Getting Support after You Have Had Breast Cancer
Once you are diagnosed with breast cancer, it is important to get the right support at each step on your journey.
Your first port of call for information should be your doctor and his/her support staff. They should be able to start you off with the essential information you need to know.
Your cancer doctor (oncologist)
Your doctor will refer you to an oncologist, a doctor who specializes in cancer treatments. Some oncologists also specialize in certain kinds of cancer, such a breast, and in types of treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy.
Breast cancer will usually require more than one type of treatment, so it’s important to understand what each member of your team will be doing to help you get a good outcome.
Your spouse or partner
Once you are sure you have cancer, it will be up to you to share whatever information you wish with your friends and family. The first person you would usually share with will be your spouse or partner if you are not single. It is important to be honest about your feelings with regard to breast cancer with respect to the loss of a breast and ideas of being ‘feminine’ and ‘sexy’. They will need to be there for you as you recover from surgery, and as you deal with treatments and their side effects, especially if the two of you have children.
Once you tell your partner, it is important to tell your extended family you will be having treatment. Now is not the time to be superwoman. You’re going to need support and should not feel reluctant to ask for help when you need it.
The Reach to Recovery Program
The American Cancer Society has organized the Reach to Recover program to help those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The volunteers have all had breast cancer themselves, so they are an excellent support group to tap into.
Lump to Laughter
This site was created as a support group by 2 friends who were both diagnosed with breast cancer within 6 weeks of each other. It describes itself as a ‘Christian ministry’ and is packed with resources, stories and more.
Everyone has different beliefs about life, death and a possible afterlife. While most people have a positive outcome, cancer forces us to face our own possible death. If you attend religious services regularly, confide in your priest, minister and so on.
There are many sources of support for women with breast cancer. Don’t be afraid to reach out as you look for the best possible outcome.