Stressed About Stress

We all know that stress isn’t good for us. But does it contribute to cancer? I wonder this all the time. My breast cancer diagnosis certainly added to my stress level, as did my treatment. Most of us have work, family, and daily life stresses to deal with as well. In my mind, keeping my stress level down keeps my cancer recurrence chances down. There’s no way to know if this actually works, as the studies on stress and cancer risk are inconclusive.

I try not to worry about recurrence and then I find myself worrying that my worry will cause the recurrence. I know it sounds crazy. So, I do my best to not sweat the small stuff, which isn’t easy for a type A personality who works in sales.

While I was going through treatment for breast cancer in 2008, I was able to participate in a special breast cancer yoga offered at Mass General Hospital. It was very relaxing, and helped to stretch and keep up blood flow to my breast and underarm area that was so sore from surgery.

Anyway, in an effort to alleviate some stress during my busy time at work, I took a vacation last week – I went to San Francisco. I was out there with my boss for work for a few days and at the end of the trip, my husband joined me out there. We went to Napa Valley for a couple of days and then came back and spent a little time in the city. It was so much fun and really nice to be away. We try to take a trip every year where we have a week where we don’t have to worry about work, laundry, or any of our usual obligations. It really was wonderful.

Another thing that supposedly contributes to breast cancer is obesity. Next week I will share progress in my renewed commitment to being healthier. Does the spring weather make you want to get healthier?

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