Patty: It is important to understand that your feelings are real and valid. Cancer affects your emotional health. Most patients, families, and caregivers face some degree of depression, anxiety, and fear when cancer becomes part of their lives. These feelings are normal responses to such a life-changing experience.
In people with cancer, these feelings may be caused by many things, including changes in how they are able to fill family or work roles. A person with cancer might feel the loss of control over life events, and have to deal with changes in body image. They might fear death, suffering, pain, or all the unknown things that lie ahead.
It’s important to remember that people can feel distress about these things at any time after being diagnosed with cancer, even many years after the cancer is treated. As their health situations change, people with cancer must cope with new stressors along with the old, and their feelings often change, too. For instance, people with advanced cancer may have more emotional distress than those with early-stage cancers.
People who have physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, or extreme tiredness (fatigue) also seem more likely to have emotional distress. Most of the time, physical symptoms can be controlled with medicines – but it could take more than one try to find the right drug or combination of drugs. This is one reason to stay in touch with your cancer care team, so that they can help you with these kinds of symptoms before you feel overwhelmed.
Physical activities, especially mild exercise such as daily walks might help improve your mood. If things persist and/or become overwhelming, an appointment for mental health treatment might be advised.
I am thinking of you and sending tons of hugs your way,
THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER