The breast cancer experience can be a powerful incentive to reorder
priorities and see life from a different angle. To make a point of
finding something enjoyable in every day, in every task. A reminder
to stop and smell the roses.
Breast cancer can also be a liberating experience. You may decide
to do something you always wanted to do—write poetry, travel,
or spend more time with your children.
This may be a good time to adopt healthy habits.
Good nutrition may speed your healing after surgery and help you during
chemotherapy. Later on, balanced diet, with proper amounts of protein,
fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins will help you feel younger and stay
healthier. Currently, there is no evidence that breast cancer can
be prevented by a low fat or any other type of diet, although certain
diets may affect the incidence of other cancers, such as colon cancer.
You may have done arm exercises as part of your post-surgical recovery.
Physical activity will strengthen and energize you, so don't neglect
the rest of your body. A regular exercise program will help you stay
stronger and feel younger. There is also evidence that moderate physical
exercise can improve the work of the immune system.
As a breast cancer survivor you may be at an increased risk for other
types of cancer, such as ovarian cancer, lung cancer, or skin cancer.
This may be an excellent reason to stop smoking and to take better
protective measures when you expose your skin to the sun. Other lifestyle
changes, such as relaxation or meditation, may help you in your personal
and professional life as well.
As you regain your physical and emotional strength, consider the needs
of your fellow breast cancer survivors who may be in earlier, or in
more difficult stages of their recovery, and could greatly benefit
from someone to guide them through the experience. Many organizations
listed in the Resources section need volunteers who can help other
women in their struggle with breast cancer. Whether as a patient advocate
who helps mold breast cancer related policy in Washington, a moderator
in a local support group, or a helping hand for a friend, you will
find that contributing to the cause is an enriching and uplifting
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