Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cope, Learn, Overcome by: Emily Walsh

Cope, Learn, Overcome

Aside from the physical affects of cancer, the emotional affects can be equally as devastating. A diagnosis can invoke a plethora of worries. "What will treatment be like for lung cancer?" "How do I talk to my family about my breast cancer?" "What is my mesothelioma life expectancy?"

You are not alone in your anxieties. Walk into any cancer survivor support program and you will hear these same questions and worries expressed. You will also hear advice and personal stories from survivors. Cancer support networks also offer an opportunity to talk about your own feelings in a safe and comfortable environment. A great source of camaraderie, strength and knowledge, cancer support networks and programs are an invaluable resource for anyone affected by the disease.

Getting a diagnosis of mesothelioma, colon cancer, skin cancer or any other form of the disease is never easy. You may experience a range of emotions right after your diagnosis, as you begin treatment or even as you go into remission. Talking about your feelings at a support group is the best way to deal with these complex emotions. You will discover that your emotions are normal and that you are not alone in your fight against cancer.

The American Cancer Society sponsors a number of support groups for those diagnosed with the disease. You can even find support in your own home with the society's online Cancer Survivors Network.

The Cancer Survivors Network offers discussion boards, email and a chat function that put you in touch instantly with thousands of other survivors. The boards are filled with messages of hope, advice and questions that may be similar to your own. Writing about your thoughts and emotions can help you overcome your anxieties and cope with the various stages of your battle with cancer.

Joining a support group, whether in person or online, is an important component to your recovery. Hearing stories of survival can give you hope when you need it the most and knowing you are not alone can give you new strength to continue in your recovery.

Emily Walsh

Outreach Director at Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance
Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog

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"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting..... 'WHAT A RIDE!'"