When you are diagnosed with cancer, you will face a plethora of emotions. Your feelings are likely to change from hour to hour. Hence the nickname, The Cancer Emotional Roller Coaster. It really is like a roller coaster. Up and down, up and down. Some of the feelings may include:
All these feelings are normal. When I first heard the words, “You have cancer,” I felt totally calm. Numb. I heard myself say, as if from a distance, “I’ve never seen a tumor on a scan. Will you show me?” What was I talking about? I should have been in panic mode. I remained calm for the next few days, but then my emotions started to swing from anxiety to hope to fear.
Others react with terror, some sob and yet others become hyper-organised. Learning that you have cancer is one of the biggest shocks anyone can face. You cannot predict your reaction. You may feel totally alone no matter how many of your family gather round. You may feel angry that God has deserted you.
You may have trouble breathing, eating or sleeping. You may not be able to take in what is being said. People with a diagnosis of cancer, as well as those close to them, go through a wide range of emotions. In another section we will look at them in closer detail and look at ways we can cope with them, and survive them. Above all, remember: no matter what emotions you go through, they are normal. And so are you.