Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the international month to raise money to support research into the prevention and cure of breast cancer. Through fundraising events, special edition merchandise, the sharing of personal experiences and of course the colour pink, BCAM raises not only funds for the cause but also awareness of early detection practices. Although an extremely important and necessary month for the cause, for some women who have just finished their treatment, the month can often bring up some painful memories.
With breast cancer experiences broadcasted across all media, it is extremely hard for recent survivors of the disease, who read these stories and frequently begin to relive their own experiences, at a time that they are trying to move away from their diagnosis.
At FBFB, we want to hear your opinions on what Breast Cancer Awareness Month means to you. Is it a time to celebrate your status as a breast cancer survivor OR does it still bring up painful memories? We’d also love to hear your advice on how to navigate the month with positivity and confidence.
The FBFB team
We recently stumbled across the great website The Silver Pen, created by Hollye Jacobs, a recovering Breast Cancer patient. Her website aims to document her physical, mental, emotional and spiritual journey through Breast Cancer. Sharing tips on style, inspirational quotes and recipes, one section that particularly stood out was her ‘Clouds and Silver Linings’ series, a selection of do’s and don’ts of the things that breast cancer patients want to hear from their supporters as they go through their treatment. On creating the series, Hollye said; “I started this series because I know how hard it is to be a friend to someone who has cancer. My intent is to build compassion (both for the patient AND the friend) and to illustrate behaviors and words that many cancer patients appreciate.”
At FBFB, a few of our followers have asked us recently how they should approach the topic of breast cancer with a loved one going through the ordeal. We also know from personal experiences speaking to loved ones with Breast Cancer that often saying the wrong thing can lead to women feeling extremely low and misunderstood. That is why we wanted to share some of these great silver linings with you all, in the hope that it will help both our beautiful survivors and their supporters, when they are discussing breast cancer and will help leave our beautiful survivors feeling supported and more confident as they go through their breast cancer journey.
While we have shown just a few of the silver linings you can find the rest of them here.
We would love to hear opinions from our beautiful survivors on these proposed silver linings. Have you come across similar clouds? What questions have you been asked during or in the aftermath of your treatment that have unsettled you? How would you rather have been approached? We would also love to know whether these suggestions have helped supporters learn how to approach the topic with their loved one.
The FBFB team
With Breast Cancer Awareness Month well on its way, at FBFB we thought we would share some of our favourite fundraising ideas in the hope we will inspire you to get involved!
Painting the town pink!
Across the world buildings have lit up the night sky with a pink tinge in order to raise awareness for breast cancer! Go to the Estee Lauder Global Illumiation website to see what will be happening in a city near you!
A Pink breakfast, morning tea, luncheon or dinner!
Gather your colleagues, friends and family, make some pink-themed food, pink drinks, and pink desserts and ask every guest to make a donation that will go towards the cause.
Girl’s night in
What’s better than a night in with your girls you ask? A night in with your girls that is also for a great cause! So grab your girls, some chick flicks and some sweet treats and help raise money for the cause together!
For more information, go to the Pink Ribbon Day website.
At FBFB we recognise that for some beautiful survivors who have just finished their treatment Breast Cancer Awareness Month can be a painful reminder of recent treatment. If you would still like to show your support in some way, try purchasing some of the amazing merchandise on offer that part of its profits go to Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Happy Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we hope you get involved! Make sure to leave us a comment with any other great fundraising ideas!
The FBFB team
When someone is diagnosed with breast cancer it is not only the individual who is affected but also all those around them, particularly their family and close friends. We have put together some tips to help show beautiful supporters how they can take care of their loved one whilst still looking after their own wellbeing at the same time.
- Keep a positive attitude.This will build strength for both you and your loved one.
- Be realistic about your own wellbeing. Make sure that you are sleeping enough, eating properly, and taking some time off for yourself. It is hard to offer much help when you are exhausted.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Consider joining a support group where you can share your experience with people in similar situations.
If you are a beautiful supporter who has any additional advice on how to deal with a loved ones diagnosis leave us a comment at the bottom of this post.
At FBFB we like acknowledge the amazing support and help these beautiful supporters are. That is why we encourage our survivors to share their stories of who was their beautiful support through their treatment. So leave us a comment and help acknowledge their hard work!
The FBFB team
A huge part of helping to support women as they begin to build their self esteem after their breast cancer treatment has finished is to show them how they have inspired the people around them. That is why to start urging people to share their experiences, the creator of FBFB has chose to share her story about her beautiful survivor….
My Beautiful Survivor is my mum who was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 15. Even on her toughest days of treatment, she was always more concerned with making sure my brother and I were dealing with it ok and stayed confident and positive throughout the whole experience, something that I find truly inspiring. Now, fully recovered, she has used her experience as a push to live a healthier lifestyle. That is the reason why she is the inspiration for this campaign as she never let the diagnosis define her, something that I want to urge all FBFB followers to do.
We would love to hear your stories about the beautiful survivors who have inspired you. So leave a comment or go on to our Beautiful Inspiration page where you can share your inspirations and help encourage women to feel better and feel beautiful.
The FBFB team
An important part of moving forward after your Breast Cancer treatment is to begin to build your self-esteem and confidence. We have gathered information taken from articles and the opinions of former Breast Cancer patients on the best ways to start to feel happy and confident in this next chapter of your life.
