- EMOTIONS AND CANCER
- Body Image
Many survivors experience physical changes in their bodies as a result of cancer or its treatment. The way they feel and think about their bodies may also change. Understanding how cancer can affect your body image can help you feel confident as you experience and manage changes in your body.
- Emotional Effects of Cancer
Living with cancer is an experience that can affect every part of your life. In addition to the effect cancer has on the body, it can also affect the mind and spirit. There may be emotional reactions to all of these changes. When cancer treatment ends, emotional effects may continue and new emotions can surface.
- Fear of Recurrence
Fear of recurrence, the concern that cancer will come back after treatment, is common among survivors. Although having some concerns about recurrence is natural, too much worrying can affect your quality of life. Understanding how to manage fear of recurrence can help you feel more confident and secure about survivorship.
- Finding Meaning
Some survivors want to find a deeper meaning in their cancer experience. You may be trying to understand the greater purpose or reason behind your illness and what it means for your life now. Exploring your feelings about cancer and your reactions to it can help you find meaning in survivorship.
- Grief and Loss
Grief is a strong feeling of sadness in response to a loss. Grief and loss are difficult but natural parts of life, and they are often a part of cancer survivorship in some way. Understanding feelings of grief and loss, and finding the support you need, can help you manage the changes you are experiencing and feel more confident about your survivorship.
Hope, the belief that a positive outcome lies ahead, can be difficult to hold onto in the face of cancer. Knowing why hope is important, and how to create a sense of hope in your life, can help you approach survivorship with strength and confidence.
- Living With Uncertainty
Many survivors feel uncertain about their future after completing cancer treatment. Understanding the reasons why you are feeling this way, and knowing where to look for support, can help you feel more confident in your survivorship.
- Sadness and Depression
Survivors may experience sadness or depression at some point during their cancer experience. Talking with people you trust, such as family members or health care professionals, can help you understand these emotions and find ways to manage them.
- Setting Priorities
Priorities, the things in your life that you think are important, can change over time, especially when you face a serious illness such as cancer. Understanding why priorities change and how you can communicate your priorities to others can help you feel more confident in your survivorship.
Stress is a feeling of constant worry or tension. Stress affects many survivors at one time or another during survivorship, and each survivor will respond to stress in his or her own way. There are things that you can do to reduce stress and improve your quality of life.