In our spotlight on Breast Cancer Awareness, our very own Erin Harris, President of Preventive Measures, sheds light on the often-overlooked mental health challenges faced by breast cancer patients. WFMZ's Jaciel Cordoba spoke with Erin, our President and CFO who supported her mom through her fight with cancer and has some advice for others.
Fighting breast cancer is stressful on the patient and family members who are caregivers. Erin notes the significant mental hurdles that come hand in hand with a breast cancer diagnosis. Patients deal with anger, anxiety, and depression, exacerbated by the emotional toll of treatments, leading to mood swings, irritability, and debilitating fatigue. This emotional strain, frequently overshadowed by the focus on medical aspects, can also foster feelings of fear and worry.
Reflecting on her own experiences through her mother's courageous journey battling breast cancer, Erin recognizes the vital importance of mental health support. In these trying times, Erin and her family discovered the indispensable role of leaning on your support system and not being afraid to ask for help. This served as a lifeline, aiding her in addressing the myriad changes that cancer thrust upon their lives. She emphasized the importance of mental well-being alongside physical health.
Through her mother's journey, Erin also learned that by acknowledging and addressing the mental health implications of breast cancer, they could alleviate some of the emotional burdens. Her advice to those treading a similar path is clear, reach out, communicate your feelings, and seek the necessary support. In doing so, you're not only fighting cancer but also nurturing your mental well-being.