February 2024 For cancer survivors, chronic pain is a potential lon [...]READ MORE
Coping with Metastatic Cancer
Learning that you have metastatic cancer can be a physically and emotionally life-changing moment. Many emotions may arise, including uncertainty, anger, confusion, sadness, fear, and many others. The plans you once had may be up in the air, and you may not be sure what will happen next. You may be angry or confused because you did everything you could to prevent metastasis and wonder how this could happen to you. You may feel sad as you realize that you will need more treatment or that there may be no more treatment available to you. You may fear that your life will be cut short and that you won’t be able to witness your family’s milestones. Whatever you feel is normal and expected. It is important to remember that many people with metastatic cancer live full, meaningful lives. Here are some strategies to explore for coping with metastatic cancer:
1. Education – Take some time to write down any questions that come to mind about being diagnosed with metastatic cancer. This may include questions about the type of cancer, treatment options, side effects, and prognosis. Education can help alleviate some of the anxiety and uncertainty you may be feeling.
2. Care Plan – Having a care plan in a binder or on your computer can help remind you and others what the treatment plan is, who to call with different questions, and provides a place to record any side effects, important information, and questions. You can take your care plan with you to appointments to make sure you discuss anything that comes to mind between appointments.
3. Connection – It is very important to build a support system that you can rely on for support. This can be physical, emotional, or spiritual support. Having a group of people you can trust to express your feelings and ask for help is very important to avoid additional stress for you. This can include family, friends, spiritual leaders, elders, support groups, and more.
4. Professional counseling: Talking to a social worker, psychologist, or psychotherapist may be a good idea to help you process the emotions surrounding metastatic cancer and life situations in general. These professionals can provide a confidential and safe space to express your feelings and receive guidance through difficult situations.
5. Mind-body practices: Activities such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being. These practices can be incorporated into your daily routine to help you cope with both physical and emotional challenges.
A metastatic cancer diagnosis is extremely difficult for people and should never be navigated alone! Colorectal Cancer Canada recognizes that incorporating the above strategies into your daily routine can be a daunting task when navigating a metastatic cancer diagnosis. That is why we have Patient Support Specialists who are here to help. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for emotional support, templates, brainstorming sessions, and anything else you may need to cope with a metastatic cancer diagnosis.