Hope After Cancer Patrycja's story
Patrycja (she/her) - White
Diagnosed in 2018 - Breast Cancer
I am brave, I am learning everyday, I am enough.
I was diagnosed with lobular breast cancer (stage II) in 2018. My treatment included mastectomy. Followed by chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and hormonal therapy for 5 years.
My life post-cancer treatment was very difficult. My body went through a lot of physical and mental changes. I was struggling with multiple side effects after finishing chemotherapy and radiotherapy and after a while I figured that hormonal therapy was also the root of many side effects. Insomnia, body pains, tiredness, neurological problems were just some of the physical side effects.
Mentally, I was also struggling, I suffered from anxiety and all emotions related to uncertainty were with me every day.
During hormonal therapy I trailed various types of medications and different approaches of taking them to reduce side effects. However, my body was refusing to tolerate the treatment. I stayed focused on searching for answers from doctors, educating myself about options and very hopeful that physical and mental recovery will eventually happen.
Spending time with my family and close friends was giving me a sense of normality. My children became my charging batteries and I learned how to absorb the energy that they were releasing. Keeping the routine of doing school runs and going for walks every day helped me to move from one day to the next.
Spending time in nature, mild exercise, planning and executing small house renovation projects kept my head occupied and allowed me to feel that I was working towards the goal. I embraced my baking and cooking skills. Writing a journal helped me to release my emotions by placing my thoughts on the piece of paper, especially on the days when I felt very lonely.
"Being connected to the people that understood what I was going through and especially those who were going through similar experiences helped me a lot."
Counselling sessions with a breast care nurse helped me through different phases of the journey.
Joining the Life After Cancer Coaching programme and support group helped me the most mentally to overcome a lot of emotions and fears that were related to finding myself in the new situation which was my life after cancer.
Post cancer group therapy was an excellent platform and a safe place that gave me a sense of belonging. I learned a lot on how to deal with emotions and was given tools to do so. Having that guidance reassured me and helped me to figure out how to move forward.