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How to breast cancer survivors can heal emotionally following a mastectomy

Updated: Nov 5, 2019

As women, it seems like we do not discuss mastectomies and the feelings of loss and sadness that result from this type of surgery following a breast cancer diagnosis. Think about it: We have had our breasts since puberty, and they signaled our coming-of-age. They are a part of what makes us women.

So, when we have to have a mastectomy to fight breast cancer, it can be an emotional blow. At least it was for me. It was so unexpected for me to feel sad following my mastectomy, which was one year ago tomorrow. But, the sadness I felt makes perfect sense. And, it makes sense that all of us need to do what we can to show other women that they are not alone in their feelings following their surgeries. What can you do to help? • Listen. If a friend starts to share her emotions, listen. In doing so, you will validate what she is feeling.

• If you belong to a breast cancer support group, share your experience with your mastectomy. Let others know they are not alone.

• Depending upon your comfort level, you may also choose to share your experience one-on-one with another woman who is in the midst of her cancer battle.

• Know that you are not alone in what you feel. It may sound different, but you need to mourn the loss of your breast(s).

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