A few friends of mine are battling cancer. They are at different stages in their treatment. But no matter what stage in treatment you are at, it’s still scary.
As a survivor of two rounds of cancer I know only too well how emotionally hard it is.
The range of emotions you go through is like a roller coaster. High one moment, low the next.
It’s a emotional time for you and your loved ones. Understanding these emotions is important for you and your loved one to recognise, so when you have the low times they can comfort you.
During these low times telling the person to be positive sometimes isn’t what they want to hear. A hug and ‘I love you‘ is all that is needed.
I remember when I was going through breast cancer in 2008, I lived alone, had just lost my job and had used my savings for medical treatment. The financial stress and being on my own was the worst part of my journey.
One of the most important things you can do for your loved one is to try and reduce some of their stress. Whether it be cleaning their house, making meals or driving them to and from appointments. And making sure they aren’t alone.
With any major life threatening illness it is one step forward and two steps back. And the journey doesn’t end when treatment finishes. The drugs take years to get out of your system so extreme exhaustion becomes a constant daily reminder.
Many people can’t cope emotionally when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer. They feel helpless. And that’s normal and totally okay. But it’s not about your feelings, it’s about being there for them as they fight with their daily emotions.
I will never forget someone saying to me, ‘don’t sound so depressed.’ Let them feel sorry for themselves every now and then, it’s normal and healthy for their emotional state of mind. They have been dealt one of the biggest challenges in their live and it’s a hard, long journey. So allowing them to go through the extreme range of emotions, is okay and totally normal.
If you are having difficulty coping with your loved ones disease and emotions then seek professional guidance. That’s one of the best things you can do for yourself and them.
The more you can understand the effects of cancer treatments the better you will be able to comfort your loved one.
And, remember a simple hug is sometimes all that is needed. To know that you are loved and aren’t alone is all the motivation a person needs to fight their battle.