There is a myriad of emotions that a person affected by cancer goes through. Many patients experience anxiety, depression, and fear. It’s perfectly natural to go through these emotions as being diagnosed with cancer is a truly a life-changing experience. Changes can occur with both family and friends, finding out how to fill new roles, whether they are personal for work related. There are also the physical changes that cancer brings that cause emotions to waver. Emotions can also change based on the stage of cancer as those with more terminal illnesses versus those who have early-stage cancer have different concerns.
Cancer affects everyone, not just the person diagnosed. Their family and friends may experience anger at the situation, or as many others do, feel helpless. The stress that cancer causes aren’t something that fades away over time, but merely is an effect of learning how to effectively manage these emotions.
It is normal to feel distressed. Many times these emotions manifest themselves as physical signs such as nausea or fatigue. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to let emotions overcome you.
Here are some ways to effectively manage negative emotional reactions:
Talk it out: There are many counselors and centers specifically designed to treat patients and their families. They help these patients understand what they are feeling and offer helpful insight into turning anger and sadness into something much more positive. Joining a group can also help as these patients are surrounded by fellow patients who can share tales of hope and overcoming odds to lessen the stress.
Seek spirituality: Many patients find that meditating helps relieve the stress of diagnosis. They can reach a deeper understanding and are able to let go of negative emotions to have a much more positive outlook on the situation. Some find spirituality helps them to fight harder and strengthens their emotions, which in turn leads to a much better quality of life. Religion is sometimes combined with spirituality to deliver a greater sense of peace in times of overwhelming adversity.