- Surround yourself with positive people. An overload of sympathy can often lead you feeling negative.
- Adopt a healthier lifestyle. Changing your diet and incorporating more fruit and vegetables will not only give you more energy but can also make you feel empowered.
- Enjoy the little things. Take a long soak in the bath, go for a walk on the beach or just soak up the sun!
- Start a new hobby! Take the time to try something that you have always wanted to.
- Exercise more! Start off with some low impact exercise such as; a short walk (even around your house is a good start!), swimming, yoga, tai-chi or even just working in your garden. If you are unsure of what exercise you should do, try asking your Doctor or working with a personal trainer to find a program that suits you.
Thanks to Everyday Health and Body +Soul whose information aided in the creation of this blogpost.
If you have any tips for how you boosted your mood and self-esteem after your breast cancer treatment had finished, leave us a comment and help others feel better and feel beautiful!
The FBFB team
Although, it is not something that women deem as a high priority during and once their treatment has finished, taking care of your appearance is an important part of moving forward and feeling confident and happy.
Here are a few quick tips to help you feel good even on your worst days
- Embrace brightly coloured silk scarves. They will lift your spirits and are much cooler for the summer months. They are also on trend for the coming months so try a neon bright or a vibrant print that will help you feel stylish even on your lowest days.
- Use your loss of hair as a chance to reinvent yourself, try a haircut you’ve always wanted, a pixie cut, a mohawk, the sky’s the limit!Chemotherapy weakens nails. Keep them short, to prevent splitting and massage cuticle oil into them each night.Experiment with brightly coloured nails that will keep you feeling fun.
- Take care of your skin, cancer treatment can lead to dry, sensitive and itchy skin so use a mild cream cleanser with no active ingredients and cleanse with lukewarm water. Avoid using exfoliating products that will over-stimulate skin, for example harsh scrubs.
- Don’t be afraid to wear makeup. A tinted moisturiser or a bit of lipstick can boost your confidence for the day!
FBFB would like to thank Body and Soul and Look Good Feel Better whose wonderful information helped form the research for this post! If you have any beauty tips that helped you feel better and beautiful after your treatment, don’t forget to leave us a comment!
The FBFB team
Someone who faces their battle with strength and courage.
Someone who does not let their diagnosis stand in the way of embracing life during and after their treatment has finished.
Someone who uses their experience to help and support the journey of others.
Someone who inspires those around them to do better and be better people.
Someone who kept fighting until it was impossible.
Someone who left a mark on the people they met.
These are just some of the ways we would describe our Beautiful Survivors. We all know someone who has been affected by Breast Cancer in some way. Their experiences will differ and their journeys may vary but each one will have shaped the lives of those around them in some way, making them, to us, Beautiful Survivors. At FBFB we want to know about YOUR Beautiful Survivors. Who are they and how did they inspire you? Alternatively are you the beautiful survivor? Leave a comment under this post or go to our Beautiful Inspiration page where you can share your personal story and lets celebrate our Beautiful Survivors together.
The FBFB team
Evidently cancer is a major event for all who are diagnosed and undergoing treatment is a hard and lengthy process. Due to this, there are many amazing support networks available to Breast Cancer patients whilst their treatment is ongoing. The BCNA, who works to ensure that women diagnosed with Breast cancer, and their families, receive the very best information, treatment, care and support possible, and Look Good…Feel Better, who help patients cope with the appearance related side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy , are just two of many. However, as treatment comes to an end and Breast Cancer survivors are faced with new challenges such as lowered self esteem, potential health problems and an overall lack of confidence, there appears to be limited groups available that have the resources to support this new post-treatment stage of life. This, in turn, leads to feelings of isolation and abandonment at a time when support is still needed.
At FBFB we hope to combat this problem, by working as an extended support group for survivors, so they don’t feel alone on their journey forward. By doing this, we hope to inspire survivors to embrace their post treatment life and use their experience to make important changes in their lives. Whether through living a healthier lifestyle, having the confidence to start a new hobby or career or using personal experience to help and support those who are facing similar challenges, we hope to show our Beautiful survivors that they can live a fulfilling and exciting life after their treatment has finished.
If you have just finished treatment and are finding it difficult to adjust to a changing lifestyle check out this great online booklet from the National Cancer Institute in the US which offers practical information, drawn from the experiences of other survivors, on ways of dealing with your physical, social, and emotional health after your treatment has finished.
The FBFB team
Welcome to Feeling Better Feeling Beautiful a campaign that acknowledges the struggle women face as they leave their Breast Cancer treatment behind and begin to move forward recognising their changing body image in the process.
We don’t want to suggest we know how you are feeling and we definitely don’t want to tell you what you should do to make yourself feel better. Instead, we aim to share the stories of women’s own experiences in the hope that you may be able to identify with their journey and, in turn, find your own way of feeling better and feeling beautiful. Above you will find pages where you can share and read about women’s experiences concerning how they learnt to feel beautiful after their treatment had finished, hear stories from your friends and family about why you are their beautiful inspiration and ask any niggling questions you may have. We also aim in the future to be able to offer donated services from health and beauty organisations that will allow you to receive professional advice and treatment in a comfortable and informal environment in an area and in a time that suits you. So make sure to tell your local beauty stores about the campaign!
The FBFB team