Managing Your Emotions During Chemotherapy – Everything you need to know

How to Manage your Emotions during Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy can be an emotional rollercoaster for many people. The side effects of chemotherapy can cause a variety of emotions ranging from fear and anxiety to sadness and anger. Not only the patients but the family members of the patients also might feel a very sudden mood swing.

Some people suffering from cancer might need to hide their emotions to be strong, in order to protect family and friends. Some on the other hand seek help from loved ones or other cancer-suffering patients or might turn to professional help. The way to cope with your emotions during this struggling time should be your way and not be compared to anyone else.

Emotions the patient might feel

1.Overwhelmed – when a person is newly found out about cancer, it is normal to feel that you have been left with no control over your life. Your routine is disturbed by regular doctor’s visits.  You rely on the help of others mostly now.

2.Anger – the patient might be angry, and frustrated sometimes and question like, why me? You tend to be rude and mean to people surrounding you. Patients often show anger to show how tough they and they don’t want anyone petty.

3.Fear and Worry – this is very normal to feel scared, knowing that suddenly your life is in danger and all your plans and family responsibility is shaken. Patients often get too much worried about their health expenses and family burden. This also affects the patients mentally and affects their treatment.

4.Hope – hope is a positive attitude; patients feel hopeful about living a life beyond cancer. They should do this, plan their routine like earlier, and add new slots to their previous life only. Scientists also say that patient who has a zest to live life to the fullest and strong willpower tends to respond better to treatment with fewer side effects.

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5.Stress and Anxiety – patients feel stressed about the financial support, and emotional burden on family, as well as the anxiety, continuous high heart rate, muscle aches, and headaches, sweating too much, shaking hands and legs, and constipation and diarrhea are some symptoms of anxiety which only worsen the situation.

6.Sadness, depression, and Guilt – this is the most obvious and general response to any illness. The patients even after the completion of treatment feel about all the loss and pain they had suffered and feel they must have done something so wrong, that this happens to them. They feel all their loved ones felt was their fault. They had been just a burden and nothing else. Such feelings often cause depression.

Managing Your Emotions During Chemotherapy - Everything you need to know

7.Loneliness –the patient might feel loneliness as they are no longer able to participate in activities as they are too weak, and their loved ones find it had to deal with cancer so they don’t visit often, patients might also feel that everybody around them are sympathetic, but no one actually feels their pain. Even after treatment patients can also miss their healthcare team, and their co-patients, some may feel hopeless as they are not able to return to their normal life soon after their treatment.

8.Gratitude – some patients feel that this is the alarm that they should live their lives a little more, spend more time with family, become more caring towards themselves and their loved ones, try to complete all the leftover plans they ever made, be more in nature, and enjoy every little thing that brings joy to them.

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Coping Measures

Such mood swings are persistent and if negative can affect the treatment and response to it mentally as well as physically. Therefore, managing your emotions during chemotherapy is essential to maintaining your overall well-being. Here are some tips to help you manage your emotions during chemotherapy:

1.Educate Yourself about Chemotherapy – The more you know about chemotherapy, the more you can prepare yourself for the emotional and physical side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider, read books and articles, and join support groups to learn about what to expect during chemotherapy.

2.Seek Support – Chemotherapy can be overwhelming, and it’s essential to have a support system in place. Reach out to family, friends, and loved ones for emotional support. You can also consider joining a support group where you can connect with others who are going through the same experience as you.

3.Practice Self-Care – Self-care is critical during chemotherapy. Take care of your physical needs by eating a healthy diet, getting enough rest, and exercising when possible. Take care of your emotional needs by engaging in activities that bring you joy, such as reading a book, listening to music, or practicing meditation.

4.Don’t play Blame Game with yourself – the patient should never feel guilty, as what is done is done, one should always think about the future and plan for the same. Feeling guilty and blaming you will only bring stress and depression. This will create a negative impact on your health. There is a famous quote by a cancer survivor named Becky – “when I start to feel guilty that I caused my illness, I think of how kids get cancer”. This will make the patient realize that any disease can happen to anyone and that it’s nobody’s fault.

5.Use Relaxation Techniques – Relaxation techniques can help manage stress and anxiety during chemotherapy. Some techniques to consider include deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery. You can find videos and apps that offer guidance on these techniques.

6.Express Emotions – research says that people who have found a way to express their feelings are more positive and therefore respond their best to the treatment. If you may, you should prefer therapy sessions, group support, or your loved one’s support. And if you don’t feel like talking to anyone, you can always maintain a journal and write your thoughts in it.

7.Consider Therapy – Therapy can be an effective way to manage your emotions during chemotherapy. A therapist can help you work through your emotions and develop coping strategies that work for you. Talk to your healthcare provider about finding a therapist who specializes in working with people who have cancer.

8.Stay Positive – Staying positive can be challenging during chemotherapy, but it’s important to try. Focus on the things you can control, such as your self-care and your mind-set. Keep a positive attitude and remind yourself that chemotherapy is a temporary treatment that will help you heal.

9.Stay Connected – Chemotherapy can be isolating, especially if you’re not feeling well. Stay connected with family, friends, and loved ones through phone calls, texts, or video chats. You can also connect with others online through social media or support groups.

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So, above are some common emotions that a patient might feel during their journey towards fighting cancer and some simple yet effective measures to cope with the same. One should try every possible way to manage their emotions during this tough ride to come to an end with flying colors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of the patient’s family or loved one in the patient’s battle with cancer?

Well, for some patients their family and loved ones are their utmost strength and play a major role in treatment. They keep patients sane and motivated and make them feel they are definitely going to win. Losing them can make patients hopeless and they even get a feeling about their life being meaningless and a burden on others. So, always keep yourself smiling and positive around patients for their quick and easy recovery.

What is the emotional impact of cancer on a patient?

When patients came to know about cancer, they might feel shocked, and stay in denial. They may also feel certain emotions such as anger, hopelessness, anxiety, stress, and loneliness. You will get to know more about it in this article along with the ways to cope with such a pool of emotions.

What are the physical ways to cope with cancer?

To cope with cancer symptoms and the side effects of treatment, the patient should do physical activity as much as possible, should eat the recommended diet only, spend more time with nature, stop smoking and drinking alcohol, and start spending more time around their loved one and families rather than being alone.

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