Looking Beyond the Pink Ribbon at CancerCare’s Breast Cancer Brunch
On October 30, 15 people gathered at CancerCare’s New York office for a Breast Cancer Brunch, a celebration of all who are living with, and beyond, breast cancer.
Our Women's Cancers Program Director Allison Nilsen, LCSW, presented on the importance of going beyond the pink ribbon and popular breast cancer awareness campaigns.
“By this point I think it’s safe to say that we’re all aware that breast cancer exists,” she added. “This morning I would like to begin a conversation about a different type of awareness: Awareness of ways to care for yourself when living with breast cancer and beyond.”
Here are a few of Allison’s tips to help people coping with breast cancer prioritize their own needs:
Know what feels normal for your body. Trust yourself if something does not feel quite right and bring it up with your medical team.
Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. This means asking for the information and care that you need, whether it is from your medical team or support network.
There is no shame in asking for (and accepting) help. Not even the strongest person can manage breast cancer alone.
Most memorably, the event provided an opportunity for people who have been helped by CancerCare’s breast cancer services to meet one another and share their experiences. “CancerCare has been like a second family to me,” shared one attendee. “I've been coming here since my daughter was three and my son was five. My daughter is now 15 and my son is 18, and I still come back here to visit whenever I can.”