Breast Cancer

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    What do you find to be the most challenging about a cancer diagnosis?

    Getting a cancer diagnosis is many things — heartbreak, anger, pockets of simplicity, grief, even gratitude. But there are parts of it that straight up suck.

    What’s been the #1 challenge for you or a loved one?

    #Cancer #BoneCancers #BreastCancer #OvarianCancer #LungCancer #ThyroidCancer #lymphoma #ChildhoodCancers #MentalHealth #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #Caregiving #Grief

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    In need of some good vibes

    I was dumb and mopped the house yesterday. Having a rough painful day today. Plus, I’m at the latest breaking point with my chronic pain getting to me. # fibromyalgia #BreastCancer #ChronicFatigueSyndrome #MyalgicEncephalomyelitis #Anxiety #Depression

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    Conflicting Risk & Recommendations

    Yesterday, I had a telehealth appointment with the NIH about my CDH1 gene mutation. The information that I got in those 30 minutes was completely different than what the genetic counselor and surgical oncologist had told me. And now.... I'm at a loss about what to do about my surgery date coming up.

    Basically what I've been told was my risk for diffuse gastric cancer was between 56-85%. But what the doctor from the NIH for the clinical study I entered said since my family history of cancers doesn't include stomach cancer, my risk was more like 30%, and instead, my breast cancer risk was more serious. That is a huuuuuuuuge difference. I have scheduled a Total Gastrectomy under the assumption that my stomach cancer risk was the more pressing issue. Getting it done and over with was how I was tackling this. I came to terms with the fact I was going to have major surgery...

    But now what? Do I cancel my surgery and hope that the endoscopy I'm getting doesn't show any signs of cancer? Wait a bit later on to do the surgery rather than next month? Or should I go thru with it anyways? What am I supposed to trust: information from the military hospital system or the NIH?

    I have no clue. But I have to find one before my surgery date creeps too close. Otherwise, I might be making an unnecessary life-changing decision out of fear that may or may not be accurate.

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    Mental Health and Awareness Campaigns

    Part 1 of 2 There certainly are a lot of mental health campaigns going on. There’s one or more in every month. Most of these are “awareness” days, which is a little bit confusing. People who already have the assorted disorders are already aware of them, as are probably their families and perhaps their friends.

    When it comes to awareness, though, most non-affected people (or people who don’t realize they are affected) find out about them through TV commercials – during Men’s Health Month, in ads for medications, or from organizations like the Wounded Warriors Project. There may be local events, too, but I haven’t seen any in my area. I don’t even see much of anything on my Facebook timeline, even though my friends list contains a lot of people with mental health concerns. I note that there isn’t a Women’s Mental Health Month, even though most people who receive treatment for mental illnesses are women. (There are many, many special days not related to mental health that I knew nothing of until I started to research this post, such as World Animal Road Accident Awareness Day, Insect Repellent Awareness Day, and even Spider-Man Day.)

    Here’s what I did find.

    January

    Mental Wellness Month

    February

    Children’s Mental Health Week

    International Boost Self-Esteem Month

    National School Counseling Week

    National Eating Disorders Week

    March

    Self-Harm Awareness Month

    Brain Injury Awareness Month

    World Bipolar Day (which I had never heard of, despite being bipolar myself)

    April

    National Stress Awareness Month

    National Counseling Awareness Month

    May

    Mental Health Awareness Month

    National Maternal Depression Month

    National Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month

    Tourette Awareness Month (May into June)

    Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week

    June

    PTSD Awareness Month

    Men’s Mental Health Month

    July

    International Self-Care Day

    BIPOC (or Minority) Mental Health Month

    August

    National Grief Awareness Day

    September

    World Suicide Prevention Day (and National Week and Month)

    October

    World Mental Health Day

    National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month

    ADHD Awareness Week

    OCD Awareness Week

    November

    National Family Caregivers Month

    International Stress Awareness Week

    International Survivors of Suicide Day

    December

    International Day of Persons With Disabilities

    National Stress-Free Family Holidays Month

    So, how are people made aware of most of these various disorders? By people wearing different colors of ribbons that correspond to them. The idea, I guess, is to prompt people to ask, “What is that silver ribbon for?” and to be told, “It’s for Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness.” If the person inquires further, it’s a chance to educate them, but most people don’t ask at all or ask only what the color means.

    There are only a couple of colored ribbons that everyone knows the meaning of – yellow and pink. The yellow ribbon campaign was started in 1979 to show support for persons held hostage in Iran, but now means support for the Armed Forces. The pink ribbon for the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign started in 1991 and is probably the most successful ribbon awareness symbol there is.

