There is a lot you can do for yourself to feel good and take control of your life after hearing you have metastatic breast cancer (MBC). You can be your own best friend at this time by finding out what makes you feel good, what gives you strength and what helps you. And don’t be hard on yourself – it’s ok to have good days and bad days.
Eating a healthy diet is one of the best choices you can make to strengthen your immune system – whether you have MBC or not. A good diet can help your body fight o infections or viruses. You may find yourself getting sick more often with cancer. Stress and some cancer treatments can weaken your immune system.
If you want to change your diet ask your doctor or nurse to refer you to a dietician, who can help you make positive changes slowly. They can also help you eat well if you have nausea, diarrhoea or other problems during or after your cancer treatment.
Yes, regular to moderate exercise has been proven to help you physically and emotionally. Even taking a 10-minute walk every day may help with the symptoms of MBC, such as tiredness and poor appetite. Exercise can also help reduce stress, boost sleep, and reduce pain.
With exercise as with all things today: Do what is right for you, and what makes you feel good. You don’t have to limit yourself to gentle stretching – maybe dancing is what makes you feel great! But always listen to your body and be careful not to exceed your limits and cause pain. You will need to find what your limits are. You are likely to feel overtired more easily than before. If you are concerned, you can always talk to your doctor about what type of exercise is right for you
HOW MUCH and WHAT KIND of exercise works for you will depend on many different things, such as your level of fitness before treatment, the type of treatment you are receiving, and the side effects and symptoms you are having. You may need to avoid some types of strenuous movement if your cancer has spread to your bones or you have symptoms affecting your bones.
Many women with MBC have found that complementary therapies can play a big role alongside ‘conventional’ medical care. These treatments can help them cope with their cancer physically – with the side-eects – as well as mentally, by reducing depression or anxiety. For more information, please contact FoCP.
In part 2 of this guide, you can find more information about dierent treatments that may help you feel better. Learn what you are comfortable with and see what is available and easy for you to do from amongst activities such as:
! You should always inform your doctor about any complementary therapies you are taking, since they could have an impact on your cancer treatment
There is no specific diet you need to follow, eat what makes you feel good.✓
Any amount of exercise can help you feel better in your mind and body, even 10 minutes of walking.✓
There are no set limits on your activity level, do the amount of movement that you enjoy.✓
Many women like you find that complementary medical care can sometimes help ease side effects and anxiety.