When diagnosed with a complex disease like cancer, many people feel uncertain and fearful about what the future holds. It’s not uncommon for cancer patients to struggle with depression, anxiety, and fear. Acknowledging your feelings and seeking support from your healthcare team are important steps toward coping with your diagnosis. You may also consider these tips for addressing the emotional impact of cancer:
Knowledge will equip you to combat fear of the unknown. The more you know about your condition, treatment options, and what to expect, the better. During appointments with your cancer care team, don’t hesitate to ask questions. You may find it helpful to write down questions in advance, take notes, and bring a family member to offer support and help you remember important information. If you don’t understand something, ask for an explanation.
Find Outlets for Expression
Writing in a journal is a helpful way to fully express your emotions without holding back or worrying about what others will think. Putting down your thoughts in writing may also help you better process your experience. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t maintain a positive attitude all the time. Allow yourself to express negative emotions, especially during times when you feel unwell.
Ask for Support
Family, friends, healthcare professionals, support groups, and spiritual leaders are all excellent sources of emotional support. Finding someone who cares and whom you feel comfortable talking with about your illness can be invaluable. Talking with other people who have been diagnosed with cancer—people who will understand exactly what you are experiencing—is often very helpful.
Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Many cancer patients find that walking, exercising, and enjoying outdoor activities go a long way toward feeling better emotionally. Light to moderate exercise is safe for most cancer patients during treatment and can alleviate tiredness and anxiety. Relaxation through mediation can also improve your emotional wellness. Be sure to speak with your cancer care team before starting a new exercise plan.
At Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, our Cancer Care team consists of highly skilled oncology nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals, all devoted to outstanding patient care and education. We offer each patient the emotional support and personal touch that he or she needs. For more information about our community hospital, serving Sarasota and Manatee Counties, visit our website or call (888) 685-1596.