Have you noticed I haven’t blogged in a couple of months? I hope so…that means you’ve been reading my posts! A couple of months ago I decided to start a live series on my Facebook page called My Story Sunday. While the series was great, the preparation time for each video took time, and something had to give, so blogging was put on hold. If you haven’t watched the videos, start with Chapter 1 here:
Throughout the My Story Sunday I provided hindsight tips and insight information, but I bet you didn’t take notes on this valuable information so here’s a list of the tips throughout the series. While the information is particularly relevant to those diagnosed with breast cancer, some of it can be helpful to those with other cancers.
Hindsight: If I’d only known then what I know now, this is what I would have done differently.
- I would have tried a whole food plant-based diet prior to hormone replacement therapy for peri menopausal symptoms.
- I would have asked questions about breast density when my earlier mammogram results made a notation about it. Questions such as; What does density mean? and, Should further testing should be done?
- I would have joined an online support community sooner than I did, because I found it to be helpful with information and support. My favorite online community for breast cancer is: http://breastcancer.org
- Post mastectomy I would have tried men’s v-neck t-shirts. (No excess material with men’s shirts. Women’s are made for breasts!) For a dressier look, prints and scarves are helpful with camouflage.
Insight Information: Random information I have gathered over the years.
- Always make sure you are comfortable with your medical team, and if you’re not, explore your options.
- There is much involved in whether a mastectomy vs a lumpectomy is recommended for a patient. Ask questions and know your options before making a decision.
- After being diagnosed, try to have some cancer-free time each day. Spend time NOT talking about cancer, even if only for an hour.
- To manage the post-mastectomy surgical drainage tubes you can purchase belts with pouches (some intended for showers, some not), or simply wear a hoodie inside out and place bulbs in the pockets on the inside.
- If you are considering reconstruction, a great reference book is: The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook by Kathy Steligo
- If you are experiencing a metallic taste due to chemo, try smoothies. You can put a lot of nutrition in them and the cool, fruity taste may be soothing.
- If you know you will be loosing your hair and it’s naturally long, you may want to get a short cut to lesson the trauma as hair falls out. Some may choose to proactively have their heads shaved, and some salons will shave your head for free if your hair is falling out from chemo. It’s worth the ask!
- Wigs, hats and scarves are all good options to keep you warm and comfortable with a bald head.
- There are eyebrow kits with stencils to aid in drawing in eyebrows if you choose to do so.
- Radiation is typically scheduled for a certain number of treatments and take place Monday through Friday.
There are seven chapters in the video series, so these are just the highlights. There is much more detail in the videos! Please check them out and comment with any thoughts or questions.
Our experiences become part of our stories, and to pass along what we have learned in the pages of our story is an invaluable gift. May your story end in health, joy and peace!