Being diagnosed with metastatic (or Stage 4) breast cancer can be overwhelming. You may feel angry, scared, and/or depressed. Some people may question the treatments they had or may be mad at their doctors or themselves for not being able to beat the disease. There is no right or wrong way to come to terms with the diagnosis. Here are some resources that can help you understand and cope with this difficult journey.
What is Metastatic Cancer? – Metastatic breast cancer (also called stage 4) is breast cancer that has spread to another part of the body. Here is more information.
Metastatic Symptoms & Diagnosis – Symptoms of metastatic breast cancer can be different depending on the location of the cancer. Here are things to know.
20 Metastatic Breast Cancer Terms to Know – You’ll likely encounter unfamiliar words when learning about metastatic breast cancer. Here are 20 terms to know.
Metastatic Cancer Treatment Choices – There are different approaches to treating metastatic cancer. Here are some things to consider when making a decision.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Metastatic Breast Cancer – You likely have many questions. Here are some to consider as you prepare for your appointment.
Clinical Trials – Clinical trials help discover new treatments for breast cancer and new ways to detect, diagnose, and reduce the risk of disease. Learn more here.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Clinical Trials – The uncertainty of not knowing how a trial will turn out can make it hard to decide. Here are some questions to ask.
Taking a Break from Treatment – Sometimes you may want to consider a break from treatment so your body can rest and recover. Here are some things to consider.
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 – Research shows yoga can help those with breast cancer improve physical functioning, reduce fatigue & stress, and improve sleep. Here’s how and 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 during breast cancer treatment. and it can make you feel better. Here’s more on why and how you should exercise.
Relaxation Techniques – Some who have breast cancer feel that relaxation calms and quiets the mind and muscles. Here are some techniques you can use.
Talking to Family & Friends about Your Diagnosis – Sharing your diagnosis is hard. You may be concerned about upsetting them or how they will react. Here’s help.
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.
Genetics and Breast Cancer – Unsure what you need to know about your genetics and risks? Here is some information.
Metastatic Cancer and Your Work Life – The effect of a diagnosis of metastatic cancer on your work life is different for every person. Here are some things to consider.
Telling Your Employer about Your Diagnosis – Deciding if and how to tell your employer and coworkers about your condition is a personal choice. These tips can help.
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.
Deciding If or When to Stop Treatment – Deciding if or when to stop treatment for metastatic breast cancer is difficult. Here are some things to consider.
Advanced Care Planning – Through honest talks with your loved ones, you can explain what’s important to you and what kind of treatments you do and do not want.
Advance Directives – An advance directive is a legal document that explains how medical decisions to be made if your loved one cannot make them. Here’s more.
Living Wills – A living will is a written, legally binding document that informs doctors about your preferences for medical care at the end of life. Here’s more information.
Powers of Attorney – A power of attorney allows someone to make financial or healthcare decisions for you if you are unable. Here is information about creating one.
Writing a Will – Although thinking about your will can be upsetting, it’s important to have one. Here is a guide.
Palliative Care – The goal of palliative care is to improve your quality of life and your family, including caregivers. Here’s more information.
Hospice Care – The word hospice might trigger the notion of giving up on life, but the goal is to give a person the best possible quality of life. Here’s information.
Deciding How You Want to Spend Your Time – A life-threatening illness can make you feel powerless. But you can take back control by making a plan.
End of Life: Managing Relationships – Having conversations with family and friends can be difficult. Here’s some help.
End of Life: Working Through Emotions – Coming to terms with end of life creates a range of emotions. Here are common emotions and ways to work through them.
Your Feelings about Your Diagnosis – Coming to terms with a metastatic diagnosis will take time and be different for everyone. Here are some helpful tips for coping.
Finding Meaning in Breast Cancer – The search for meaning is an effort to understand breast cancer, why it has happened and its impact in your life. Here are some tips.
Maintaining and Fostering Hope – Many women with breast cancer suffer a loss of hope. Here are some tips on maintaining and fostering hope in your life.
Managing your Fears – Feelings of stress, anxiety, & depression are common during breast cancer treatment. Here are some suggestions to deal with those fears.
Intimacy, Dating, and Relationship Concerns – Sharing close moments and times with loved ones 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 – We have trained volunteers also living with a metastatic diagnosis. 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.