Hello Friends: When one thinks of cancer, their minds
immediately turn to the physical aspect of it and little is said about the
psychological aspect of not only cancer; but of the treatments and all else that
joins into the psychological aspect. You have learned everything you can
about the various therapies; however the psychological aspect may come as quite
a surprise and send you into a jolt.
I will attempt to cover some of the difficulties you may
encounter and you must keep in mind that everyone's body reacts
differently. This does not mean it will happen to you necessarily; but it
could and some of it could happen well after the treatment.
As soon as one hears they have cancer it must be recognized
that the mind takes some form of shock. Some will pretend it hasn't and if
that is the case, then please bring it forward immediately for a well balance
mental heath. If you don't, it will almost be a given that you will
sometime down the road, and it may manifest itself more strongly than if it had
be handled in the early stages.
The second jolt is when we realize that we might not only need
surgery (which any surgery is trauma to the body and the mind); but we realize
another dreaded word called chemotherapy. Many fear the chemotherapy
more than the cancer itself.
Side effects of chemotherapy are better able to be treated,
this is good; but some still expierence very serious side effects and just
wondering which category you will fall into congers all sorts of
anxiety. Know that this is only natural and infact healthy, because you
are able to address these issues early on.
When one receives a diagnosis of cancer we are immediately
trust into "what about my future?" We know that many therapies must be
carefully monitored for toxic effects. This contributes greatly to the
fear's. Sometimes the uncertainties can become so severe that they can not
be controlled through understanding and medication is very necessary.
Please ask for counseling help at the hospital to help you cope with these side
effects. Don't wait until the problem gets too big, best to catch it early
Some chemotherapy patients complain of having trouble
remembering things, reading books or working. You may be taking a very
high dosage and this will even manifest the side effects more so. There needs to
be more research regarding this; but do know that most of the time these
symptoms are temporary. If you are finding it difficult to
concentrate, please be kind to yourself and postpone serious work requiring your
full attention for awhile.
So what about sleep? Has your sleep been effected?
Anxiety, certain drugs all can effect your sleep and if you can't get it under
control then it is better to ask your doctor for something to get you back on
track. Your sleep and the quality of your sleep is more important while
you are undergoing treatments.
Fatigue, fatigue and more fatigue. This is serious, even
though it is a physical symptom, it often leads and controls your general state
of well being. It dampens your positive emotions, makes you not want to
undertake activities. Sometimes the fatigue can be so bad you just want to
stay in bed. Try to regulate yourself, if you know you can be up and about
for 2 hour's and then you need to lay down for two hour's realize that this is
what your body is telling you to do. Alter your schedule to fit your
bodies schedule for now.
It is unfortunate; but when the side effects are the greatest
it is time to repeatedly tell yourself that you are not a wimp; that you will
get through this, because you want to live and enjoy life. It isn't easy
and anyone who tells you it is is a fool; but it matters that you do everything
you can to keep yourself healthy both mind, body and spirit. If you
need counseling and recognize that you do you are ahead of the game. Hope
this has helped, your friend, lillian