Advice from survivorsWho better to guide people diagnosed with breast cancer than those who have walked the path? The following is advice for those recently diagnosed with breast cancer from women who have received the diagnosis. Submissions have been edited for clarity and brevity. Read more at www.columbian.com/news/health/breast-cancer.
• Keep moving forward.
• Know that you are loved.
• Keep beautiful things near you that comfort you. Keep things to do with you — puzzles, books, knitting.
• Watch funny movies, read funny books, avoid the news.
• Stay in touch with positive, loving people. Limit contact with those who can’t handle it.
• Think of the future. Make plans to do things you’ve always wanted to do.
• Journal. Manage stress with prayer, meditation, hopeful thinking, visualization.
• Eat lots of veggies, fruits, grains (especially oatmeal), bananas, plain yogurt, flax seed and peppermint tea for side effects. Take vitamin B complex and C. Limit sugar and processed food intake. Drink water.
• For nausea, eat a little something every 30 to 60 minutes. Eating keeps your digestive system busy and staves off nausea. Exercise for five minutes a day.
• Make appointments early in the day when you have more energy. Doctors are likely to not be behind earlier in the day.
• Keep antibiotic cream and Band-Aids on hand. You’re more vulnerable to infection while undergoing chemo.
• Keep a journal of symptoms. Include temperature (get a good thermometer), weight, blood pressure, constipation, rash, tingling. Call your oncologist with any concerns.
• Avoid sick people, crowds, stressful situations.
• Sleep as much as your body dictates.
• Know that this is not bigger than you. While it will be very hard at times, you can get through it.
— Delores Goodrich of Vancouver.
Diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in 2014. Currently no evidence of disease.