Connie B Posted April 25, 2007 Share Posted April 25, 2007 10 Actions People with Lung Cancer Can Take in Their Fight for Recovery 1. Stay in the Moment. Sometimes people with cancer have trouble seeing past current challenges and project worst-case scenarios on the future. Because no one has a crystal ball, it makes sense to focus our energies on resolving today’s problems. At the same time, it can be helpful to make plans for the future. The process of making plans and setting goals can be a positive experience. 2. Help others understand what you need. Be open with friends and family about how you want them to treat you. Most people want to help, but they often don’t know how. Give them specific examples. Although some people may not be able to overcome their anxiety about your illness, most will respond positively. 3. Do what you enjoy. If you are still able to participate in activities you enjoyed before the diagnosis, keep doing them. Ask your friends to help you stay involved and not isolated. At the same time, give yourself permission to be alone when you need to be. 4. Retain as much control of your life as is reasonable. If you’re feeling that you’ve lost control to health professionals, loved ones, or even the disease itself, list things you are feeling less control over and decide what is realistic for you to take back. Even the simplest things can help enhance your feelings of control. 5. Evoke the relaxation response. The relaxation response is a calm, controlled physical state that may enhance the immune system for a period of time. Achieving this state can be easy to do, can take very little time, and has no unpleasant side effects. The more you practice relaxation, the easier it becomes. Consider joining a relaxation or meditation program in your community. 6. Steer clear of negative words in relation to the illness. Words like “victim” and “fatal disease” leave little room for anything but despair. Language can be a powerful tool in helping to retain feelings of hope, control, and wellness. Why not use more hopeful words, such as “survivor” or “victor”? 7. Acknowledge your feelings. Although research shows that pleasant emotions can enhance the immune system (and unpleasant emotions may suppress it), there’s no need to try to be positive all the time. The cancer experience can trigger many strong emotions. The healthiest thing you can do is to find constructive ways to express the emotions you feel (e.g., through talking, physical activity or creative pursuits)—and not to suppress those feelings. 8. Become partners with your doctor. Your doctor will be looking for cues about how you want to receive information, make decisions, and learn more about lung cancer and its treatment. Discuss these matters with your doctor. If you have tried and cannot develop a satisfactory relationship with your doctor, consider finding another one. 9. Spend time with other cancer patients. People with cancer often find a sense of comfort in communicating with others who share their cancer experiences, in person, online or on the telephone. If there is not a cancer support group in your area, you might be able to connect with other people who have lung cancer through your doctor or nurse, through TWC, ALCASE, or CancerCare or other organizations listed in the Resources section of this booklet. 10. You can hope for many things. Hope is not only desirable but often reasonable. There are millions of people in the world today for whom cancer is just a memory; every type of cancer has some recovery rate. Remember that hope can take many forms. If physical recovery becomes unlikely, one can hope for spiritual or emotional recovery. People who find something that gives them hope often do better emotionally with whatever challenges lie ahead. Talk with your doctor about what gives you hope and what you hope for, now and in the future. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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