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A Breast Cancer Journey

Living It One Step at a Time
Jennifer Douglas(Autor*in)
Bold Story Press
1. Auflage
Erschienen am 23. Mai 2023
352 Seiten
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978-1-954805-41-5 (ISBN)
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Breast cancer is a journey none of us wants to take. When we hear the words, "You have breast cancer," our lives freeze. What do we do now?

Douglas was diagnosed with DCIS, stage zero breast cancer, after her second annual mammogram and quickly found herself navigating a new world filled with biopsies, treatment decisions, and overwhelming emotions. She discovered that stage zero breast cancer doesn't mean zero challenges.

Her journey, along with those of other breast cancer patients, are woven throughout each chapter. Alongside the personal experiences is information that will help you decipher complicated imaging reports and recover from your procedures as comfortably as possible.

A Breast Cancer Journey: Living It One Step at a Time will help you walk through your journey feeling encouraged and empowered with knowledge and support.

Jennifer A. Douglas is a writer and breast cancer patient advocate who lives in Southern California. After the end of treatment for stage zero breast cancer, she felt called to encourage other patients through her writing and social media presence. She is active on her website, and on social media, @mmejendouglas. She was named a 2022 Breast Cancer Awareness Month influencer by the Susan Love Foundation.
  • Intro
  • Author's Note
  • Introduction
  • Writing the Book I Wanted to Read
  • Expect to Feel Overwhelmed
  • PART I Diagnosis & Surgery
  • 1 First Emotion I'm Overwhelmed
  • Feeling Overwhelmed? You're Not Alone
  • My Journey: July 2019 The Abnormal Mammogram
  • Diagnosis Isn't Always a Straight Path
  • Others' Journeys Paths to Diagnosis
  • Mental Well-Being Managing Our New Priorities
  • Prioritize Medical Care & Accept Help
  • Manage the Logistics
  • Track Questions & Concerns
  • Organize Information Create a Breast Cancer File
  • Emotional Well-Being Raw & Unfiltered Feelings
  • 2 Choosing a Surgeon & Getting a Second Opinion
  • My Journey Deciding to Ask for a Second Opinion
  • Listening to My Instincts
  • Getting A Second Opinion: Meeting My Oncologist & Breast Surgeon
  • Choosing a Medical Team for your Cancer Care
  • Who Might Be on the Cancer Care Team?
  • A Quick Recap
  • The Expense of Cancer Financial Toxicity & Treatment
  • Others' Journeys Second or Even Third Opinions
  • Mental Well-Being Proceed One Step at a Time
  • Emotional Well-Being Be Aware of your Emotions
  • 3 Imaging Learning a New Language (Besides French) in My Forties
  • My Journey Imaging
  • Types of Imaging
  • Mammograms
  • Ultrasound
  • Breast MRI
  • What Is It Like to Get a Breast MRI?
  • Breast MRI Recap
  • Twists & Turns: An Unexpected Call from My Surgeon
  • Understanding Your Imaging Results
  • A Decoder Key: The BI-RADS Imaging Scale
  • BI-RADS Scale, Recommendations & Potential Patient-Facing Language
  • Breast Density
  • Choosing an Imaging Location & Receiving Results
  • Others' Journeys Imaging
  • Mental Well-Being Appointment Logistics & Communication
  • Emotional Well-Being Coping with Difficult Emotions during the Imaging Process
  • Frustration
  • Impatience
  • 4 Biopsies, So Many Biopsies Is This Over Yet?
  • My Journey Biopsies
  • Why Are Biopsies Necessary?
  • Different Types of Core Needle Breast Biopsies
  • General Core Needle Breast Biopsy Procedure
  • Mammogram-Guided, or Stereotactic, Biopsy
  • Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy
  • MRI-Guided Biopsy
  • Preparation Tips for Biopsies Planning Ahead for Recovery
  • Transportation
  • Dark Sheets
  • Sports Bra
  • Activity Restrictions
  • Easy Meals
  • Cold Packs
  • Home Help
  • Caring for Young Children
  • Showering
  • Working
  • Slowing Down to Recover
  • Pain Management
  • Approximate Recovery Time
  • Others' Journeys Biopsies & Results
  • Mental Well-Being Waiting for Results & Planning Ahead
  • Results Management
  • Planning Ahead
  • Emotional Well-Being Recognizing Fear, Anxiety & Worry
  • Connect with the Medical Team
  • Meditate
  • Pray
  • Talk & Laugh with the Support Team
  • 5 Diagnosis Day Really? Breast Cancer for My Birthday?
  • My Journey Results Day, Take Two
  • Understanding Pathology Information Revealed from Biopsy
  • Benign
  • Precancerous or High-Risk
  • Inconclusive
  • Cancer
  • Breaking the News
  • Telling My Family & Friends­-One at a Time
  • Design Communication Strategies That Don't Exhaust You
  • Others' Journeys Sharing with Work
  • Breast Cancer & Children
  • Dealing with Opinions
  • Mental Well-Being Be Your Own Advocate
  • Learning a New Vocabulary as Part of Our Advocacy
  • Learning & Advocacy Help Manage Mental Strain
  • Emotional Well-Being Dealing with Strong Emotions
  • Keys for Dealing with Strong Emotions
  • When to Get Professional Help
  • 6 Making a Surgical Game Plan
  • My Journey Mastectomy or Lumpectomy
  • Option Mastectomy
  • Types of Reconstruction
  • Mastectomy: Things to Consider
  • Option Lumpectomy
  • Reduction & Lift with Lumpectomy
  • Lumpectomy: Things to Consider
