After Breast Cancer
Your treatment can leave you feeling tired and it can take time before you begin to feel yourself again. It's important to eat well and get plenty of rest. You will look different, feel different and will have had your confidence knocked a bit.
Looking after yourself
Eating well and looking after your health is important. Talk to your GP or nurse if you don't feel like eating, or if you are feeling low, or worried about financial problems you might have. If you are experiencing financial problems Pretty n Pink can help out, for more information please contact us. Living with cancer and the fear it might return is not always easy. There are lots of people you can turn to for information and support. You can talk to your doctor, cancer nurse, community nurse, counsellor, cancer organisations or a member of your local cancer support group.
Living with cancer
Cancer can be a difficult disease to understand and problematic to take everything in. Some of the medical terminology used by medical professionals can be confusing. It is normal to get confused, when you don't know what is going on, if you need reassurance or information on cancer be sure to ask your healthcare team. It is vital to know all the facts about what is happening. Learning about your disease is a good way to learn how live with cancer after the treatment stops. There is lots of information out there for cancer patients such as;
Cancer information and support centres
Support groups online
Charities and Voluntary organisations
Noleen says "even today I find things a little hard. I try to do too many things and get tired, then get upset and think I’m useless when really you have to take time to come to terms with the fact that you have been through a life changing experience."The best advice is TALK, TALK, TALK. Do not keep your thoughts to yourself confide in your boyfriend, partner or husband if you have one, a family member or a close friend or us. Take time to recover. For the males the same advice goes for you too.
Noleen says "my husband and I went through a stage where I told him everything and he put up a brave front and didn’t talk back then one day over something stupid he fell apart and told me how worried he was about me. That day was life changing for both of us and our bond became stronger."
It is so possible to shut people out without even realising your doing it. Be honest to yourself and to all those close to you and you will get over all your hurdles a lot easier. Noleen says "I have been through this many times I think I know all the rights and wrongs and even today I am still learning. Every other day I have different thoughts going through my head of things I haven’t mentioned".
If cancer returns
Sometimes your cancer might come back. Doctors call this 'recurrence'. The cancer might start growing in the same place as it was originally found (called 'local recurrence') or elsewhere in the body (metastatic disease). These other cancers are called secondary cancers. Many cancers that come back can still be treated. Some cancers however can no longer be treated. It doesn't mean that nothing more can be done, but it means that your cancer can no longer be cured. When this happens, your cancer specialist will want to make sure your symptoms are kept in check and that your quality of life is the best it can be. Your palliative care team will be there to look after all of your needs.
Palliative care is available to everyone affected by cancer and is especially important for those people whose cancer cannot be cured. It's provided by teams of doctors and nurses working from hospitals, the local hospice or the community nursing team. This kind of care allows people with cancer to stay at home, with their friends and family, but still get the same level of support and medical help as a hospital would provide.