15 Tips for Feeling Your Best With Breast Cancer

Women who’ve been through it share how to deal with the challenges of breast cancer.

Health Monitor Staff
More Sharing +

Use visual reminders
Lauren Miller papered her room and bathroom with sticky notes. “I surrounded myself with verses from the Bible, things people had said and positive statements like, I give chemo permission to rid my body of the cells that no longer serve my well-being. I did tons of those statements! I needed those visual reminders.”

Feel the love
Six years after her diagnosis, a meal program started by a friend for Colleen’s family (her sons were 11 and 15 at the time) is still going strong! “It makes you feel so loved to receive one of these packages,” says Colleen. Best of all, “it removes the stress of What am I going to feed the crew for dinner?”

Spread sunshine

During chemo, Lauren made her way around the room, drip attached, to chat with people who looked like they needed a boost. “I introduced myself and listened to them. I shared a word of encouragement.” When she was able, she brought meals to friends in treatment and accompanied them to surgeries. “Things like that go viral in the heavenly realm and come back to you—in terms of better mental and physical state. They get you out of the black hole of self-absorption.”

Choose your mood!
Colleen promised herself years ago that if anyone or anything got her down, she’d exit the situation. “From the people you deal with on a regular basis, to the colors you wear and all things in between—keep it positive. On ‘down’ days, I wear periwinkle blue—my favorite color.”

Work your sense of humor
Lauren’s reconstructive surgery required a skin graft from her back to the front of her torso. “I’d tell people, ‘Now I really don’t know whether I’m coming or going.’ Laughter is so important, especially during treatment.”

Wear” your support
To remind Eloise they were always with her, Eloise’s friends made her a bracelet with each of their birthstones. “It was inexpensive, but worth a million!”

Get out into the world
After her diagnosis with stage IV cancer, Colleen quit her job. “But the more I stayed at home on the couch, the smaller my world became,” says Colleen. “I realized I wasn’t dying—at least not yet. I now work full-time and embrace the opportunity to think of something other than my health.”


May 2013