  • Genetic Testing
  • My Experience with Genetic Counseling
  • Why I Chose a Lumpectomy
  • Others' Journeys Surgical Decisions
  • Mental Well-Being Owning your Surgical Choice
  • Emotional Well-Being Anger & Frustration about Breast Cancer
  • 7 Preparation for Surgery So Many Things to Do
  • My Journey Delayed Surgery Makes for Changes in the Plan
  • Before Surgery Day Make a Working To-Do List
  • Pre-Surgery Medical Appointments & Requirements
  • Information to Gather before Surgery
  • Administrative Tasks
  • Home & Family Management
  • Surgery Day Creating a Plan
  • Time Management
  • What to Pack for Surgery Day
  • Staying in Touch
  • Thinking Ahead for After Surgery
  • Arranging Post-Surgical Care
  • Anticipating Pain Management
  • Managing Time Off Work
  • Where to Look if You Don't Have Live-in Support
  • Others' Journeys Preparing for Surgery
  • Mental Well-Being Embracing Imperfection
  • Emotional Well-Being Fear of the Unknown
  • 8 Surgery Day Facing the Unknown
  • My Journey Complicated Emotions
  • Localization before Surgery
  • Hospital Check-in: Ask for A Wheelchair!
  • Finally Getting a Room
  • Time for Surgery
  • Waking Up
  • The Flow of Surgery Day
  • Before Surgery
  • Surgery Time
  • Post-Surgery
  • Others' Journeys Unexpected Challenges during & after Surgery
  • Mental Well-Being Expecting the Unexpected on Surgery Day
  • Emotional Well-Being Voicing our Fears & Concerns
  • A Joyful Reunion at Home
  • PART II Post-Surgery Additional Treatment Decisions & Recovery
  • 9 Soft Landing Optimizing for Early Recovery
  • My Journey Challenges in Delegating
  • Day 1: The Coffee Debacle
  • Children
  • Family & Friends
  • Setting up the Home for the Best Recovery Possible
  • Recovery Space
  • Primary Caregiver
  • Household Help
  • Food-We Needed Lots of It!
  • Do Housecleaning & Laundry before Surgery
  • Pet Care
  • Relocating Regularly Used Items to Lower Shelves
  • Practical Items for the First Few Days of Recovery
  • Post-Surgery Staying as Comfortable as Possible
  • Pain Management
  • Risk of Infection
  • Showering
  • Restroom
  • Sleeping
  • Light Physical Activity
  • Stretching
  • Clot Prevention
  • Fall Risk
  • Constipation
  • Surgical Drains
  • Others' Journeys Recovery from Surgery
  • Mental Well-Being Balancing Effort & Energy
  • Emotional Well-Being One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
  • 10 The Beat Goes On Oncology & Post-Surgical Choices
  • My Journey Surgical Follow-ups
  • Transition to Oncology
  • Surgical Pathology Report
  • Diagnostic Tests to Plan Post-Surgical Treatment
  • Post-Surgical Treatments
  • Fertility
  • Radiation
  • Endocrine (Hormone) Therapy
  • Chemotherapy & Targeted Therapies
  • Others' Journeys Chemotherapy
  • Mental Well-Being Processing Information
  • Emotional Well-Being A Long Pathway to Acceptance
  • 11 Radiation Bring Headphones
  • My Journey Meeting My Radiation Oncologist
  • New Care Provider The Radiation Oncologist
  • Choose a Convenient Treatment Location if Possible
  • Radiation Preparation Appointments
  • Initial Consultation
  • Radiation Planning & Mapping Appointment
  • Radiation Simulation Appointment
  • Treatment Time
  • Common Side Effects with Radiation
  • Fatigue
  • Skin Burning & Peeling
  • Others' Journeys Radiation Experiences & Tips
  • Mental Well-Being Dealing with the Mental Fatigue & Logistics
  • Emotional Well-Being Accepting a Season of Emotional Exhaustion
  • 12 Breast Cancer Swirl Handling Complex Post-Treatment Emotions (Yours & Theirs)
  • My Journey Family Chaos
  • Breast Cancer Impacts Everyone
  • Cancer & the Kids
  • The Recovery Process We Don't Bounce Back Right Away
  • Others' Journeys Returning to Work
  • How Did I Reintegrate after Active Treatment?
  • Unwelcome Emotions Guilt & Mood Swings
  • Mental Well-Being Unexpected Brain Fog
  • Emotional Well-Being Acknowledging the Fears of Recurrence
  • 13 Sex. Yes, Sex (or Lack Thereof)
  • Acknowledging Our Unique Situations
  • My Journey Breasts Were No Longer Symbols of My Femininity
  • Challenges of Enjoying Sex during Treatment
  • No Sexual Bounce-Back after Treatment
  • Communicate Clearly about Your Comfort
  • Others' Journeys Sex: a Difficult Topic to Discuss
  • Mental Well-Being Acceptance
  • Emotional Well-Being Talking Through Frustrating Feelings
  • Building Intimacy outside the Bedroom
  • Looking Ahead to the Future
  • 14 Finding a New Beautiful Getting to Know the Post-Cancer You
  • My Journey Redefining my Personal Style
  • How Do We Feel & Look After Treatment?
  • Healing, Adjusting & Regaining Strength
  • Lifestyle Changes
  • Eating
  • Exercise
  • Scanxiety Will They Find Something New?
  • Others' Journeys Post-Treatment Changes
  • Mental Well-Being Now What?
  • Emotional Well-Being Not All Peachy in Post-Cancer Land
  • Choosing A Recovery Mindset Stumbling Block or Springboard?
  • Conclusion
  • Epilogue The Journey Continues: A Summer of Uncertainty & Another Surgery
  • Acknowledgments
  • Appendix: Resources
  • Books
  • Websites & Foundations
  • Metastatic Breast Cancer Resources
  • Useful Items During Treatment & Recovery
  • Additional Resources & Blogs
  • Endnotes

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