and your health and stamina will gradually improve. This might seem difficult when you have children, but there’s no reason you can’t have someone else take them to soccer practice so that you can reserve energy tomake it to the games. Throw yourself a party at the end of that year. You’ve successfully created the path your mind and body needs to truly become whole again after breast cancer.
Ruth Swissa is an aesthetician who specializes in natural-looking permanent makeup and skin care for beauty and health.