Young Woman Biting Her Finger Nail

Learning you have cancer is difficult emotionally as well as dealing with the physical affects.  It is normal to have a wide range of feelings, some of which you aren’t used to.

You may feel you have to be strong to protect your family and friends, or you may turn to your faith to help you cope. However you feel, it is okay and you should not compare yourself to how others deal with the same situation.

A cancer diagnosis can make you feel that your life is out of control. There are so many changes to your daily life and routine, you are suddenly thrust into a medical environment you aren’t used to and you may not understand all of the terminology being used. It is common to feel helpless and isolated.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions!

Asking your doctor for explanations and learning more about your treatment can help.  Staying busy and enjoying as many “normal” activities can also help.

Feelings of anger are not uncommon.  You may wonder why you have been afflicted with this disease. Sometimes people cannot accept their diagnosis, and don’t believe they have cancer. It may take time for you to adjust to your diagnosis. It can help to talk to your doctor and your family about your feelings, so they can understand.

ipad-researchFear and Worry

One of the biggest obstacles to overcome when you learn you have cancer is the fear and worries that it brings. The best way to tackle fear is through knowledge. Knowing what to expect from your treatment and your particular type of cancer can help you feel less afraid. Being informed and taking an active role in your treatment can help you recover more quickly.  You can investigate the latest research about cancer and a seaweed extract called fucoidan[1].  Many studies have shown it kills cancer cells and inhibits the spread of cancer, and helps the body cope with radiation and chemotherapy[2]. Taking a pro-active role in your treatment empowers you!

Reasons for Hope

There are many reasons to feel hopeful, there are millions of cancer survivors alive today!   Research is finding new substances that fight cancer every day.  Your chances of recovering and leading a full life are much better than they have ever been.  Keeping a positive outlook helps manage the stress you are dealing with, and managing stress helps keep the immune system healthy.

Dealing With Stress

It can be difficult to manage stress and anxiety, if you are feeling stress so intensely it is interfering with your sleep or life in general, talk to your doctor.  You should try to keep your routine as normal as possible, and focus on the people who have recovered from the same cancer you are dealing with.

Friends Having Lunch Together At A RestaurantDon’t Isolate Yourself

Feelings of isolation are also common when you have cancer.  You may be inclined to stay in more because you don’t feel well.  Friends may not be able to deal with cancer and stop calling you or visiting. You might feel that no one understands what you are going through. Talking to others can help.  It can be helpful to join a support group, or speak to other cancer survivors, a member of your faith community or counselor.

Enjoy Life

Cancer can be a wake- up call to enjoying life more and appreciating things in your life that you took for granted. Focus on these things and embrace life fully!

[1] PLoS One. 2014 Sep 18;9(9):e108157. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0108157. eCollection 2014.
Fucoidan induces cancer cell apoptosis by modulating the endoplasmic reticulum stress cascades.

[2] Archives of Pharmacal Research, April 2011, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 645-651, First online: 05 May 2011