Living With CANCER – An Emotional Roller Coaster

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Medical sciences have advanced leaps and bounds, yet Cancer is frowned upon as the most impregnable aspect menacing the lives of many in one form or another. The treatment for the disease takes an extensive period of time, eventually lasting for years. Patients living with Cancer are cared wholeheartedly initially but as the treatment progresses most caretakers tend to distance themselves from them, owning to the continuous efforts required to be put on a daily basis. Cancer, a dreadful debilitating condition impacts the sufferer, both physically and emotionally. Another concern for cancer patients is that their families and friends often treat them deliberately like a “cancer patient”, which can elevate their stress levels and sabotage their self-esteem, leading to a lack of self-confidence and potentially growing sense of dependency.

Push through the pain

Treatment of cancer differs depending on the type of cancer and its advancement, based on which different procedures like surgery, radiation and hormonal therapies, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, etc. are suggested. The pain experienced during cancer treatment is not same for each and every patient and usually individuals at advanced cancer stages, experience excruciating pain due to accelerated destruction of healthy tissues near the cancer cells. Constant encounters with needles, hair loss, pain, nausea, and discomfort projected upon undergoing radiotherapy causes stress. Surgeries can be painful and might take time to recover, whereas radiation therapy often results in scars and at times burning sensation as well. Pain due to these treatment modalities can be tackled not readily but can be gradually eased by acquiring proper counseling and following prescribed medications as per the doctor’s recommendations.

Cancer and Emotions

The change in appearance during or after cancer treatment is one of the main reasons of depression and anxiety within the patients. Individuals tend to grieve over their failed future plans they once worked upon enthusiastically and a current changing lifestyle.

Living with Cancer - Cancer and Emotions

Depression: Increased incidences of depression is visible in cancer patients resulting in a poor adherence to prescribed treatment schedules which worsens their condition further, ultimately causing more pain. It is true that some develop a feeling of being a burden on their families and of a low productive value to their dear ones. Such emotional aspects are not discussed freely by them, which increases the chances of panic attacks in patients and brings emotional distress among the family members too.
Anger: Individuals initially burst out in anger as they fail to accept the infiltration of cancer in their life, thus unable to accept the reality, keep questioning themselves as “Why only me”? At times, the people surrounding the patient may fall victim to their vexation, therefore reacting to it has to be dealt very responsibly.

Cancer support groups
Apart from, cancer patients seeking sound support from their friends and family, Cancer support groups prove to be very beneficial. They help in motivating individuals with cancer by making them aware of experiences shared by other fellow cancer patients, who are timely cured or are still on treatment. They aim to eradicate the lonesome feelings of a cancer patient and aids in coping with the problems faced at work or in academics, while helping to deal with the side effects of cancer treatment through discussions.

Encounter with cancer disturbs the cycle of life to a certain extent but falling prey to its effects on a social and psychological level is something which can be only tamed by strong will within self. Cancer awareness programmes to educate society as to how a cancer patient needs to be cared for with love and support embark a drive for betterment of society. Ultimately, be it a healthy person or cancer patient, the power to tackle the fear of cancer should rise from within!

“There is a ‘can’ in CANCER, because we CAN beat it!”

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