At times you may ruminate about what you could have done to prevent breast cancer, perhaps eating healthier foods, exercising more, and drinking less, or maybe if you were just a different type of person then stress would not have gotten the best of you. Whatever you did wrong you may say you want to change, because if you change it then just maybe you will not get breast cancer again.

You could be bargaining with your God, yourself, your doctor, or no one in particular. Perhaps you have not taken good care of yourself, you're overweight, you let everything bother you, and have let other people's problems become yours so much so that you may have lost your personal sense of self. Bargaining involves self-preservation and self-care, which is not to be confused with being selfish. Your bargaining chip may sound like this: “If I get through my breast cancer treatments and live, I will change my ways. I will eat healthier, exercise more, enjoy the simple things in life, and not fret over so many unimportant tasks that occupied my time and energy before I had breast cancer.”

Sounds easy and this life change may last for some time post-breast cancer treatment, but slipping back to your old ways can be a subtle process. In order to sustain the insights gained, you need to be purposeful in your pursuit of the negotiating you have done with yourself. If you find yourself preoccupied with all the things that should have been and imagine all the things and events that will never be, you may need to seek professional help, because if this is not resolved it may affect your healing process. After all, life is one big bargain, a series of choices, so you need to keep moving forward.

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  2. Living with Breast Cancer
  3. Stages of Grief
  4. Bargaining
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