    Here are the colors of various ribbons and what #MentalHealth concerns they are intended to promote awareness of.

    Peach – Invisible Illness

    Yellow – Suicide Prevention

    Periwinkle blue – Anorexia Nervosa

    Teal – Agoraphobia, Anxiety Disorders, Dissociative Identity Disorder, OCD, Tourette Syndrome, Stress Disorders, Social Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, Panic Disorder

    Green – Mental Health, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder

    Lime green – Mood Disorders, Psychosis, Depression, Mental Illness, Postpartum Depression, Childhood Depression, Maternal Mental Health

    Purple – Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, Eating Disorders, Caregiver Appreciation

    Purple and Teal – Suicide, Survivors of Suicide, Family Members of Suicide

    Gray – Personality Disorders

    Orange – ADHD, ADD, Self-Harm

    Silver – Borderline Personality Disorder

    So now you know what color ribbon to wear and what month to wear it in. I hope that if you do, people will ask about it and allow you to expand on what it means. I don’t expect that, however. Almost no one has ever asked me about my semicolon tattoo for Suicide Prevention and Awareness. (I occasionally get to explain it if I point it out to them.)

    Probably the most effective reminders are t-shirts that ident

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    My Journey through depression

    I woke up this morning at 430. I’ve never shared anything like this online but something compelled me to write this and share it. I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression my entire life. I learned how to hate myself deeply. I looked at myself as weak person for my deficiencies. I didn’t really recognize it until my late 20’s and didn’t get help until I hit rock bottom at 33. Rock bottom was using drugs and alcohol to sooth my pain, a bad breakup and watching my mother go through stage 4 breast cancer ( she survived). At that time I was so depressed I couldn’t preform in the bedroom which as a man was a huge blow to my self esteem. I was paranoid of what the women I couldn’t satisfy would think/ say about me. I felt inadequate, worthless and my confidence/ self esteem was nowhere to be found. It was hard for me to look people in the eyes and even myself in the mirror. I was completely numb to the joy of life all I felt was indescribable numbness and pain. I had two really close suicide attempts with a gun. After that I decided to move to a place were guns are harder to obtain and try to start my life over. The depression continued after the move to the point I had to go seek help or I would have ended it. Luckily I’m a veteran and could get affordable/ free mental health help. Unfortunately everyone doesn’t have that option so I am grateful. Therapy isn’t a miracle cure but it helped me learn about my mental health issues and I could start the work to get better. Reluctantly I started medication and it has helped take some of the edge off. I’m still fighting daily. I have a job I like and two dogs that help me out a lot just by being companions. I still slip into the darkness and sometimes it’s still hard to see my way out. I’m lonely and I would love to have a good woman in my life to love but relationships still freak me out but I’m trying to date. It’s hard as hell but I’m still trying. I guess I’m sharing this with the hope someone out there who’s going through it can relate and find some comfort in not being alone. I’m not out of the dark but I’m still fighting and I hope you continue to fight as well!

    A song that’s helping me out a lot right now: Ab Soul- Do Better #Depression #MentalHealth #Suicide

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    What advice would you give someone recently diagnosed with cancer?

    Being diagnosed with cancer can certainly be scary, confusing, and frustrating — just to name a few of the whirlwind of emotions that may come up.

    If you could give any advice or words of wisdom to someone newly diagnosed with cancer, what would you share?

    🎧 🎙️ If you're up to it and would like to listen, feel free to check out this Mighty Podcast episode on what it's like living with a rare cancer:
    Living With A Rare Cancer

    #Cancer #BoneCancers #BreastCancer #OvarianCancer #LungCancer #ThyroidCancer #lymphoma #ChildhoodCancers #MentalHealth #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #Caregiving #Grief

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    Check out our new Mighty group: Cancer Corner!

    🥁 Introducing… Cancer Corner! 🥁

    Cancer of any type brings with it a transformative experience for everyone it touches. Whether you have just been diagnosed, are going through treatment, or are in remission — our new Mighty group for you.

    We warmly welcome caregivers and those who are currently supporting or have lost a loved one to cancer too.

    This is a safe space to talk honestly about what you’re going through — the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly. Cancer sucks, but you don’t have to face it alone.

    🔑 Here’s the link to join: Cancer Corner

    #BoneCancers #BreastCancer #Cancer #MentalHealth #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #OvarianCancer #Caregiving #LungCancer #Grief