Whether it's you or someone you love, a breast cancer diagnosis can be a shock. The first few days may be hectic as you try to arrange appointments and scurry around trying to find something to do, anything to do to help. Or they may stretch, long and unending. How it impacts you can vary depending on who you are and where you are in your life, right now. Here are some methods that may help you deal with things a little better.

Understand That Things are Going to Change — Including Your Body

Your life is going to change. It is probably changing, at the moment. You or a loved one are probably about to embark on some serious treatment, some of which may change the body by a lot. Some people may need to undergo surgery and remove some, or all, of their breast tissue. Or they may end up going through the drastic bodily changes that chemotherapy can introduce. Or both, or neither. It's difficult to be in situations that you have no control over, and even more so when that includes the shape of your body. The best way to support yourself or your loved one is to prioritize their health. Remember that the important part is that they are healthy again, and not focus so much on the changes that may be happening or need to happen.

Allow Yourself Space to Grieve

It's easy to get sucked into this narrative that you're full of optimism and you're going to be okay, you and your family are going to be okay. But sometimes that can be confining. It's okay to take a break from that, to let yourself feel sad about it. To grieve the simpler life that you had before, to grieve the changes that are going to impact you and your family hereafter. Let yourself feel your feelings. And maybe let at least one person know what's really going on inside your head. That you have complicated feelings and maybe need a little support through that.

Don't Lose Hope

On the other end of the scale, things can feel pretty dire and it may be weighing you down. Especially if you decided to jump into some of your end of life planning — just in case — or you have a more advanced stage of breast cancer. But there's been a lot of focus on breast cancer treatment in the past few decades. According to some statistics from cancer.org, 90% of women with breast cancer live at least five years after being diagnosed. It's okay to be scared, to be angry, to be upset. Feel your feelings, but don't let yourself get lost in them.

If you need additional help, reach out to local breast cancer treatment services.