Helping to cope with cancer.
- Rely on ways of coping that have helped you solve problems and crises in the past.
- Deal with cancer one day at a time
- Use support and self-help groups if they make you feel better
- Find a doctor who lets you ask all of your questions
- Explore spiritual and religious beliefs and practices such as prayer that may have helped you in the past
- Keep a notebook of your doctors numbers, dates of treatment, lab values, x-rays, scans, symptoms, side effects, medicines, and general medical status
- Keep a journal if you find need to express yourself without holding back
- Don’t believe the old saying that “cancer equals death”
- Blame yourself for causing your cancer
- Feel guilty if you can’t keep a positive attitude all the time, especially when you don’t feel so well
- Suffer in silence
- Be embarrassed to seek counseling with a mental health expert for anxiety or depression that disrupts your sleep, eating , ability to concentrate or function normally
- Keep your worries or symptoms (physical or psychological) secret from the person closest to you
- Abandon your regular treatment for an alternative therapy
Source: The American Society and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network booklet: Distress : Treatment guidelines for cancer patients: Version I, July 2004.