Living with can­cer

C.A.R.E. - - Cancer -

“I have can­cer.”

You might never be­come com­fort­able with ut­ter­ing those three words, and you don’t have to. The key is to try to un­der­stand the cards you’ve been dealt, and make the best of them. How you do this is dif­fer­ent for ev­ery­one.

Deal­ing with emo­tions

Ev­ery emo­tion is a nor­mal one. De­nial, anger, fear, stress and anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion, sad­ness, guilt and lone­li­ness are all nor­mal feel­ings. So are feel­ings of hope, grat­i­tude and op­ti­mism. All of th­ese feel­ings can come and go, some­times all in one day.

Be true to your feel­ings

Some peo­ple pre­tend to be cheer­ful when they aren’t. Some peo­ple­want to show the world they can han­dle can­cer on their own, but this might keep them from get­ting needed help. Try to be hon­est and talk about all of your feel­ings, not just the pos­i­tive ones.

Don’t be afraid to tell peo­ple what you need from them and what type of re­sponse is help­ful to you. If you just want to vent and not re­ceive ad­vice, be clear. If you’re look­ing for spe­cific help, be clear about that too.

“Live one day at a time with pa­tience and love for the peo­ple that are clos­est to you. Take the good that each day pro­vides.”

 SANTA FEAN LIVING WITH CAN­CER

I look at my jour­ney as a gift: It mademe slow­down and re­al­ize the

im­por­tant things in life and taught me to not sweat the small stuff.”

 OLIVIA NEW­TON  JOHN, SINGER/ ACTRESS, BREAST CAN­CER SUR­VIVOR

Living with a “new nor­mal”

Can­cer treat­ment can be tir­ing and is al­most al­ways stress­ful, which may mean:

• Al­tered rou­tines

• Changed roles and du­ties in your fam­ily

• Strained or strength­ened re­la­tion­ships

• Chal­lenges in deal­ing with money and in­sur­ance

• Living with some­one else for a while

• Need­ing help with chores and er­rands In the midst of this new nor­mal, there are ways to re­duce stress, and many of them of­fer the chance to spend qual­ity time with those you care about or do some of the per­sonal things you’ve al­ways wanted to do:

LIS­TEN­ING TO MU­SIC Read­ing books and mag­a­zines that in­ter­est you

• Find the best med­i­cal team for you. Ask for re­fer­rals and choose those who can help you the most.

• Ask ques­tions, seek in­for­ma­tion and take your time with big de­ci­sions.

• Con­sider join­ing a sup­port group.

• Take good care of your body, and be open to some­thing new.

• Treat your­self well.

• Cel­e­brate tri­umphs, no mat­ter how small they may seem. Find any ex­cuse to re­ward your­self with any­thing that will make your life bet­ter.

Ba­sics

Tak­ing up a cre­ative out­let, such as crafts or mu­sic

START­ING A NEW PHYS­I­CAL AC­TIV­ITY

Watch­ing fun or up­lift­ing videos and movies on­line, or catch­ing up on sports

Writ­ing your thoughts in a jour­nal

PRAY­ING OR MED­I­TAT­ING

Re­con­nect­ing or catch­ing up with old friends

SOURCES: Na­tional Can­cer In­sti­tute

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