Cancer doesn’t end just because you’ve rung the bell. Maybe after cancer treatment ends, you find yourself asking, “Why do I still feel so terrible?”
Apart from being an APRN and a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner, Deborah Beaumont is a cancer survivor. She has been firsthand down in the emotional muck that many women find themselves in after cancer treatment. On her podcast Boobs Aren’t Worth Dying For, Deborah addresses a wide variety of topics from fitness and nutrition to mental health. Today we’re talking about emotional and mental health after breast cancer treatment ends. What happens next? What occurs with your feelings the day your oncologist releases you?
It’s natural for fatigue, depression, and anxiety to set in once you’ve rung the chemo bell. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of literature out there to assist women with these feelings. Deborah explores the mental aches and pains that come after the physical one. She offers insightful advice for anyone struggling with depression and stress post-treatment.
Society places an insurmountable burden on the shoulders of cancer survivors at times. Society expects cancer survivors to be grateful and joyous that they survived. That leaves many women who deal with lingering mental health side effects wondering, “Am I a bad survivor?”
In this revealing, honest interview, Deborah shares details of her personal struggles. She also talks about the journey she went on to learn to get out of bed again.
The cumulative effects of stress, depression, and anxiety associated with cancer and cancer treatment are real and have a tangible physical effect on the body. You are not unusual or bad for feeling these things, and Deborah has practical advice as someone who has been there. Most importantly, she wants other women to know that there’s no reason to feel shame or guilt for still experiencing negative emotions after surviving cancer.
What We Talked About
- Aspects of care that women tend to ignore after their regular cancer treatment
- It’s not all over when you ring the chemo bell.
- How Deborah found something to get her out of bed in the morning: taking care of birds her husband found in a pet shop
- How to find your “one little thing” that helps you heal
- The importance of keeping a journal and writing a journal to counteract depression and to keep track of important questions and ideas when dealing with chemofog and fatigue
- Using art and especially music as an emotional anchor to help process and move through difficult emotions
- The cumulative effects of stress, depression, and anxiety manifesting as physical symptoms in the body
- Boobs aren’t worth dying for!
- Why the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality doesn’t work with mental health–and why that’s okay, because there’s no need to feel ashamed
- Mind Body Nutrition RN – Deborah’s personal website
- Boobs Aren’t Worth Dying For – Deborah’s podcast
- Deborah on the Thom Underwood Wellness podcast discussing the chronic effects of cancer
If you liked this episode, you may want to read Where Breast Cancer Self Care Starts: Loving Your Hurting Self. If you’re struggling with your body image after breast cancer, go back and listen to Episode 23: Sorting Body Image Issues After Breast Cancer or read 3 Questions When You Want to Get Your Body Back. All of these will help remind you that the struggle after cancer treatment ends is normal. It should be an expected part of finding your new normal. Be gentle with yourself and embrace the journey!