Whether you are going through a lumpectomy, mastectomy, radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or a combination of these, you are now in the midst of your breast cancer treatment. You’re likely overwhelmed. Let us help you on your journey. Below is some information and resources to help support you.
Treatment Options – There are many different types of treatment for breast cancer. Here is some information about options you may discuss with your medical team.
Breast Reconstruction – Breast reconstruction surgery (creating a new breast or breasts) after breast cancer is a personal choice. Here is some helpful information.
Surgery Checklist – Preparing for surgery – and for afterwards – can be overwhelming. Here are some items you may want to have on hand for before & after your surgery.
Your Medicines – Many women take medicines for about 5 years to help keep the cancer from coming back. Here’s some information on the common drugs.
Staying on Track with Your Medications – Staying on track with hormonal therapy can be a challenge, especially after the first few months. Here are some tips.
Questions to Ask your Doctor about Treatment Options – Here are some questions to ask your doctor as you discuss treatment options for your cancer.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Chemotherapy – Here are some questions you can ask your doctor about chemotherapy so that you feel more informed.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Radiation – Here are some questions to ask to make sure you understand radiation treatment and what to expect.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Reconstruction – Most breast cancer patients who have surgery consider reconstruction. Here are some questions to ask.
Fatigue – Fatigue, or the feeling of extreme tiredness, is the most common side effect of cancer treatment. Here are some ways to help yourself get more energy.
Pain – Pain is a common symptom of breast cancer and a side effect of many of the treatments. Here’s information on how to be your own pain advocate.
Insomnia (Trouble Sleeping) – Problems sleeping are a common occurrence during and after breast cancer treatment. Here are some ways to get back to sleep.
Lymphedema (Swelling of the Arms) – Lymphedema can be a side effect of some breast cancer treatments. Here are suggestions about what to do (and not do) about it.
Nausea – Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy can cause nausea and vomiting. Here are some tips for managing it.
Hair Loss – Whether hair loss is mild or more severe, it can be traumatic. Here are some ways to reduce or cope with your hair loss.
Memory Loss – Some types of breast cancer treatment can affect your memory. Here are some things to look for and ways to manage it.
Urinary Changes – Menopausal changes (change of life) caused by chemotherapy can cause urinary changes. Here are a few tips.
Constipation – Constipation (having bowel movements less often than usual) may be a side effect of breast cancer medicine that you take. Here are some tips.
Hot Flashes – Sometimes when a woman undergoes treatment for breast cancer, that treatment can cause hot flashes. Here are some tips to cool off.
Changes in Sexual Desire – Changes in sexual desire can happen during breast cancer treatment. Here are things to think about and discuss with your spouse or partner.
Changes in Sex Life – Drugs used to treat breast cancer can affect your sex life. Here is some helpful information about dealing with those changes.
Nutrition – Nutrition is a vitally important, yet often overlooked part of cancer treatment. Eating well can help you feel better during treatment. Here are some tips.
Yoga – Yoga can help those with breast cancer improve physical functioning, reduce fatigue & stress, and improve sleep. Here’s how and a link to some classes.
Meditation – Practicing meditation is believed to calm the mind, increase alertness, and bring a person into psychological balance. Here’s how to start meditating.
Exercise – Exercise is safe after and during breast cancer treatment, and it can make you feel better. Here’s more on why and how you should exercise.
Bone Health – Breast cancer treatment can affect your bone health (osteoporosis). If you have concerns about bone loss, here is some information to help.
Preventing Heart Disease – Chemotherapy for breast cancer can cause early menopause at a younger age, which increases the risk for heart disease. Here are some tips.
Relaxation Techniques – Some who have had breast cancer feel that relaxation calms and quiets the mind and muscles. Here are some techniques you can use.
Talking to Friends & Family About your Breast Cancer – Breaking the news to those who love you can be hard. Here are some tips for sharing your diagnosis.
How to Ask For and Accept Help – Rather than try to do everything on your own now, it might be time to ask for some help. We know that’s hard. Here are some tips.
Fertility During Treatment – Fertility during treatment may be a worry for you, especially if you are undergoing chemotherapy. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Genetics and Breast Cancer – Unsure what you need to know about your genetics and risks? Here is some information.
Breast Cancer and Your Job – How do I tell my boss I have breast cancer? Do I need to take time off for treatment? Here is some help to answer questions like this.
Managing the Costs of a Cancer Diagnosis – Breast cancer is expensive, even if you have health insurance. Here are some tips for managing the costs.
Organizing your Medical Records – Treating for breast cancer creates A LOT of paperwork. Staying organized is essential! Here are some suggestions to help you do that.
Managing your Fears – Feelings of stress, anxiety, & depression are common during breast cancer treatment. Here are some suggestions to deal with those fears.
Body Image and Loss Concerns – Mastectomies and chemotherapy can create fears about how you will look and feel about your body. This information can help.
Intimacy, Dating, and Relationship Concerns – Sharing close moments and times with loved ones after breast cancer is important. Here are some tips.
Keeping a Journal – It Can Help! – Many people find writing their thoughts and feelings down in a journal helps them cope. Here are tips to get started.
Get Matched with Someone Who Understands – Forge has trained volunteers who have been exactly where you are. Let us match you with someone who understands.
Finding a Support Group – Support Groups can be a great way to connect with others who are on this journey, too. Here’s a list. Find one that’s right for you.
How Can Forge Support You Through Your Diagnosis? – We have lots of ways to help you, your loved ones, and your caregivers. This link will tell you how.
Spirituality and Religion – People who have been faced with cancer often have questions and concerns of a spiritual nature. Here are ways to incorporate your spirituality.
Connecting with Healthcare Chaplains – Chaplains are available to provide counseling and support to patients and family members throughout your illness.
A Resource for Prayers – This website gathers great prayers written by spiritual visionaries in an online database representing all life affirming traditions.
If you have any questions or concerns about breast cancer, treatment, diagnosis, side effects, or need help with any obstacle that stands in the way of your healing, please contact Forge’s Client Services Coordinator, Janet Dees, at (205)990-5367 or [email protected]. We’re just one phone call away.