This entry was written by Randi Rentz. Randi gives us a great perspective of why healing physically from breast cancer is completely different than healing mentally from breast cancer.
As a breast cancer survivor, you know you have come through an extensive and grueling journey. You handled it, you may have shed tears or even bawled your eyes out, you were beyond highly anxious, and you may have even become emotionally paralyzed with fear. But you survived “the pink bubble,” including the treatment. Perhaps you are still taking that journey, and for others, the main recovery process and the support meetings are over. Others may not be able to bring themselves to yet another support group meeting.
After all, you are supposed to be “fine” now, right? But you may not be. You have gone through the lengthy and complicated physical trauma that is associated with breast cancer. When physical healing has been completed, even after a long period of time, as a “pink bubble survivor,” you may often feel sapped and your ability to manage emotionally becomes twisted when all the support systems provided during treatment are then… WITHDRAWN.
You are expected to recuperate quickly once you have been “mended” physically, but the emotional distress to your life is something you may still be dealing with LONG after your treatment is over.
Some family members, friends and co-workers who were there for you during the “worst of it” now look forward to you getting back into your so-called normal life. Some people may want you to act as if nothing happened or perhaps as if it weren’t as bad as it was. Yes, there are people out there like that! But, you still feel like you are NOT over it. Now that you are no longer in “Cancerville,” and you have spent all your inner strength to carry on, you find yourself drained and exhausted – almost like a delayed reaction.
So how do you deal with emotional exhaustion from breast cancer? Here are a few suggestions.
- Eat balanced, healthy meals during this period. Take a look at your lifestyle and eating habits and make conscious choices to modify your diet toward healthy foods.
- Exercise is very important to women in the healing phase. Walking is an excellent way to exercise the entire body. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the best work-outs for you.
- Nourish the psychological healing process. Many women experience grief just as they would if they lost a loved one. The grief is for the loss of their sense of stability, or wholeness, or “normal life”.
- Try a support group. They help many women reach that place of emotional healing. Others rely on family and friends to talk things through.
- There are many things that have happened to women during their time in “the pink bubble,” in which we don’t have any choices, but taking control of our body and helping it heal is one way we can call the shots.
- Or if all else fails, eat chocolate and buy yourself a gift, like diamonds!
Do you find it difficult to explain to your loved ones why breast cancer still isn’t over in your life? Comment here or on our Facebook page.