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Dealing with Cancer and Surgery

Battling breast cancer or other serious illness is always challenging for patients and their families.  A cancer diagnosis can impact family and friends, work and leisure, mental health and relationships.  It is vitally important for patients and their partners or families to find constructive ways of dealing with these added stressors to minimize the negative impact on life that a serious illness can create.  Healthy mental and spiritual lives and strong relationships play a crucial role in coping with these added life stressors.  Reach out to a trusted family member or friend or spiritual leader if you need to, don’t fight the battle on your own.

I encourage my patients to try to find joy in every day as they fight their battles.  Keep true to their hobbies if they have one, read, listen to music, see a movie, go to church, get out in nature.  Spend time with family or friends, or find peace in solitude.  Everyone has a different approach but find a way to experience calm and joy each day.

I love to garden and it is a great stress reliever for me.  I do it alone but it allows me to enjoy the outdoors which I love and it has always relaxed me.  I have gardened since I was a boy.  In my years in Texas I have learned about many new plants and I particularly enjoy working with perennials.  One of my favorites is pictured below, Datura.  These beautiful fragrant flowers bloom at night which adds to their charm.  Working with plants like these balances the stressors in my professional life.  Try to find something that helps you as a patient balance the stress of your illness.  When all else fails, laugh.  Humor is all around us, even in our darkest hours.