Hearing from the doctor that you got cancer makes your world turn upside down. For a moment, you can’t breathe, you feel dizzy, your vision gets blurred, and you can’t hear anything. Everything stops. Slowly, you’re coming back, but you think it’s not you anymore. It’s no longer the life you had. All the hope is gone. It’s the end.
Initially, there is that feeling of helplessness and hopelessness, as if nothing matters anymore, feeling like it’s the end of the world. You may think it’s normal, but there’s no truth to all your thoughts.
Cancer is Not the End, But a Beginning
Get up! There are still a lot of things for you to do. Never let cancer take control and do as it pleases with your body. It’s your body. You must be the one in control. Keep living your usual normal life. Cancer is not the end – it is just the beginning.
Begin identifying the things you want to do. Do what you love and will inspire you, what gives you a positive outlook on life, and whatever will keep you going. Remember Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC advise; “Happy people do things differently. They make their emotional wellbeing a priority and practice daily and weekly habits that help them create joy, happiness and satisfaction in their lives.”
Begin changing the lifestyle you used to have. According to Julia Hogan, LCPC, “It’s important to underscore here the importance of monitoring your mental health and knowing how different medications and lifestyle changes can impact your mental health.” If you’re a smoker and diagnosed with lung cancer, it’s time to stop smoking and start living a healthier life. Studies have proven that lung cancer patients who quit smoking live a longer and more quality life. If you will experience struggle on this part, your doctor and therapy can help.
Start exercising. Evidence shows that exercise improves a patient’s quality of life. It can boost your mood. It can also help you tolerate the side effects of treatment. “For starters, exercise releases endorphins, the body’s “feel-good hormones,” that can calm the mind and relax the body,” As explained by a Clinical psychologist Jenny C. Yip, PsyD.
Read and learn about your type of cancer. Empower yourself with new information. There are many available articles on the internet about the new study, latest research, new medication trials. There are people who never stop finding ways on how to treat cancer. Your doctors are willing to help and provide you with guidance. Work hand in hand with them.
Begin listening to advice and others’ stories. Have a support group. You are not the first and only one diagnosed with cancer. Many had gone through the same turmoil and pain (or much worse) like you who have become survivors. They didn’t just survive cancer, but they survived life. Be inspired and be motivated by them.
Be Patient with Yourself. Chemotherapy will try to tie you down on your bed. Don’t be impatient. Take that chance to rest and relax, and after you’ve gained your strength rise up, do your stuff, and tell cancer, “You can’t beat me.”
Live a Happy and Full Life
Cancer can be your second chance at life. It gives you the opportunity to do things you’ve wanted to do for a long time. It gives you the opportunity to inspire and motivate others. It gives you the chance to change what needs to be changed. It gives you the chance to be happy.