Jennifer's Breast Cancer Story | Part 3 - Self Image

Jennifer's Breast Cancer Story | Part 3 - Self Image

Anyone who has personally been through, or has seen someone go through, breast cancer, diagnosis, surgery, treatment, and recovery, will know just how much your confidence and self-image are knocked. 

Because of the toll that treatment can take on your body, your appearance can change so dramatically. From weight gain to weight loss.  Loss of one or both of your breasts.  Reconstruction of your breast, delayed reconstruction, hair loss, regrowth of grey often curly hair or 'chemo curls”, not to mention early onset medical menopause and all the 'fabulous' side effects that it can bring on like dry sensitive skin and a complete reshaping of your body.  I don't know about you, but in my case, I am almost unrecognizable 2 years after my diagnosis.   


Is it any wonder our confidence and self-image are affected?  We need ways of making us feel better about ourselves. Trying to eat healthily, and get some regular exercise.  Getting quality sleep, along with de-stressing and finding what works for you in terms of relaxation and calming any anxiety you may be feeling, I always found that having a nice shower, putting on comfortable clothes, getting my mascara and lippy on really did improve my mood and how I felt about myself. I also listen to a babbling brook and birdsong on my phone beside my bed at night to ward of the churning anxiety.  

Recently, I discovered the indescribable freedom and joy of swimming and aqua exercise.  I can't recommend this strongly enough for anyone going through or having come through cancer treatment and menopause for that matter.  If you are conscious of your body there are so many swimwear options out there. I found swim leggings and capri shorts that help me feel better about myself and my lumpy out of shape body and lifted that self-conscious barrier that prevented me from going for a swim.  There are also specially designed swimsuits for ladies who have undergone mastectomy surgery.  (you may be entitled to a free swimsuit each year if you have a medical card - ask you breast nurse or local Community Health Office)  

Go for it, you will love it and you will become addicted to the feeling of weightlessness and the sheer joy of movement in water. Plus you will tone up in a matter of weeks if you go regularly and give it a min of 30mins each time.  I also recommend walking with your favorite music on your earphones or any other activity like dancing or whatever it is that you love and will look forward to doing. 

Good luck, and remember you have been through hell, you can do anything.

-Love, Jenn