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How to Cope When Breast Cancer Returns

The lessons to be learned from Elizabeth Edwards -- very public battle with cancer recurrence.

When Breast Cancer Returns: Tips for Coping continued...

Speak up. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor questions and to get second opinions. There is no silly question and no wrong feeling.

Share. Find people to talk to, and figure out who is helpful and who isn't.

Protect yourself. If people are negative around you, tell them, and minimize your contact with them.

Accept help. Say yes when others offer assistance, such as running errands, watching your children, driving to chemo. It will enrich your friendships.

Be here now. Find out what works for you and what you like in your life, and do more of that, whether it's yoga or painting or walking around the block and hearing the birds.

Heed your needs. Before you sign on with chat rooms, hotlines, and support groups, take time to figure out what you need -- not what your daughter or your mother says you should do.

Reach out. When you're ready, join a support group. To find local support contacts, call Adelphi's hotline: 800-877-8077. Another resource is the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization: 800-221-2141.

Originally published in the September/October 2007 issue of WebMD the Magazine.

Reviewed on July 30, 2007

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