Try to examine yourself now. Are every word, action, and energy go straight to your heart? What about when you make mistakes, can you easily know it, feel it and you feel like tearing yourself apart?
Now imagine this, your sibling, parent, friend or any special person in your life has got cancer. And as cancer affects their physical health, it also leads to exhaustive and diverse feelings. Most of them are negative emotions and they’re not used to be dealing with. These feelings change from time to time, every second and every minute.
But, let me tell you this. All the feelings of our loved one that has cancer or recovered from cancer are all normal. And also, even yours!
We all grew up in diverse ways on how to cope up trials and troubles, just as much how we think about dealing with cancer. Some feel they have to be strong and protect their friends and families. Some seek support and turn to loved ones or other cancer survivors, but it doesn’t mean they are weak enough not to show strength from within. They prefer listening to their experiences and struggles and how they were able to get up. Some ask for help from counselors or other professionals. And some, turn to their faith to help them cope.
The task of deciding whether to keep fighting the battle or just give up is overwhelming as we are able to see or experience cancer. Whatever each patient and survivor decide, the most important to do what’s right for them, without judging and comparing oneself to others.
If you find yourself in this circumstances, you could be a carer, health practitioner, friend or a family, you must understand the different feelings someone close to you that has cancer or recovering from cancer.
The first time I learned that I have cancer, I felt as if my life was out of control. And this is true for everyone. Exact feelings and thoughts. Why?
- We wonder if we’re going to live or how long we might live.
- Our normal schedules were shattered by treatments, doctor appointments and lots of questions unanswered clouded our head.
- We feel like we can’t enjoy the things we used to do or the things we are about to do.
- We feel hopeless and lonely.
During my first diagnosis, I was very skeptic about the fact of having a tumor inside my body. I started blaming external circumstances happened around me. They could be those people that had brought negative energy to my life or a careless lifestyle that I didn’t see it coming and had brought me cancer. Having cancer was one of the things I never wish to come in my life. So, it was hard to accept the fact, that I will be getting cancer or I have cancer.
I stopped talking to the people who are close to me, I feel so angry and ask myself, “Why me?” All those times, I felt so guilty when I feel mad at people around me and even to myself, but little I did know that it is okay to be angry. Because this anger helps me to motivate myself to take an action. Eventually, I turn to the right people to talk about my anger.
Fear and Worry
The word “tumor” had already scared me to death even before it was confirmed that it was already cancer. There are many things suddenly flashes in my mind that made me afraid and worried.
- I will not be able to do my future plans.
- How much pain will I feel and how long will it last.
- Paying my bills.
- Keeping my job.
In the middle of the fight, I came to the point that I have to profess, accept, and be honest with myself that I have cancer. So, that’s it. What should we do? You had it. Whining can’t help you beat that cancer. So as fear, worry, anger, denial and being overwhelmed.
Once you accept the fact that you have cancer, you feel the sense of hope. In fact, there are many reasons to feel hopeful. It doesn’t mean, you got cancer, you will die anytime soon. There are thousands and millions of cancer survivors around the globe that are still alive today and that includes me, you, your friend or loved one.
Some doctors even think that “hope” may help your body deal with cancer. Scientists nowadays are studying whether a hopeful attitude and positive approaches to any problems help people feel better. Researchers even study the Science of Forgiveness can bring tremendous health and social benefits.
So let’s encourage them to build their sense of hope:
- Continue to plan their days as what they used to do. (Yes, I did this the exact way.)
- Don’t limit the things they like to do just because they have cancer. (People have cancer are not useless.)
- Look for some reasons to have hope. (I started journaling my journey with cancer and eventually started blogging last year. Creativity helps to build hope from the inside.)
- Spend time in nature. (After my radiation therapy, I shut the world and stop meeting people and bring my book to the park, read and watch people. It helps for 5 months.)
- Listen to stories about people with cancer who are leading active lives. (I watch TedTalks or other YouTube Videos, read books, blogs, articles or research papers.)
There are many ways to cope up our emotions if we are only open and forward to yourself first. If we only:
- Express your feelings.
- Look for the positive.
- Don’t blame yourself for your cancer.
- Find ways to help yourself relax.
- Be active as you can.
- Look for things you enjoy.
- Look at what you can control.
Leaving you this bulleted list in just one simple sentence. I do look forward you can resonate with every word and keep moving on every day. Nothing is static and everything changes. We only need to be flexible with these crazy changes and accept what we cannot change instead of on dwelling and wait to die.
Cielo Superticioso, is the author of The Cancer Voice Asia created last August 2017. She starts the advocacy of The Cancer Voice after she successfully beat cancer in Saigon, Vietnam by writing articles. She is committed and determined to continue the campaign in order to strengthen the cancer awareness because no one should fight cancer alone.