A cancer diagnosis is often incredibly scary and devastating for the patient and his or her family. Life is no longer the same. How do you cope with it and how do you move forward?
There is a ton of advice about how to cope with cancer and what to do. For example, the Mayo Clinic (2011) lists several things one should do:
- Review your goals and priorities
- Ask as many questions as possible about your cancer and prognosis
- Educate yourself
- Try to maintain your normal lifestyle
- Talk to other people with cancer
- Fight stigmas
- Look into insurance options
- Ask for help and reach out to loved ones
- Develop your own coping strategy
- Practice relaxation techniques
- Share your feelings honestly with family, friends, a spiritual adviser or a counselor
- Keep a journal to help organize your thoughts
- When faced with a difficult decision, list the pros and cons for each choice
- Find a source of spiritual support
- Set aside time to be alone
- Remain involved with work and leisure activities as much as you can
These are all great ideas, but it is hard enough to do these things when one isn’t fighting for his/her life. How in the midst of this journey, do you find your own way to live life? There is hardly enough time to educate yourself, make life changing decisions and process all of you emotions.
Psychotherapy can be a big help by providing a safe space to help you find your way of coping, making the right decisions for you and your family, and to get support. Ideally, it is the one place where you aren’t told what to do and how to fight this war. Here you will be met with warmth and compassion; and you will have lots of space for your own process.