You'll probably find that for the first few weeks, cancer dominates your thoughts, conversations and reading matter.
Try not to overwhelm yourself and consider the following ideas to help you get through the next stage:
- Remind yourself that most Australian women survive breast cancer.
- Realise there may be a lot of uncertainty and anxious waiting while test results come through and appointments are made -- if your usual relaxation techniques aren't working, talk to your doctor.
- Take some time out from cancer by having a 'cancer-free' weekend with a partner or friend.
- Keeping family and friends updated on your situation can be exhausting -- consider using an answering service on your phone to leave updates or communicate through email, SMS, twitter, facebook or a blog. The BCNA online network provides a blog function as well as access to a network of others affected by breast cancer.
- You are not alone in this journey, so make sure you take advantage of the support available -- either draw on your network of family and friends, consider professional emotional support or talk to others who have experienced breast cancer through our online network.
'Take things day-to-day -- you will go on a roller-coaster ride with your emotions. Don't feel you have to be strong all the time. Find people who will listen to your feelings and don't be afraid to express them.' --Peta
In the videos below, Australia women share their experience of connecting with others, effects on family and friends and things that have helped them to feel supported and less alone following a diagnosis of breast cancer.
Support following a diagnosis
Breast cancer and your family
Communicating with your family and friends
- You can order a free My Journey Kit which is a comprehensive information resource for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.
- Join our online network if you think that talking to others online and sharing experiences will help.
- Women of reproductive age who are thinking of starting a family or having more children in the future can read more about fertility in the 'Key Issues: Fertility' section on the Young Women's page
- Download a copy of Messages of Hope and Inspiration booklet containing messages from women who have been through breast cancer.
- Domini Stuart's book, 'You can get through this', provides messages on how to stay positive when you're coping with breast cancer.