Cancer is an absolute dreadful disease that can take its toll on the patient as well as on loved ones.
Treatment can take a long time with debilitating side effects. The
diagnosis of cancer casts a black cloud on those affected and it can be
detrimental, both mentally and physically if allowed to take on a negative feel.
During such a devastating time (when someone has been diagnosed with cancer), it
can be extremely traumatic and is therefore very important to have some form of emotional
support throughout this time. There are several sources of help and options
open to you, depending on your personal circumstances. Some of these you can do
for yourself, such as meditation or prayer (this depends on whether you find
those helpful) as well as seeking the support of your friends, partner, religious
counselling, or professional counselling.
It is concidered perfectly normal and acceptable to feel depressed; possibly feelings of not being able to do anything about the
situation or the shear lack of control; confusion and deep concern about how to
be of any help to yourself or someone with cancer, and the possibility of losing
someone so dear. It is also important to become knowledgeable about the situation and
to remain positive so that is not all doom and gloom but something to embrace,
and to allow it to focus and prepare you for quality time and a better appreciation for life.
It is important to spend time investigating exactly what your core beliefs,
thoughts and feelings are during this time that may manifest as depression, and
see if you are able to interpret or sense what those core beliefs /thoughts/
feelings are showing you. They may reveal things you might wish to say to
others, or make small changes in your life, perhaps do certain things you have
never done before and so forth. Allow yourself the time to express and
experience any fears, worries about loss and sadness, grief, etc. This is all
part of your own healing process which must be validated and honoured as well.
Unfortunately, bad things do happen. Things run past our minds like “if only…
this” or that, “had I donated more to charity..”, or “had I prevented…then
only, I or someone dear would not have cancer”. Instead of overthinking and
obsessing, try and build on your support system and use it.
There are many groups available to join (physical and online) for people who are sick or have sick family
members. You may have close friends who want to hear or support you but don’t
burden anybody too heavily, and make sure they understand that they don’t need
to solve anything, but talk about it. If you have money and time perhaps a
therapist can help, especially if you feel depression coming on and not just
feeling blue or extremely sad. It is important to gain or give someone as much support as possible.