Let yourself sit back and reflect on how you are feeling
The freedom to not be okayYou may feel pressure coming in from all angles, not only to stay on top of your treatment and maintain your life as best as possible, but also to stay strong for your family and loved ones. This is only natural and may be necessary, but it could help to know that it is quite common for people with to experience a range of emotions about their condition.
Finding out that you have can feel surprisingly similar to the mourning process. Your life may seem to be changing against your will, and you might worry that it will never be the same. Seemingly unimportant changes like taking time off work or giving up your favourite sport can actually be a big deal, and coping with that loss or change is often upsetting. Denial is also a common emotion that people face after diagnosis. While this is a valid and natural response, it is important to accept that your condition is real and needs to be treated.
Dealing with stress
Stress can feel like a more acceptable and less taboo response to a challenge. When you chat with neighbours or catch up with a friend on the phone, how common is it to say you are stressed, versus admit to deep feelings of sadness? With , the two can go hand in hand. The pressures of daily life on top of managing your cancer and treatments can become stressful quite quickly. comes with a degree of uncertainty: treatment lasts for a long time and you won’t immediately know if it is working. It may be more comfortable to describe these pressures as stress, but it can help to acknowledge when those feelings run deeper than the stress from a busy day at work. You may consider opening up to a few loved ones, or if that is too difficult, seeking out a local support group.
Getting help for depressionDepression is a topic that is often kept quiet, but it is nonetheless a condition that many people have struggled with. It can affect almost anyone and is common for people undergoing cancer or treatment. If you find yourself experiencing the symptoms below, consider contacting your doctor for help. Although many of the symptoms could also be side effects of cancer treatment, your doctor can help you sort through them with and get you the help you need.
- and loss of energy
- Feeling helpless, hopeless or guilty
- Change in appetite or weight
- Reckless behaviour
- Loss of interest in activities and hobbies
- Suicidal thoughts