Self Care After Beating Cancer
A Story By Kirstin Kallini
We’re spotlighting Kirstin’s story as a poignant reminder of the significance of self-care (and self-advocation) for breast health.
To Those Currently Battling Cancer
My advice to anyone battling cancer now is to live one day at a time. And when one day at a time feels like a lot, then one hour at a time. Time marches forward and you have to move with it.
Self-Care Physically and Mentally Post Cancer
For self care… (laughs) well I go to doctor's appointments... I try to get a massage every month. I carry a lot of stress in my shoulders and regular massages help me keep my mind from thinking I have a spine metastasis (like my mom got which caused weakness in her arm/shoulders and ultimately killed her). I shower every day and put on clothes. I try to workout and I keep the focus on what it does for my health and how 30 minutes on the bike now might buy me an hour more of life later.
I also no longer have super high expectations for myself. I don't beat myself up if I don't do exactly what I had set out to and remind myself I'm enough and I'm not doing anything wrong. I did nothing wrong to get cancer. I didn't eat the wrong food, or smoke cigarettes. It's a wild way to think about things. I didn't drink a lot. It just happened. I'm grateful to be here and I try my best, but I remember I can always try again next week too.
Loving the Skin You're In
I love my skin’s extra freckles, I have never had such good skin. Post chemo skin for me is such a glow up. I don't have hormonal breakouts anymore. It is one silver lining and I love it. I don't have any special skincare routine, but my skin just stays fresh and bright looking all the time now.
I wasn't always so confident [about my body and skin]. Having the baby was big and the body positivity movement was big. It helped me reframe my the my thoughts about my body. 'It's not that I don't fit in a size 10, it's that my legs are too strong.' Seeing different sizes and shapes of bodies helped me a lot. My body did the most through cancer, she (yes my body is a woman, a strong woman obviously) took all the medicine, she didn't get too sick, she continued to be there for my son and husband, she fought daily - how could I not be proud of her?
*Remember to perform your at home breast examination at least once per month to monitor any changes or abnormalities. Check with your doctor if any unusual changes to your breasts occur.