Tip #2 Take One Day at a Time and Tip #3 Surround Yourself with Positivity

bracelets

It is important to take one day at a time when you are diagnosed with breast cancer.  Learn about the diagnosis.  Find doctors and medical facilities that suite your needs and get second or third opinions.  You are going to be spending time with the doctors and you need to find a good fit between you and your doctors.

Also, surround yourself with positivity.  When you are surrounded with positive people in your life, they can help you when facing your breast cancer diagnosis and treatments.  You may find yourself going through many different emotions that are similar to the grieving process when first being diagnosed and throughout treatment.

The day I was diagnosed with breast cancer was on Ground Hog Day (February 2nd) and boy did it seem like Ground Hog Day, I will never forget that day.  My gynocologist called me on the phone while I was at work and said that she had the results from my biopsy and it is standard practice that the patient comes into the office to hear the test results.  She asked if I could come in that afternoon and I said sure.  I called my husband and he was able to come that afternoon too.  The nurse practitioner called me a few minutes later and said that is standard practice to bring “a loved one” to the appointment.  I told her that my husband was already planning on coming.  When I hung up the phone, I thought…..that doesn’t sound good…”bring a loved one”!

My husband and I meet at the gynocologist’s office and waited patiently for her to tell us the test results.  She tells us the results and I immediately start to cry.  My first thought is about not being able to have a child, not about the cancer itself especially when she mentioned that a treatment could be chemo, but it depended on what the other doctors said.  I really am not sure what else she said after that.  My husband comforted me and we left the office.  Both of us were so disoriented that we could not find our cars in the parking garage.  We had forgotten to take the skybridge. A nice lady directed us where to go as I continued to cry.  We “found” our cars and drove to a parking lot and left my car there since I was unable to drive due to the excessive crying.  I also called my mom on the way to our house while she was at work.  The very next day I had my first doctor’s appointment. 

I myself was one that went to many, many doctors before finding a good fit for me.  Living in Houston, I am very fortunate to have MD Anderson (MDA) https://www.mdanderson.org/ in my own backyard, but I had originally decided to be treated by another doctor.   In the background while visiting many doctors and plastic surgeons I received a call from MD Anderson asking me if I wanted to come in for an appointment.  My husband’s boss’ neighbor is a heart doctor that works at MDA and he helped to get me my first appointment.  Although, I do not think it is difficult to get appointments at MDA like it used to be in the past for people that have been diagnosed with cancer.  

I went to my first all day appointment and was impressed by all of the doctors and how the facility was run.  By the end of the day, all of my tests had been redone and I had surgery scheduled for March 21st.  The deciding factor was for me to be a patient at MDA was that their treatment plan was different for me compared to what the other doctors said.  Also, the doctors work together as a team, so you do not have to be going from one doctor to another all over town, they are all in the same place.  The doctors at MDA were concerned about the suspicious lymph node they discovered in my armpit, whereas the other doctors had not mentioned their concerns.

I remember going through the grieving process when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer.  I was angry…  I was sad…  When I reached the acceptance stage, I focused my energy on surrounding myself with positivity daily.  I wear bracelets and anchor jewelry to remind myself of HOPE.  The jewelry serves as a reminder that some days are going to be easier than others.  Some days when I am tired, I have what I call, “the crying spells”.  I started crying making eggs for no reason one Saturday.  “The crying spells” don’t last long and I usually feel fine when I am done. I get back on track on the road to positivity!

The bracelets that I am wearing in the picture are from:

MantraBand – https://www.mantraband.com/   A friend, BL, gave me this bracelet when I found out about my diagnosis.  The bracelet reminds me to “take one day at a time” just like it says and to not get discouraged.

ALEX AND ANI – https://www.alexandani.com/  My cousin, aunt, mom, and sister-in-law wear this bracelet everyday.  My aunt and cousin sent me my bracelet in the mail as a gift since they live in Pittsburgh.  When I saw my mom and sister-in-law at a family gathering I noticed that they were wearing the bracelet too.  The bracelet serves as a reminder to have HOPE!

 bracelet with mom bracelet with kristen

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