Taking Care Of Your Feelings
Living with a serious disease is difficult. Cancer patients and those who love them face difficult times, and the stress can be overwhelming. Coping may get easier as patients and families learn that there are no “right” or “wrong” feelings, and that emotional support is just as important as the doctor visits and cancer treatments.
Because we are all such unique individuals, what is comfortable for one may not be for the other. It is important to choose a support system that is helpful and comforting for you. Ask yourself questions regarding your needs and comforts.
- Do you like being part of a group?
- Does it help to share?
- Are you interested in hearing about others’ experiences?
- Are you interested in learning more about the disease and/or do you have helpful hints to share with others?
This kind of analyzing may help in choosing the right emotional support for you.
Talk with your physician. Questions can be answered about treatments, daily activities, working and support groups or supportive individuals you can contact.
Talk with family and friends. Help them understand how they can help you. Talk to them about support they may need.
Join a cancer survivors’ support group. Your doctor, nurse or social worker can recommend community or hospital programs. The Health Alliance Hospitals offer various support groups for cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones. Learn more information about these groups on our Cancer site.
Talk with your clergy. Your place of worship may have a support group or have members who are cancer survivors to share how they coped.
Consider professional mental health assistance. There are psychologists, nurse therapists, clinical social workers, psychiatrists and licensed marriage and family therapists available in the community. Ask your physician for a recommendation or referral.
Read. Utilize the public library and the World Wide Web for information regarding cancer. Contact the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society for pamphlets and information. Ask your local bookstore for accounts by cancer survivors.
Reach out to others. Helping others can give you more control and help you feel stronger. It helps to clear your mind by concentrating on others. In addition, you have the satisfaction of helping others.
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