Diane’s Rules

If you start in a place of trust, you’ll end in a place of trust.

with a recent diagnosis of breast cancer, you will probably start with a discussion with your doctor that scheduled the mammogram. Perhaps your gynecologist. Ask yourself, if you truly trust this person? If you do, then follow their advice and transfer your trust to the next specialist you are referred to. Transferring this trust with intention, should make your heart more at ease as you move forward in your journey.

Refuse to be
emotionally paralyzed.

It is up to you to protect yourself. Make your decisions mindfully. Reject negativity. Embrace happiness. I have not found data or studies to prove that patients who are more positive, end up with a better result. But I have had conversations with many care givers who believe this is true. They feel people who are more positive do better in their treatments and results. Make this be you!

You can have a pity party, but
it better be short!

In a time like this, it is easy to let oneself slide into an emotional low. We all question why this happened to me? Or what did I do to cause this? Those thoughts are not productive. Consciously make yourself stop doing that. Allow a short pity party; cry, sob, sleep. And then it’s over. Make it short so you will not be emotionally paralyzed. You have options to consider. You have resources to seek out. You have healing to do.

is contagious.
Surround yourself with it.

This goes without saying. Associate with positive people. Handle the negative people. How do you do this? If someone I know and love would start dwelling on things that would bring me down, I would tell them I don’t want to have this conversation and if they want to continue, I’ll be happy to leave the room. You have to be strong to fight breast cancer. Be strong with those around you. Try it. It’s liberating!

Find and rely on
experts you trust.

There may be people in your life that are peripherally involved in treating or helping women in your situation now. These may be nurses, doctors, breast imaging technicians, other survivors, organizations offering counseling. Seek these out while gathering your information to make your decision.. Sort out what is best for you. Right now, it’s all about you.

Create a small
circle of influence.

Think about who you want to share your diagnosis and journey with. Depending on who you are surrounded by, you may choose to keep it small. I did. I didn’t want sympathy at work, I didn’t want people dwelling on my case if they weren’t an expert. Maybe this sounds cold, but I needed to keep living and moving forward. I didn’t want advice from anyone except my experts. Sorry, but it’s true.

Don’t focus on an
unfinished product

As you go through treatments, surgeries and various rounds of medication, there will be ups and downs. Sometimes the midpoints are not pleasant. They are not pretty. They are not easy. Tell yourself you will focus on the end result, not this time right now. I’m not saying this is easy, but I submit to you it is necessary. Here’s an analogy: If you are baking a cake, and you put 2 ingredients in the bowl and taste it, it would probably taste bad. At that point, do you say the cake is a failure? No. Because in your right mind you know the cake is not finished. Apply this same principle to your breast cancer journey. Focus on health; focus on healing; visualize healing and make it real in whatever way you choose.

make a decision and
move forward!

My first job out of college was as an auditor. We were trained to study a situation or client, gather all the facts, analyze every bit of information available to us, and then come to a decision about recommendations for improvement. Likewise, when we want to make any larger purchase like a home or a car, don’t we study what our options are? We don’t pluck it off the shelf like a head of lettuce. Why? Larger, more valuable decisions require more attention. Guess what? Your breasts and your health fall into this valuable category, agree? So the lesson here is to gather all the information you can. Research what applies to you. Use your experts. Make the best decision you can make. Put a stake in the ground (representing your decision) and move forward. Don’t look back.

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