Coping with Body Image and life after Mastectomy

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Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers and can bring great feelings of anxiety and fear. Even when breast cancer is in remission, there can be challenges to coping with the new body image emotionally and psychologically. But trust me when I say, "If you have survived cancer, you can live with any challenges!".

As women, we tend to be very conscious of our bodies and our appearance and femininity are sometimes characterized by breasts. When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, mastectomy surgery can be a life saver. Yet, it can also shatter confidence and body image.

From the temporary loss of hair to a removed breast, the changes take a toll in different ways. However, there are creative and fun ways to take on these temporary challenges, from clothing to accessories.

Aside from wearing a headscarf, reconstruction, or using a prosthesis to improve your body image, it is vital to adopt a healthy and positive attitude. Negative thoughts will only cause you harm and should have no place in your recovery. Here are some ways to keep positive on your journey:

Be Vocal

You have been through a lot, and your feelings are unavoidable, but don’t keep it all inside. Instead, speak up and communicate with those close to you, be it your partner, friend, family, or even your doctor. Venting emotional and physical pain will help the people around you understand better. Communication bridges the gap and keeps depression away.

Think Positive

As you let go of the bad feelings, let positive thoughts enter and conquer you! Remember, you are one lucky soul who got a second chance to live your life with more zest and better health. Look in the mirror and compliment who you see, even if you don't feel like it. Slowly you will start to see the strong person that others see in you. As they say, "fake it till you make it!” Daily positive affirmations will do wonders for your soul!

Eat Healthy

When you come out the other side of a significant health concern, the best way to rebuild yourself is to feed your body with healthy, nutritious food. Including foods that boost your immune system will help you ward off sickness. Whole grains and greens can be good options and avoid sugary foods as much as possible.

Stay Busy

You have probably heard the old saying, “An empty mind is the Devil's workshop!” Don’t give yourself time to wander into that "why me?" space. Instead, take up a new hobby, start a puzzle, read a book, anything to keep your mind busy. Things like writing, painting, listening to music, or spending time with friends and loved ones, even something as simple as a walk in the neighborhood or around the mall are great ways to lift your mood.

Read About Other Survivors

Read about the success and survival of other women who are breast cancer survivors, and you will derive great power and strength from their stories. Learning from others who have been through what you are going through will give you a sense of empowerment and the realization that you're not alone. Other women’s experiences will save you from unnecessary hindrances and what could be stumbling blocks.

Be Patient

You need time to heal as you slowly regain your health. Take one day at a time. Remember, each day is one day closer to the end of this challenging phase of your life. Give yourself this time and be gentle to yourself.

Society is constantly changing, and so is what is considered to be the perfect body. Focusing on making yourself healthy, happy, and strong will increase your inner stamina and will help you lead a good and stable life. Keep reminding yourself that you are beautiful and cherish each day!


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