Nearly one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Kayla was just 24 years old when she was diagnosed with the life-threatening disease, which quickly spread to her lymph nodes. After undergoing rounds of radiation treatment that burned her skin, hormone therapy that caused her to experience early menopause, and surgery to remove her lymph nodes, as well as a double mastectomy, Kayla says she hardly recognized herself.
“I went into surgery with a beautiful body and came out all disfigured,” she says.
Despite the physical changes that she grew to accept, Kayla says the most difficult part of battling breast cancer came when her treatment ended, and she had to return to “normal” life with a new body and a new, post-cancer self. Nine months in remission, Kayla joins The Doctors to discuss how a program called Reimagine helped her cope with the trauma she experienced and regain control of her life.
Kristin MacDermott, founder and president of Reimagine, explains that the program aims to bring hope to patients battling cancer, as well as to survivors who are coping with the trauma of what they have lived through. She describes post-traumatic growth as the idea that you can emerge from a trauma feeling better than before.
“We take people through a process where they look at, individually, ‘What am I afraid of? What do I want?’ … and slowly regain a sense of control,” Kristin explains.
To learn more about Reimagine’s online coping skills program, visit www.reimagine.me.