How an Emotional Support Helps a Cancer Patient and Survivor

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?

  1. We wonder if we’re going to live or how long we might live.
  2. Our normal schedules were shattered by treatments, doctor appointments and lots of questions unanswered clouded our head.
  3. We feel like we can’t enjoy the things we used to do or the things we are about to do.
  4. 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.

  1. I will not be able to do my future plans.
  2. How much pain will I feel and how long will it last.
  3. Paying my bills.
  4. Keeping my job.
  5. Death.


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:

  1. Continue to plan their days as what they used to do. (Yes, I did this the exact way.)
  2. Don’t limit the things they like to do just because they have cancer. (People have cancer are not useless.)
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.

Photo by on Unsplash

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Photo by Deniz Altindas on Unsplash

I’m so devastated.

I’m such a loser.

There’ll be no excuses!

I’m always wrong, sorry.

Are these statements familiar to you? There are things that we can’t do anything about it. Yet, we let ourselves to be a prisoner to things that stay the same. Which in fact, you are actually lying to yourself. Walk away from the drama you create from within. Do not be an exaggerator. Life is too short to be anything but happy.

How will you know that you are an exaggerator?

  1. Catastrophizing situations beyond reality. Always pay attention to every word that you say. If you frequently utter negative things, it will be more likely complicated for you to manage stress. Wonder why you’ve got a trashy life and blame it to other people while you keep littering negativity everywhere. Our mind becomes the biggest obstacle that we need to overcome. Take baby steps. If you can overcome your mind from thinking negatively, you can overcome anything.
  2. Labeling yourself and ignoring alternatives. Can’t see the forest for the trees? Come on! Why create unnecessary limitations when you can look at the broader possibilities? Negative thinking and people are always unhealthy energies. And when you keep dealing with toxic, negative and energy-draining thoughts, you are just wasting your precious time. Save your life and pay attention to alternatives that can lead you to amazing things along the way.
  3. All-or-Nothing. You are an ideal person and leave no room for error. Again, we all make mistakes. Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through our lives without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. Give every opportunity a chance; leave no room for regrets – not error. I had cancer – and most of us, the survivors, sometimes call ourselves a warrior, yet other cancer survivors disapprove to call ourselves like one. Which I can see their point why. See that life is just another day. Whether you fail or succeed today, that’s life (c’est la vie). It’s not supposed to be a battle between misadventure and perfection. Be ready to compromise and learn when to not to. When you compromise, you value your relationship with other people and most especially with yourself within much more than your ego.
  4. Over-generalizing a situation to avoid discomfort. You are sorry? No, I don’t pity you. Most things require trial and error before we are comfortable. So, yeah! It’s okay to be wrong sometimes, but it is not always you are wrong and you are not sorry to be in error. We all have our faults. But when you keep doing that, spent years, pointing the finger at yourself is there anyone to pick you up? That is the most unattractive and awful thing you can do to yourself. Pick up yourself up and say “Listen, I have to be responsible for you.” Stand up and never look back.

All of these are all unhelpful approaches for living our lives, cause problems in how we interpret situations and can be interfered with logic. When we were young, we were taught at school how to solve Math problems or Physics formulas (shite, I still hate Physics!). Identify the problem, develop alternatives, select the best alternative, implement it, and see if the solution works or not. These are just ridiculous yet simple ways in solving dilemmas and can be applied in life.

I will leave you with this quote from one of my favorite authors who I loved the most since I was in highschool, Louise L. Hay,

I do not fix problems.

I fix my thinking.

Then problems fix themselves.


Think Healthy To Nourish Your Body

Think Healthy

Incorrectly blame someone for breaking your valuable belonging. Accuse a friend without having all the facts. Mad at your sibling without understanding why despite he or she does stupid things all the time. We are all guilty of this – jumping to conclusions. These are just some of the unhelpful and unhealthy thinking styles that need to be thwarted.

  1. Blaming others or circumstances in “self-defense” is, in fact, an act of self-harm. Toxic alert: it is our human nature to want to assign blame. Whereas, if you are determined to stop blaming others; eventually, you’ll proactively seek the truth about yourself. Let’s just make this simple. Everyone makes mistakes and it could be harmful to oneself or to others. But if we start practicing how to be transparent and responsible for everyone’s actions, including yours, you will learn both peace and joy from within. So, in case you’ll ever meet blamers, notice these two: the one who is a game player (blaming deliberately in order to discredit others) and the one who are losers (they blame to cover their faults).
  2. Predicting negative futures in terms of what is going to happen. That’s so stupid. You are ruining your present because you are anxious about your future! And here comes the future, you are crying for remembering your past. AWARENESS – despite having a rough day, feel the heartbeat in your chest, you’re still alive for a reason. Just simply don’t give up. Let not the past not the future overthrow the power of the present moment. Everyone makes mistakes, you can’t stop doing that, but it allows you to learn from them.
  3. Mistaking emotions for facts. Your emotions affect your health. The way you think affects your health, too. Think twice! Go with your gut, you’ll probably get signals from your second brain. When you feel no longer in control of your body, you become stressed and anxious and even felt sick. Notice what’s happening in your stomach, it has the connections to your brain, emotional health, and your immune system. When you allow emotion to overrule logic, it is where we mostly make mistakes – big or small. Emotions don’t tell the truth, nor last forever. No matter how angry, excited or in love you are at the moment; eventually, another emotion will take place. Emotions are not facts. Sometimes, they could be powerful and they feel just like “the truth”. What to do instead? Recognize the emotion and feel it. You cannot get rid of it because they serve important survival functions in your life. Accept your emotions as they arise.
  4. Personalizing a stressful situation when we feel depressed. You mean, you try to repair every stressful situation – SOLO? Why not travel solo? You can do anything but not everything. Instead of dealing with stress, start with adjusting your attitude first. In other words, do not believe the things you tell yourself when you are sad and alone. You may be hurting now, but always keep in mind that pain is temporary. It will eventually subside and another else will take place. Make sure to replace it with happiness and peacefulness that starts from within.

If you happen to read the book “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers” by Robert Sapolsky, you’ll see the comparison between them and humans. Like us, zebras have the same fight, flight, or freeze response; but, they respond only to immediate threats and then relax once the threat is over. Humans, however, respond to immediate threats and worry about future threats. The inability of humans to return to a relaxed state following a stressor has many health consequences.

Why not be like a zebra? Why not think healthy to nourish your body? Why not now?