‑ Breast Cancer Triggers Myriad Emotions

My article relating to breast cancer is one born of self-indulgence. I found the writing of it cathartic in that it helped me come to terms with my illness. It is my heartfelt hope that this article will afford any fellow sufferers some measure of comfort or support. This period was an intensely emotional time for loved ones, close friends, and me. If this health issue has touched you in any way, I hope that my article can help bring a degree of solace...Article was written originally by the author of and first published 2003.

Myriad of Emotions

I like many women, and men before me have had a health scare; I was diagnosed as having "Breast Cancer." It is no respecter of gender. I was one of the lucky ones; it could have been a lot worse than it was. I am not after sympathy here - that is the last thing I need. What is required on my part, and of any other sufferer, is to accomplish something at the time seems practically impossible? This is that of positive thinking. If one dwells too much on this issue, your morale sinks even lower, and the healing process takes longer. So how does one deal with this profound happening? Positive thinking has to be one of the most difficult things to achieve. We can all present a brave face when we are required too; however, maintaining that "upbeat," when your cosy little world has been shattered into a thousand pieces is one of the hardest things to deal with.

I have found the best thing to do is to discuss it. Unfortunately, some people put up barriers, and treat the topic of cancer as "taboo." Some women quickly change the subject; it is something they are unwilling to face. Others will openly discuss it - maybe they have had a similar experience, or know or have known someone who has. Surprisingly enough, I found men will talk relatively easily about the subject, and without embarrassment. Their interest stems from the concern that it could happen to their wives, loved ones, or someone of their own gender, and they feel a need to understand all the facts. I have read books, and gathered various bits of information from the Internet. All this information can be somewhat daunting you read about long-term prospects and wonder: "what - if" As always, on any health issue, you can read about the good, and the bad.

I have learned to challenge everything that goes on regarding my body. I have had my bad days; however, in the main they are good. You learn to play harder, and laugh more; in fact, you simply get on with living. One of the hardest things is observing the pain on loved ones faces when the topic is approached. Nevertheless, things have to be faced, and each family member or friend copes differently. Some people cannot come to terms with the situation. I have lost touch with people that I had termed close friends, and people I thought of as just being acquaintances have been supportive of me. I have been one of the fortunate ones, with the dedicated guidance and support from a truly loving family.

Indeed, they have helped pull me through this ordeal. So how do you face these "myriad of emotions" you are going through? You need to take stock. How are you are feeling, not the physical pain, but the emotional? It is difficult to come to terms with - believe me I know. People cannot fully comprehend how you feel, unless they have been through it themselves. I can remember the first time I looked in the mirror thinking I was incomplete. How could my husband still want me - or my children not turn away in disgust from the sight of my body? It is difficult to remain untouched by it all but remember you are still the self-same person. Perhaps you are a wife, and a mother. If so, you are loved and needed. If you are single, it is to be hoped you have loved ones that understand how you are feeling; besides giving you all the moral support that you need at this trying time.

Initially, my feelings were that of self-pity: I could not think clearly or face my future. Talking to fellow sufferers this is something they had all experienced. However, a few months later, I managed to develop my positive thinking through to the full. In truth, I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself. I have to admit this was the hardest emotion of all to cope with. The feeling of why has this happened to me was especially strong. I have wept myself to sleep at night many times. However, I quickly began to realize that this kind of behaviour was not being fair on my loved ones, and I had to fight so very hard against it. I soon realised that you really must make the best of whatever fate throws at you.

You have to make the most of every moment, and appreciate your life fully. Try to stop thinking of what has happened to you, "I know it's not easy." Start to think of what you can do with your life. I certainly look at life differently enjoying it for what it is, and what it has to offer me for now, and in the future. It is an appalling thing that has happened to you, however if you fill your time feeling sorry for yourself, you will not only destroy your life, but also the lives of those who love and care for you. My only hope is that if you are troubled with the demons, which this illness brings; my words can be of some comfort to you knowing that you are not alone. There is always help and support available to you. So please, make use of these organizations. They really can help you in providing strength, and comfort, in your hours of need and support...

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