How do you cope with a new diagnosis of breast cancer?

Posted by natalienyc @natalienyc, May 6 9:48pm

How do I cope with new diagnosis 😞

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Breast Cancer Support Group.

One day at a time. Support from loved ones. No lie, its it the toughest thing your going to go through. Laugh when you can, cry when you need to, Knowledge that your not in this fight alone.


The hardest part is waiting. You will get information on the type of breast cancer you have, whether it is fed by hormones, HER2 positive or negative, what grade and stage, size and eventually whether lymph nodes are okay.

A test called the Oncotype (done if your cancer is a common type of hormonally responsive and HER2-) can determine whether you have chemo or not. It is done after surgery (and sometimes after biopsy).

I tried not to research TOO much before seeing what I was dealing with. I really liked the Mayo Clinic book because it gave all the essential info without being overwhelming.

While you wait, distraction can help: Netflix was my friend! Exercise. If you really need it, you can get some Ativan from doc (I got two pills) or take melatonin for sleep. Once you have a plan, you just kind of do it 🙂


You already are coping! Just by coming to this site shows you are ready to effectively deal with your diagnosis. It's ok to think/process the situation each day but don't make it the focal point of the rest of your day. It is what it is, and we can't change it so focus on all the positive things in your life. Fear of surgery and treatment was my biggest enemy and I fought it on my knees daily. I've had my surgery and I am now going daily for radiation treatments and I am FINE. You will get through this in your own unique way.


Don’t blindly follow Dr recommended treatment. Do the research and make your own decisions each step of the way. Don’t limit your research. Look at alternative and supplemental treatments. When you decide on a treatment research what you can do to make it work better for you and ways to minimize side effects. If you have friends who like to do research ask them to help you by giving them a specific topic.

Whenever possible bring a trusted friend to appointments. You can record appointments on your phone because you won’t be able to remember all that was said.
Keep a timeline. Journal your emotions if you wish and have time.

This will be overwhelming especially if you have to maintain a job and/or take care of children. So find at least 20 minutes each day to meditate. There is an excellent cancer meditation on the Spring Forest Qigong website.
Read Radical Hope for inspiration and suggestions.
Blessings and best wishes for a successful journey.


My recommendation is to get a second opinion once you have a treatment plan. My oncologist recommended my second opinion at one of the largest cancer centers.
If both are in agreement on best way to move forward there is one less worry.


There is probably no right or wrong way to get through it all. Also I agree with all of the above and would add…try if you can to keep control of your emotions so that you can make well informed decisions regarding your treatment options. That though is easier said that done but find that confidante whomever they are that will listen to you because you may want to talk for hours about your cancer/treatments/myths etc.
And some people like me find comfort in researching their cancer, others find it frightening.
For about a week I felt sorry for myself and I ate lots of forbidden foods, and did a bit of retail therapy however after that I decided I needed to get my act together and I did. Surgery is done now off to proton therapy in June and looking forward to closing this chapter. Side benefit, I had a breast reduction and absolutely adore my new chest 🙂 Bralette's and sun dresses without a bra, yeah, here i come!!!


Contact local breast cancer groups and join them to have local people going through BC who can support you.
See what meditation, yoga, and other programs local groups offer on-line and in person.

Work on stress-reducing programs and get meds. and counseling if needed.


I agree with windyshores that the hardest part is the waiting game. The more details you receive about your particular case and the plan of action, the easier it gets to deal with it all.

I once told my breast oncology surgeon that I felt like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Every day I woke up, it was the same day all over again (more scans, consults, biopsies, waiting, etc.). When we finally started my treatment plan and I woke up from my mastectomy, it was finally the next morning in Groundhog Day. We just kept moving forward after that.

Eventually, most of the treatment plan will be behind you and anything that remains long term such as hormone treatment, or whatever post surgery is for you, just becomes the new normal and life goes on. 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer so we're all part of a huge club.

Rely on family, old friends and your new breast cancer friends. It reminds me of a song we used to sing in girl scouts, "Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other's gold." Hugs to you and I hope you can get to "the next morning" very soon. 🙂


Believe it or not, you may just come out of this a happier, more well-rounded person. My cancer opened my eyes to what is really important in life. I was just going through the motions before, taking everyone and everything for granted. I am thankful for everyday I am alive and able to love and enjoy my family now. Deep breaths pink sister, you can do this. We are here to help.


As some one else said one day at a time. They will schedule tests for you to tell you the type and stage so they know what treatments to give. This is a scary time at the beginning but once you get more information you will feel better.
Keep busy with family and friends if you can. Take walks if you can in nature that is good.
Know you will get through this.
I am almost at 2 years anniversary from invasive lobular. I had chemotherapy so Amazon was a good place for caps and other things that were helpful.
Thinking of you .

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