After Cancer. . .Superstitions and Tips for Moving On

Recently, I got an email from Jeanie who was struggling with her superstitions and her practicality about getting rid of “cancer stuff” after cancer treatment.  She asked if I struggled with this.  OH MY, I SURE DID!  That means if she and I both struggled, chances are you did or will too!

Based on my own experience, this is what I did to help move me along and get unstuck after cancer treatment.  It is such an emotional time.   One gal who had been through so much said to tell people you are “in recovery”.  I liked that phrase because for some breast cancer survivors, “in recovery” can be a very long process.  To help my recovery, these are a few simple things I did that made a world of difference for me.  Perhaps some of the suggestions will help you.

1)  I donated some used and some new items like my wig to a cancer center.  They were happy to receive it, and I felt so good about doing it.

2)  I boxed up my favorite wig and numerous favorite chemo caps and put them away for safekeeping in the top of my closet where I cannot see them. I gave as little thought as possible to what use they will be – I kept them because I liked them.   This kept the superstitions away.  Just get them out of your sight!  Once you do it, you will forget them!

3)  Get one tote or box and put all of your cancer paperwork in it – and put it away.  Mine is in my attic.  I’ve only had to access it once during tax time.

4)  If you are new to cancer treatment, make sure to keep a journal of all doctor appointments.  When tax time came, I had a list of the 127 medical appointments I had within one year and the fact that I had driven 5,725 miles to those appointments.  I was able to deduct mileage on my income taxes for this.

5)  I moved my bed from the “sick” position.  This helped me get rid of those sick thoughts!  I could not believe the difference moving my bed to a different wall made!

6)  I  vowed  during chemo if I lived I was buying a new couch since I lived on my old couch during chemo.  Mine was 14 years old and still pretty darn good, but once I got the new couch, it made me feel so much better.

I realize it isn’t always practical to buy a new couch, but perhaps you can get some new pillows or throw blanket to change up those old feelings.  Some people lived in a recliner – get a new colorful throw and move it from the sick position in your room to a new location!  It makes a HUGE difference!

7)  I moved all of my decorations and wall hangings around in my house that I used to stare at all the while I was so sick.  Moving this stuff around, putting it in other rooms in my house, etc., and just redecorating with what I had,  really changed up the sick energy of my home!  I also bought some HAPPY CURTAINS from JC Penney!  They have pizzazz and they helped me get rid of the staring at those old blah curtains while I was so sick!  Aren’t they cute?


The only thing that is still in the same place are the stencilled words “We Can Cure You” spoken to me by my breast surgeon, Dr. Tara Breslin.  I say those words every day and thank God for Dr. Breslin’s wisdom and encouragement.  And I keep my Courage Sign and Survivor Sign in sight.  These words meant so much to me during treatment that I  had these words made into Subway Signs and now sell them in my online store to bring inspiration to others.   The Courage Sign inspires me every day because that is what got me through.  And the Survivor Sign teaches me what I need to continue doing to be the NEW me – a thriving Cancer Survivor!  Click on signs for details!  And check out my cute winter hats and jewelry – you don’t have to be in treatment to wear them!      Denise

couragesignudated    Survivor Sign Black



  1. I got rid of all my hats and wigs. I just was tired of them. I really have no desire to ever wear a hat again! I will wear ear muffs when it is cold. My superstitious thing that is I am keeping my hair short. I sort of feel like I will jinx myself if I let it grow long.

    I do have all my cancer stuff in a folder.

    You have some optimistic signs, I like those. I like the phrase “We can cure you.”

    In my office at work, where many times now someone has sat and told me that they or a loved one have been diagnosed, I have two items. The paint sign guys were I work did a name plate for my door with a pink ribbon on each side. I thought that was cool. The second is on my bulletin board. It is a plain white card and the front reads, “Cancer sucks.”


    • Thanks, Dianne for sharing! I guess we all do have those superstitions!
      I’ve kept my hair shorter now too. It’s easier and I like it!
      Thanks for liking my signs and for sharing about yours! Cancer sucks
      is so true! Denise

  2. Hi Denise, im your silent reader. dx with stage 1 her2 last year and on next 2 weeks will be finished my herceptine. sigh..i also put my chemo cap dept on the top of soo afraid for seeing those. yes i also redecorating our room and throw those old curtain to refresh my feeling..thanks for those idea and sharing your journey with us
    Ristina Zain

    • Hi Ristina – thanks for reading my Blog. I feel like we are old friends!
      Congratulations on finishing Herceptin as that is quite the accomplishment!
      Glad you have safely hidden the bad memories! We shall redecorate together!
      I bought some more throw pillows last night in bright colors! It really helps!
      Have fun doing it! YOU MADE IT THROUGH all that treatment that you never thought
      you would ever be able to do! SO PROUD OF YOU!!! My best, Denise

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