Keeping a Positive Mindset and Outlook
Last updated: March 2023
When you have a diagnosis that is described as terminal, incurable, deadly, and sad, it can be hard to have a positive outlook on life. Your doctor may read out the statistics for advanced breast cancer and tell you that you only have a certain amount of time to live. I have heard the statistic, 24 months is the average for those with advanced breast cancer, also known as metastatic breast cancer.
Hearing that statistic, which is outdated, can be very scary and make your mind start to go to bad places. You can start to obsess about that time limit you were given or think you may have. Thoughts start to take over your daily life. I am afraid of death; what will happen to my kids? Will my spouse be okay? Fears give you anxiety, and it becomes all you can think about.
So, how do I keep a positive mindset and outlook?
1. Find a hobby
First, do not listen to the statistic. You are NOT a statistic, and no one, not even your doctors, know when your time is up. Secondly, you should try to find hobbies, and extra activities, to keep you busy. Knitting, reading non-cancer books, walking, crafts, home projects, crocheting, even going to a coffee house and sitting with a magazine, and some coffee, and just being out of the house can help.
2. Find a support group
I feel the most helpful way to keep positive is through support groups. Whether online through Facebook, Instagram, or other social media outlets, try to find a local cancer group in your area that meets in person, so you get out of the house. You can socialize with others going through the same things. Socialization is crucial. You do not want to sit home alone feeling sorry for yourself.
You can read the bible, join a bible study, or maybe even host one in your house if you are religious.
3. Find physical activity that works for you
Next would be to take a yoga class or some type of exercise class. If you cannot take a class where you must use your body physically, take a meditation class. A meditation class can benefit the mind, and no physical work is required. Youtube even has classes you can watch at home.
Taking a walk in the fresh air is also a great way to get your thoughts back to positive. Visit a park, or the beach, bring a journal, and write your thoughts down. Write down all the things you are grateful for in your life.
Everyone's story is different
Keeping a positive mindset when you are in a lot of pain or have bad scans can be challenging. That is an excellent time to reach out to another person going through the same thing or look up the positive stories about long-term survival for those with advanced breast cancer.
Remember that everyone's story is different. You are writing your own story, so make it a positive one.
Advanced breast cancer is an isolating and lonely disease.