During the battle with life threatening illness, some patients will require the complete removal of an affected area of the body. For example, women may require the removal of a breast after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis. Countless women have shared the experience is equivalent to losing your femininity and sexuality all at once, leaving patients to deal with issues of body image and self-esteem. Similarly, men may feel less masculine immediately after surgery. Regardless of sex/gender, individuals going through treatment are indeed under a lot of stress whether it is stress due to the news of a diagnosis, a lack of family and close friends for emotional support or the financial stress due to the costs and fees that are incurred when dealing with their diagnosis. But simple sensitive acts of care and kindness can help. This is the focus of the Women’s Pamper Me Pink Pack and Men’s Booster Pack. Everyone affected by illness deserves to be shown they are loved and supported through their journey to conquer, survive, and recover from their diagnosis!
Just as with any psychological issues, men and women can benefit from engaging in an honest conversation about body image issues. In addition to just getting it out in the open, there are several things that an individual can do to take charge of improving their self-esteem:
Partners can go a long way to be loving and supportive in regard to a changing body image. Expressing acceptance and encouragement can help ease the transition from a pre-illness to a post-illness body.
Shine Through The Rain Foundation recommends survivors strengthen their self-image through everything from wise nutritional choices, daily exercise, getting treated for signs of depression and improving communication with family and friends.