Being positive (most of the time) after…


Being positive (most of the time) after a breast cancer diagnosis

Feb. 9, 2018 | by Georgia Gables

Once your doctor lets you know that you have breast cancer, it's hard to believe that you will ever feel happy and carefree again. You might think that the only things that you have to look forward to are losing your hair, chemotherapy treatments, and feeling nauseous all the time.

You don't have to fall prey to the crushing negative emotions that you are sure to feel in the days after your diagnosis. While looking on the bright side of things when you have a cancer diagnosis may seem like an impossibility, know that by doing little things each day to put a positive spin on this experience, you can come out of this situation a better person.


Do I have to feel good everyday?

The self-help movement, bolstered by movies and books like "The Secret," has spread the idea that negative emotions such as sadness, grief, anger, and depression can cause illness in a person's body.

Fortunately, this hokum has largely fallen out of favor.

According to the American Cancer Society, researchers found that cancer patients with a high level of positive well-being did not live any longer or do any better than those patients with a more negative life outlook.

Cancer patients have also written extensively on the pressure that they feel to put on a brave face for their friends and family.

Writer and cancer survivor Suleika Jaouad wrote in the New York Times that it was time that cancer patients start getting honest with friends and family about how they are feeling.

Jaouad said that if you don't feel great, say so.

By talking about a cancer patient's right to feel horrible about their health, life, and diagnosis, Jaouad gives you the much-needed permission not to be cheerleader happy all the time.


Why you should be positive

The American Cancer Society and other researchers have already proven that you won't die from cancer faster if you have a bad day once in a while.

So why should people put a positive spin on such a negative thing as a breast cancer diagnosis?

When you try to remain positive after a diagnosis of cancer, you will find that you will feel a bit better about the process. You will see that while you will still have your bad days, the good days will eventually outnumber your sour ones.

Cancer is very scary. Anyone who got that life-changing diagnosis knows that.

If you try to look on the bright side of things, you could find that you lift yourself up from some very dark places.

When you put on a positive face for yourself and the world, your loved ones won't worry as much.

Who knows? Maybe you won't even worry as much.


How to remain strong in the face of cancer

The Parkway Cancer Centre says that when you find yourself feeling a bit down, you should count your blessings.

By seeing things in your life for which you can give thanks, you may find that life can still be a beautiful thing, even with the pain, nausea, and depression.

One tactic that many cancer patients and survivors used to help them through the tough times remains living life one day at a time. One minute at a time. Maybe even one second at a time.

If you try to figure out how many years you have left, that can operate as an overwhelming act for anyone with breast cancer. But if you just live for this minute, this hour, this day, you may find the negative feelings easier to deal with as you go along.

Some cancer patients place a premium on looking after their health after a diagnosis. They do things such as participate in clinical trials, take a breast cancer recurrence test, and radically change their diet and exercise regimens to ensure that their bodies operate at an optimal level to beat cancer.


When you have breast cancer, no one has the right to expect that you're going to be happy all the time. But staying positive most of the time will serve you more often than not.

By having faith in your medical team, turning to friends and family when you have a bad day, and using your favorite outlets to release pent-up frustration, you can give cancer a good fight.

Advice breast cancer

Georgia Gables

A survivor's perspective on breast cancer

Georgia Gables is a loving mother and a cancer survivor. She loves sharing her story and helping others through their own fight. Cancer doesn’t define you. Never, ever give up hope.