Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event and it affects not only your mental, physical and spiritual connection, but also the relationships with people close to you.  You may feel barraged with medical terminology and treatment options that you are not familiar with or you may feel pressured to make decisions that you haven’t had the time to process or explore.

The “C” word is known to invoke many emotions and fears.  Experiencing a roller coaster of emotions is a perfectly normal response when you are diagnosed with breast cancer, especially during the initial diagnosis stage. Common emotions that you may experience are as follows:  

It is important for you to know that there is no right or wrong way to deal with this situation.  Each person has their own personal experiences, values, personality and temperament, which determines how they react to and deal with stress. Do not let stress drive your treatment decisions.  By taking the time you need to process and understand your diagnosis, you will be able to better accept this situation and make the best decisions for yourself.  

While your healthcare team is gathering important information about your diagnosis, you may feel like you have no control of the situation.  Your normal routine is now filled with uncertainty and can be disrupted with doctor visits and a variety of treatments. You may feel overwhelmed with fear and worried about your future.  Dealing with these feelings is not easy but you can get through this.  You can help lower your stress levels by working through these emotions and staying focused on your physical and mental well-being.  Try to focus on the things that you can control. 

Start by Managing Things you can Control:

Once you have had time to process your diagnosis and learn more about your options, these emotions can actually help motivate you to take action and regain control of your situation.  Talk to your medical professionals if you have questions or concerns about your emotional or mental well-being during cancer treatments. 

Content provided by Dr Amy Lang | The START Center for Cancer Care.