My Home, My Haven After a Breast Cancer Diagnosis

In Breast Cancer, Dealing with Medical Industry Issues by Barbara Jacoby

I am pretty sure that I am not alone in my belief that there is no place like home. Therefore, it goes without saying that when one is diagnosed with breast cancer, the first place to which we want to retreat is our home. It doesn’t matter whether we live in a palatial estate or a tiny room in someone else’s home; we need our own space when we are wounded. At least that is what I found during my journey and well beyond.

“If you are a friend or family member of someone embarking on a course of treatment, ask if you can help to create a space for them that is comfortable, inviting and cozy.”Barbara Jacoby

After each of my surgeries including the combined double mastectomy and insertion of the expanders, I did not stay in the hospital. Now I know that to many, this probably is not understandable for a number of reasons but I had a great doctor who understood my request. Therefore, he agreed that if I were able to get up and go after the anesthesia, I would be allowed to go home to the comfort and quiet of my own bed and that is exactly what I did. I wanted the privacy of my own place. I wanted the comfort of my own bed in which I knew I would have the best chance to get some sleep. I wanted the cleanliness of my own space and the ability to move from the bed to a chair or the sofa if I needed or wanted to do so. And I wanted my computer and TV to have something else on which to focus other than the confines of a hospital room.

My home was my retreat. It didn’t matter what I had to do or what I was feeling because I knew that I could always retreat to the safety of my home. Therefore, it was with this understanding that I know that one of the most important factors in the recovery of anyone dealing with breast cancer is to have that safe and private space to which you can return no matter what. And I believe that this is the very best thing that anyone can give to someone going through any kind of treatments.

If you are the cancer patient, you may want to set up your space exactly like you want it before the very first step that your care will entail. If you have a family and space and privacy is limited, don’t hesitate to gather the troops and let them know what you need and what would be the very best for you. Believe me, it will not only provide you with what you need but will also give the other members of your family a sense of being able to do something to help you during this time.

If you are a friend or family member of someone embarking on a course of treatment, ask if you can help to create a space for them that is comfortable, inviting and cozy. Lots of times, it might be something as simple as adding a few new plush towels to the bathroom or a bit of aromatherapy candles or oils to the space. A touch of soft lighting as opposed to harsh lamps can soften the room or space to make it more relaxing. A couple of new pillows to assist in finding a comfortable way to position oneself for rest may also help. Whatever it may be that can be done to create that inviting corner of respite from the world will make a huge difference.

Being comfortable will be the primary focus for anyone during treatment. The more that you can do to make your space your own, the easier everything becomes. And I am sure that you will find that if others can share in creating this special place and/or time for you, they will be more than glad to do so.