What does cancer mean to you?
Cancer triggers a terror different from other diseases, even though the latter may have worse consequences. There may be a sense of doom that comes from this historic dread than from the current realities concerning your type of cancer and its treatment.
Do not think that cancer is a death sentence for you. It does not lead to helplessness, pain, disfigurement, disability or the end of your career.
Accept these exaggerated fears are normal but do not let them prevent you from having a worrisome lump or symptom checked out to undergo recommended cancer treatment. Also, do not conclude that you will not have the energy to pursue your life goals. Most people feel that their anxiety diminishes once treatment begins and they are taking active steps to combat the disease.
In case you have plans to travel in between the treatment, you must keep in mind the following things:
- Choose your destination wisely
Your travel experience will be much more pleasant if you choose a savvy, supportive, experienced travel companion, preferably one who knows you and your destination well and will be able to help you should you require assistance.
- Know and respect your body’s limits
Your Mindset- Know yourself
Dr. Ranga Rao says, "There’s no “right” way to cope with cancer. Each person handles the emotional challenges differently. Think about how you usually function in an emergency and expect to react the same way. It may help to understand the strengths that brought you through adversity before."
Express your feelings, no matter how awful or embarrassing they may seem to you. Keeping them bottled up may prevent you from moving beyond the distress. However, at work or at home, you may need to promote the image that you are in greater control than you may feel. In that case, you need to find a person you can trust or a safe place — at a support group, in a therapy session with someone who has had cancer — where you can vent your anger, fear, sadness and even those alternating hopeful and hopeless feelings .
Uncertainty and lack of control over your body and your future often underlie the anxiety that people experience at the time of diagnosis. People who have always felt in control of their futures, their careers and their families may have particular difficulty, as will those who find it difficult to deal with change. Becoming a medical patient and enduring the passive waiting that tests and treatments entail can provoke a feeling of loss of autonomy. Distinguishing between what you can and cannot control will help restore confidence and competence
Resist blaming your personality, attitude, coping style, emotions, lifestyle or personal habits for your cancer. Cancer experts repeatedly emphasize that there is absolutely no scientific basis for these conclusions. The more you blame yourself, the less empowered you will feel to combat the disease.
If it’s too challenging to resume your frenetic work habits, focus on one responsibility at a time instead of multi-tasking. It’s okay if it takes you longer than usual to return non-urgent phone calls and e-mails or if the filing piles up a bit. During this transition period, try to feel confident that you can do your job again, instead of feeling stressed that you don’t compare to your former self.
Listen to your body instead of pushing yourself too hard. Break for lunch daily, and take additional short breaks throughout the day. Go for a 10-minute walk outside whenever possible – the fresh air and exercise should help clear your mind and boost your energy levels so you can focus on the task at hand when you return to your desk
- Write Down Your Priorities
Use the list to figure out what your most important tasks are, then focus on completing those first. When you aren’t feeling well, reread your priorities to remind yourself that you don’t need to live up to other people’s unrealistic expectations, actual or imagined, you just need to do what’s on your list.
If your work-related goals have changed so much that you decide to embark on a new career path, it can be helpful to return to your old position for a while before interviewing for a different job. Regaining your confidence as a full-time employee in a familiar environment can be invaluable.