This compassionate guide presents an array of new perspectives on the emotional effects of breast cancer and includes many personal testimonies from women who have been diagnosed with this disease. Written by a breast cancer survivor and practising psychologist, it shares practical ideas to help support sufferers at all stages, be it at diagnosis, during treatment or during life after the initial treatments are over. The concise, easy-to-read format includes exercises to develop an acceptance of thoughts and feelings, whilst the individual accounts validate the multitude of emotions felt by sufferers. It is a must for all breast cancer patients and sufferers, their families and friends. Its real-life approach, using first hand accounts, is also highly recommended for all health and social care professionals wanting a fresh approach to managing the emotional impacts of breast cancer. The shock of being diagnosed with breast cancer is hard to describe in words, as anyone who has had to suffer this diagnosis knows. Until it happens to us, we cannot really know how it feels. Not only do we have to deal with the diagnosis and subsequent treatments, but also we have to deal with the fact that breast cancer profoundly affects how we feel about ourselves as women. From the Introduction
Table of Contents
Introduction. Why I have written this book. About this book. Moving on. What affects how we feel when we have breast cancer? Prognosis. Treatment. Myths about treatment. Other feelings we often experience. Some practical suggestions that might be helpful. Longer-term shock. The longer-term impact of trauma. Why can people, including those of us with breast cancer, often act as if breast cancer is easier to live with than it is? Relationships. Family and friends. Relationships with doctors and nurses. Getting emotional support during breast cancer. Is this fear of cancer/ breast cancer made worse by anything else? All cancers are hard to live with, but is there anything about breast cancer that is different? Why can having breast cancer make us feel bad about ourselves? Why can we easily feel this bad? Am I to blame? Long-term effects of treatment. Further reading. Finally. Please don't. Just diagnosed. Shock. It's not your fault. Talking to doctors and nurses about your diagnosis and surgery. Reactions of those around us. Telling people. After surgery. A final reminder. References.