Taking Time for Play After a Cancer Diagnosis

In Breast Cancer, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

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For anyone who is diagnosed with breast cancer, it is easy for us to lose perspective in our lives. We recognize almost immediately that nothing will ever be the same and it becomes really easy to slide into a silent and depressing lifestyle before we even realize what we have done. I suppose that this is because the word “cancer” seems to elicit an unnatural fear in the hearts of everyone as we have been taught that it is about the worst thing that can happen to a person. But, while each case is completely different one from another, breast cancer does not equate with an automatic death sentence as may have been the case in the past.

“If we can mentally do things that we enjoy, we can make our physical situation so much better.”Barbara Jacoby

Just as any other turn in the road that we may experience in our lives, our perspective makes all of the difference. We usually need to allow some time for tests of all sorts in order to have the medical professionals determine exactly what our status may be and what course of treatment would be best for us. In the interim, what we do and how we handle our lives is entirely up to us.

Of course the tendency is to fear the worse. We often allow thoughts and images of the very worst to take over thinking. We become concerned about how our families are going to be affected. We begin to make plans for a future that we can’t begin to know, basing our judgements on the circumstances of other family and friends that we have known and what their outcomes were. But, the worst part is that the reality of what we are about to face most likely will be nowhere near what we have imagined.

I believe that we can do one simple thing to change our focus and that is learn to live in the moment. We can not only create a wonderful present moment but also we can set the stage for many more happy moments in the future. Even if you don’t usually take the time to do something nice for yourself, you might want to consider doing so. It might be playing games with other family members or taking a nice long bubble bath with candlelight and soft music playing in the background. Or you might want to take a walk in the park and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine or if you are in a snowy area, you might want to go outside and build a snowman.

I know that you probably are thinking that it would be hard to have fun when you are thinking about the cancer but why think about the cancer when that won’t change a thing? I think that you may just find that doing something fun and taking time to play might just be the best thing to take the focus off of what might be or not be in your future.

For most, making plans for doing some fun things after treatment also can help in the healing process. If you are thinking of sandy beaches and warm days in the sun as soon as you have a break, starting to think about doing so will certainly go a long way in your desire to feel better. You might not feel like traveling but perhaps the idea of a weekend at a local hotel without the kids will conjure up images of some time away that you haven’t allowed for yourself in some time. Or maybe a nice quiet dinner with that special someone, whether out on the town or delivered to your door followed by the viewing of a favorite movie just might be the ticket to put a smile on your face.

No matter our circumstances, we will do ourselves a major favor if we find ways to take time to play. Focusing on a card game with friends or a computer game if alone, the idea of doing something fun for ourselves should become a part of our recovery that is just as important as anything that a doctor directs for us. If we can mentally do things that we enjoy, we can make our physical situation so much better. And it is most important to remember that we deserve to do anything that will make us feel better