No one should ever underestimate the impact of being told that you have cancer. Even when delivered by a health professional in whom you have trust, even when the prognosis is good, it still represents the first step of a journey into the unknown. In the shock of the moment, you may not have heard everything that was said or may not have asked all the questions for which you need answers.
Sometimes, the news isn’t delivered in the best way. The doctor may have been in a rush or brusque or lacking in bedside manner at a point when you feel intensely vulnerable. In addition, you may feel frightened or angry or blame yourself in some way for your condition.
How can you best handle all the conflicting emotions that come to the surface? If you have close family, you will want to look to them for support but you may also want to protect them from your fears. If you live alone, there may not be an obvious person in whom to confide. This is where talking to a specialist cancer counsellor can help you to begin to regain a sense of control in a situation that can often feel totally out of control. An experienced therapist will listen to you, get a real understanding of your circumstances and difficulties and help you find your best way through the roller coaster of emotions that inevitably arise when cancer is diagnosed.
Useful general reading:
CANCER IS A WORD, NOT A SENTENCE: A Six Step Guide for the the Newly Diagnosed by Dr Robert Buckman.
www.cancerhelp.org.uk – Part of Cancer Research UK
Macmillan Cancer Support www.macmillan.org.uk