Sandra Theriault was diligent in scheduling her mammograms and in 2017 when her mammogram confirmed clear she had a sense that she ought to comply with the directions on the shape for these with a historical past of dense tissue to have an ultrasound.
At present she is grateful for that “feeling” because the ultrasound confirmed that she had early-stage breast most cancers.
She had a lumpectomy to take away the tumor adopted by chemotherapy and radiation.
“I wished all my care in a single place and selected UConn Well being,” says Theirault.
On the UConn Health Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center she was a affected person of Dr. Susan Tannenbaum Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology, and Dr. Robert Dowsett, chief of UConn’s Division of Radiation Oncology for her therapies.
“I’m appreciative of everybody at UConn Well being,” says Theriault. “Most cancers is a scary prognosis and once you get it, your thoughts begins spinning ‘what’s going to I do?’ ‘How do I put together my household?’ and ideas of a nasty ending”
Throughout her most cancers therapies, Theriault misplaced two cousins to breast most cancers, a sister to uterine most cancers, and a brother-in-law to bladder most cancers. She grew to become overwhelmed with the loss and her most cancers remedy.
“I used to be having panic assaults and anxiousness and I simply couldn’t appear to quiet my mind,” says Theriault.
She was referred to Judith Cooney PhD, well being psychologist and affiliate professor of Psychiatry on the Most cancers Heart.
Cooney practices well being psychology, a specialty space that applies psychological rules and evidence-based therapies to assist handle the psychosocial affect of medical and well being issues and to vary well being behaviors.
This was Theriault’s first expertise with psychotherapy. Her coping mechanism was meals, most notably chocolate till Cooney offered her with new coping mechanisms.
She retains her sneakers by the door and walks each day. She additionally listens to the Benedictine Monks chanting on a DVD which reminds her of church and calms her.
“It’s essential to get exterior, I stroll a mile or two and after I get residence I’m motivated to proceed to follow wholesome habits,” says Theriault.
Most cancers survivorship is an effective time to undertake wholesome behaviors to assist forestall most cancers recurrence and promote normal well being. Well being psychology helps sufferers modify their behaviors to deal with wellness and well being. Cooney gives a variety of well being promotion therapies for most cancers survivors, together with wellness packages (incorporating stress administration, motion, and wholesome consuming), behavioral weight administration, and nicotine and tobacco remedy.
Theriault’s most cancers therapies resulted in 2019 and she or he nonetheless sees Dr. Cooney to assist her cope and transition to survivorship.
“Dr. Cooney helps you deal with dwelling within the second slightly than worrying in regards to the future or survivorship,” says Theriault.
As soon as she got here to phrases that she was going to outlive, she appreciated the whole lot and each day.
Whereas reoccurrence is all the time at the back of her thoughts. She doesn’t dwell on it.
“It’s essential to deal with your self nicely and do issues that make you are feeling good,” says Theriault.