Eight things we want breast cancer survivors to know…
- YOU ARE NOT ALONE – In India, there are lakhs of breast cancer survivors and in the US there are 3 million! And then there are family members – we all are with you!
- LIFE IS DIFFERENT NOW AND THAT’S OK – People think it’s life as usual after breast cancer but IT’S NOT! You are not the same person you once were. But now you appreciate life more and have a surprising ability not to sweat the small stuff!
- THAT LINGERING FEAR…IT WILL COME BACK! – Many people are afraid that cancer is still there or will come back. Yes, it can come back at the same site or somewhere else. We have faced it before and if it comes back we will face this also. And it is thus more important to visit your healthcare.
- HEALTHY CHOICES GO A LONG WAY – Maintain a healthy weight and eat a balanced diet. Exercise regularly- three hours or more of a brisk walk in a week decreases the chance of recurrence by 30%.
- THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW TO LEARN – Knowledge is power. Being thoroughly educated about your diagnosis, treatment and follow up you feel in control of your life. Next time you visit your doctor, write your questions and ask them.
- IT’S OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP – Your journey may have brought a whirlwind of emotions – shock, fear, denial, sadness, anger, finances and insurance! Ask for help – there are hundreds of people “I learned that if I took a hand offered to me, there was no telling what gifts I would receive”.
- SHARE TO MOTIVATE – You know how it feels! You can help by giving support to others.
- SURVIVORSHIP PROGRAMME – We consider you a part of Today, let us make a promise to each other and to the world – we are for each and every one.
LET US CELEBRATE SURVIVORS DAY EVERYDAY !!
The writer, Dr. Rashmi Sharma, is a Senior Consultant Surgical Oncology (Breast Services), Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Gurugram