The world of oncology is once gain spreading awareness about breast cancer to help and upgrade the wellbeing of women who are diagnosed with cancer. Free breast cancer detection camps are held by governmental and non-governmental organisations alike, where videos are shown and talks are conducted exclusively to groups to educate them on the subject.
One is informed of the nature of the disease, treatment involved, time period and cost, giving a fair overview of the world of carcinoma. There are centres for counselling, psychiatric aid and breast clinics to help a patient cope during the course of treatment and also to cope with its aftermath.
It is important for the patient to accept her condition and realise that she will need medical help which might last for six months at least. Reading about the ailment on the Internet can pave the way to a certain understanding but also cause several doubts. It is very likely that well-meaning people may ask inconvenient questions, offer unsolicited advice and suggest alternate medicines. Make a choice after consultation with your doctor and family members on which treatment to choose.
Trustworthy and dependable members of the family, friends and well-wishers should be informed of the situation so that you can be sure that any kind of help will be at hand, whenever and wherever it is needed.
Once the home base is set, scout for the best and most feasible cancer care centre and entrust yourself completely to the care of the surgeon, oncologist and radiologist.
It is mandatory to trust the doctors and abide by their instructions. Changing doctors or treatment mid-way can prove to be dangerous. Be smart about it.
As doctors themselves acknowledge, “Medical science is not an exact science and each individual is different from another biologically.” The prescribed ‘cure’ does not elicit the same reaction from every patient who receives treatment. So comparisons with fellow patients and consultations with other doctors may only add to one’s frustrations and confusion.
Innumerable cancer cases have proven that the cure can be worse than the disease. But that is simply no reason to live in the terror of those wily cells which are threatening to eat you up. Some phases of the treatment will certainly alter the lifestyle of the patient by introducing physical alterations.
Truth be told, surgical procedures like mastectomy may rob a woman of her self-esteem; chemotherapy may render her hairless and radiation can singe the very core of her being. The physical agony and mental trauma of the treatment will definitely bog you down unless you stand up to it. Instead, one can prove to be wiser by using appropriate prosthetics or a sense of humour to laugh away the blues!
Low immunity levels during this period may prevent one from an active social life. This deterrent can be translated into a boon in disguise by utilising this time to get involved in activities that one had been yearning to do over the decades — catching up with long-lost friends, hobbies, enrolling in an academic course of one’s choice, listening to music, singing, knitting, embroidering, painting. It will do you a world of good to include prayers, meditation, yoga and pranayama into the schedule.
If one has the stamina, spring cleaning the house, going on long walks and planting a new garden in the company of loved ones can prove to be therapeutic. Maintaining a personal journal in a detailed way on every single day can be make a difference too.
If one views this period as a god given sabbatical meant for self introspection and improvement and lives through every moment of the not so pleasant experience in right earnest, time will fly and before long there will emerge a stronger woman who can blow away the blues of life and bounce back into the pink of health physically, mentally and spiritually.
Then life will no longer be a struggle to survive but a new phase of quality living!