This is probably the most crucial of all the tips. Take care of yourself!
Your friend needs you, and she needs you healthy. Chances are her immunity is low, at least part of the time, so if you do feel a cold coming on, wear a mask and see that there are more available for other visitors to put on.
When she is first diagnosed, you may well feel overwhelmed. There is a danger that you will over-commit yourself to being there for her. This could well be a long-term project, so when you make your plans, leave some time for yourself. See to it that you eat well, drink plenty fluids, and continue to take care of your routine commitments . . . such as that annual mammogram!
Fear is another part of the emotional roller-coaster of cancer.
The words, “You have cancer” are some of the most terrifying words you can ever hear. I can’t say it enough. “The reaction of fear is normal.”
If you have a friend who is a strong Christian, yet she is afraid, that does not mean there is something wrong with her faith or belief system. She is not a coward. The emotion of fear is a normal part of the cancer roller coaster ride. There is plenty to be afraid of.
Your friend may be afraid of: read more
Sadness, grief, or even depression is an inevitable part of your cancer roller coaster.
Even when you seem to be doing well, there is always a sense of loss which may even become a deep sadness. Even if you are set to make a full recovery, you have lost a part of yourself that you didn’t ever think would die.
Lots of People Living With Cancer Experience Depression.
If you’ve experienced depression during cancer treatment, you’re not alone. Up to 25 % of cancer patients/survivors experience a major depression, with a much greater percentage experiencing lower levels of depression.
Why Is It So Hard to Talk About? One of the reasons depression is difficult to talk about because of the stigma. We have been trained to think that if someone has depression, there is something wrong with them…that they are weak or too sensitive, or somehow incapable. So no one really talks about it, and then when we do, it’s like we’re admitting to a deep, dark, yucky secret about ourselves. read more
Anxiety is a natural side effect to fear.
Proverbs 12:25 says “an anxious heart weighs a man down.” And that surely sums up the effect of anxiety. Anxiety causes all sorts of unpleasant reactions within our bodies. If these are allowed to take hold, it can disrupt our lives and even become incapacitating. Anxiety is another part of the cancer rollercoaster. If you are on that ride, you’re bound to experience anxiety at times. Anxiety about: read more
Loneliness is one of the less recognised experiences of cancer, and yet there are a number of reasons why it is part of the roller coaster ride. Ridiculous though it may appear to be, cancer carries a stigma, and thus threatens our relationships.
When I was going through my treatment for cancer, I often felt ostracised and cut off from people who had formerly been supportive. Many times I felt their pity, and that in itself drove me to back away from their company. Others that used to visit, stayed away. Some even avoided speaking to me on the phone, when I craved the sound of a human voice. read more
In the previous article, we saw how fear is normal and inevitable. However it can also paralyze the person and prevent him or her from moving forward. How can we help someone when they are gripped with fear on the emotional roller coaster of cancer? Here are some ideas: read more
We’ve looked at several of the lows of the cancer roller coaster. But like all roller coasters, there are also some ups, and that’s important to understand. When your friend has a sudden upswing, she hasn’t become bi-polar or schizophrenic. Once again, this is a normal occurence and one which, unfortunately, probably won’t last long. So make the most of the time.
What causes the hope? Often when a person accepts they have cancer, in other words they’ve passed the stage of denial, they find reasons to hope. read more
In the last post we looked at anger and saw that it is a normal part of the cancer roller coaster. We’re now going to look at ways we can help a friend or family member that is riding that roller coaster, cope with their anger.
We saw the need to help your friend recognise their anger, and identify the fear, frustration or hurt behind that emotion. Realize that it’s not easy for them to admit to fear, or to share their deepest hurts or frustrations. So take it slowly. Once your loved one realizes you understand, he’ll find it easier to explore his hidden feelings. He’ll see that you’re not going to walk out on him. That opens the door for you to discuss how he is feeling, and why. read more
An emotion inevitable for those on the cancer rollercoaster is anger.
Anger manifests itself in many ways.
When we’re diagnosed with cancer, we may feel anger toward God. After all, He knew the cancer was there, so why didn’t He stop it growing? Why didn’t He allow the doctors to find it sooner?
We may express anger toward our medical teams for their “incompetent handling” of our disease. Don’t they realize they’re treating a person, not a text-book case?