Tips & Advice for Breast Cancer Survivors

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"I've just been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Now what?"

An old Chinese Proverb says that to know the road ahead, ask those coming back. There Is Life After Breast Cancer is proud to share tools and tidbits from other breast cancer survivors just for you.

Be your own patient advocate. You are the quarterback of your team.
- Helen

Buy an inspiring There Is Life After Breast Cancer book.
- Hayley & Margerie

During chemo, I put up a bird feeder outside my window. I enjoyed watching all the busy birds.
- Diane

I found that using eyebrow powder (in taupe!) to draw on eyebrows was so much easier than trying to use a brow pencil.
- Gwen

Make sure to get a new toothbrush at least every couple of months!
- Barb

Don’t assume everyone knows that you lost your hair because of cancer treatment. My neighbor down the street thought my new hair style was just me “being artsy.”
- Meg

Use plastic utensils if a metallic taste kicks in.
- Jeanne

Buy a great bar of natural organic soap to use on your entire body - head to toe.
- Mable

Listen to a completely different genre of music that you never had time to appreciate before. Let the music flow.
- Dana

At some point, your wig will probably either pull askew or fall off entirely. Just roll with it!
- Angela

I continued to work out at the gym throughout my treatments. It made me feel empowered, and I think I was in a better mindset for my battle.
- Missy

Get a fun hat or pair of gloves. Go out to a tea house with friends on a regular basis.
- Susie

When I went to our local wig store looking for options, the lady handed me a turban, stick on bangs and toupee glue. I ran out of there as quickly as I could! I found that a Survivor Buff® was exactly the option I was looking for.
- Karen

The day I finished chemo, my husband planted a rose bush. That was 7 years ago. My chemo roses are blooming right now and they are beautiful.
- Lani

Make sure to always eat breakfast, including on chemo day.
- Emily

Peppermint tea helped settle my stomach during chemo.
- Veronica

See if your local area has a cancer resource center. I got so much information there when I was diagnosed and I still appreciate all of the programs they offer today.
- Kim

I had lunch with friends and we all wore wigs. Only one of us was bald (me). It was so much fun.
- Nancy

I had a great stretchy bag in which to carry all my necessities in when I went to the doctor. My bag holds everything: medical records, water bottle, prescriptions, reading material, journal, ipad, snacks and it still has room to spare!
- Sue

Plant a Victory Garden when you finish treatment. Invite your friends to bring cuttings from their gardens.
- Marni

Sometimes, the best thing a friend can do is to just sit and listen. Don’t be afraid to share your feelings with those closest to you.
- Maria

Make a fun list to do (during OR after treatment!) It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Start with cake for breakfast.
- Minnie

A nurse navigator helped me through my maze of insurance questions. She also helped me when I was unsure about the next step in my treatment.
- Julie

Ask your doctor if you and/or your family should consider getting flu shots.
- Marcy

Keep hand sanitizer with you at all times: in your purse, at your front door, in your car. Don’t be afraid to ask others to use it if they are going to be around you.
- Laura

Don’t board the train without a ticket. Stay positive and don’t dwell on the “what ifs”.
- Beth

I found a therapist to talk to. She gave me coping mechanisms that helped me get through it all.
- Patricia

Queasy Pops and Queasy Ginger Drops helped me combat nausea.
- Stephanie

I signed up for and got encouragement through the mail!
- Lori

Plan the vacation you always wanted to take. Mine gave me something to look forward to. That celebratory Yosemite camping trip was something my family will always remember!
- Michelle

I painted my living room hot rod red the day I finished with my treatments! What are YOU going to do?
- Hayley

Buy a pair of cashmere socks or a hat!
- Melody

I started an on-line journal at so friends and family could check up on me at their leisure (and not feel like they were bugging me.)
- Carol

Using Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails kept my fingernails intact.
- Jenny

Check out the resources page for tons of great information.
- Stella

My friend would make us foot spa appointments for a little extra pampering in between chemo treatments. Heavenly!
- Zeena

What is YOUR favorite tip? We want to hear it and possibly feature it on this page!
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Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals. Any ideas, advice, techniques, procedures, and suggestions on this website are not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of a trained health professional. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision. The collaborators disclaim any liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of these tools and tidbits, as these are provided as a courtesy.