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Coping With Lung Cancer PDF Print E-mail

coping You've probably felt a range of feelings during your cancer experience. You may have had these feelings at other times in your life, too, but they may be more intense now.

There is no right or wrong way to feel. And there is no right or wrong way to react to your feelings. Do what is most comfortable and useful for you.

You may relate to all of the feelings below or just a few. You may feel them at different times, with some days being better than others. It may help to know that others have felt the same way that you do.

Ways You Can Cope

You may be able to keep doing many of your regular activities, even though some may be harder to do. Just remember to save your strength for the things you really want to do. Don't plan too many events for one day. Also, try to stagger things throughout the day.

Hope

You can feel a sense of hope, despite your cancer. But what you hope for changes with time. If you have been told that remission may not be possible, you can hope for other things. These may include comfort, peace, acceptance, even joy. Hoping may give you a sense of purpose. This, in itself, may help you feel better.

To build a sense of hope, set goals to look forward to each day. Plan something to get your mind off the cancer. Here are some tips from others with advanced stage cancer:

  • Plan your days as you've always done.
  • Don't stop doing the things you like to do just because you have cancer.
  • Find small things in life to look forward to each day.
  • You can also set dates and events to look forward to. Don't limit yourself. Look for reasons to hope, while staying aware of what's at hand. See "Ways You Can Cope" for more ideas from other patients.

Inner Strength

People with cancer find strength they didn't know they had. You may have felt overwhelmed when you first learned that your doctors couldn't control your cancer. And now you aren't coping as well as you did in the past. But your feelings of helplessness may change. You may find physical and emotional reserves you didn't know you had. Calling on your inner strength can help revive your spirit.

Some people find it helpful to focus on the present instead of the past or future. They start a new daily routine. They accept that it may have to be different from the old routine. Others like to plan ahead and set goals. With places to go and things to do, life stretches out before them. Others focus on the relationships they have with people close to them. Inner strength is different for each person. So draw on the things in your life that are meaningful to you. Look at other sections in this booklet for ways to tap into your inner strength.

Educational information provided by The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Internet site.
Last Updated on Monday, 23 February 2009 19:56
 
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