A lot of people get associated with cancer in one way or another. We may be diagnosed ourselves, or our family or significant other might be suffering from it. Wherever you are at this point, being diagnosed with cancer can bring forth tough and hurtful emotions. Grief, fear, anxiety, and depression are only some of the feelings that you may be dealing with.
Counseling may be provided to cancer patients during and after their treatment, although it can often be useful for family members and significant others. Consulting with a counselor specializing in cancer counseling can alleviate loneliness and help patients find the means to face their different challenges.
Help Through Counseling
Recognizing and accepting a cancer diagnosis is hard for an individual and his family. Stress, anger, and tension levels are increased, and the sense of being in a grave situation can be tough to deal with. You could feel that you don’t want to add to the encumbrances that your friends and family are currently experiencing, but then you do not need to carry all your burdens by yourself.
Counselors are highly qualified and competent in helping cancer patients, survivors, and their families cope with the psychological and emotional problems that cancer can bring about. Speaking regularly with a seasoned and compassionate professional can be a relief when daily life and relationships seem like they have become chaotic. Having the guidance of a counselor can indeed help patients and their families cope and manage the fears and emotions that they may be feeling.
Counseling, obviously, does not cure cancer, but it can definitely help offer better coping techniques to guide you during and after treatments and manage mental health problems that may arise.
Studies reveal that counseling can help most cancer patients overcome the anxiety and depression that cancer can bring to their lives. There has also been proof that specific counseling techniques can aid people in dealing with certain fears about pursuing cancer management—for instance, fear of being placed in a small space or fear of injections.
Have a space to talk about how you feel without any judgment can be very beneficial. It can help decrease the stress that you experience and improve your life in general. Counseling may be provided to patients in conjunction with cancer therapy, although it can also be useful for family members.
After Cancer Therapy
Cancer therapy frequently overpowers an individual’s life. You and your family are all engrossed by it with the hopes that you will heal and move forward from this tough period in your life. When a patient heals from cancer, you would assume that it would be a really joyous and exciting celebration. However, the truth is, life after cancer treatment can often be difficult. Rather than feeling excited when you’ve triumphed over your battle against cancer, you could be left feeling empty, lonely, and anxious. For some, suddenly seeing less and less of your nurses and doctors will make you feel more worried.
Give Yourself Time
Luckily, life after cancer is a usual and well-understood matter. You don’t have to suffer by yourself – others are going through the same experiences as you. After-treatment counseling can help you cope with the challenges that may occur following your cancer journey. These challenges include:
- Coping with losing a body part (if the treatment needed surgery)
- Addressing psychological or emotional effects of surviving cancer and the corresponding treatments
- Anxiety and stress about getting back to work
- Losing one’s sense of identity, including loss of self-esteem
Supporting A Cancer Patient
If a family member or loved one has been living with cancer, it will definitely affect you as well. You will also have your own journey into cancer. You may have been managed for cancer before, have lost someone because of cancer, or are scared of having cancer yourself.
If you know someone who has cancer, you might initially struggle to find the words to say or worry that you won’t say the right thing. However, in reality, there is no ‘right thing to say.’ Just be open and compassionate and sensitive to how they feel – you won’t go wrong that way.
Generally, the most crucial things you can do are to listen and communicate. Some of us are concerned that if we talk to our loved ones or friends about cancer, it will make them even more stressed. But, really talking about what we are scared of in life will never worsen the situation. In fact, talking about them will certainly help. Your spouse, family, or friend could be anxious about various areas of cancer. Still, by listening and understanding what they are confronted with, you are helping them feel less lonely and more supported.
What To Look For In A Counselor
There are presently no official guidelines or regulations regards the level of training that a counselor for cancer patients needs. But it is suggested that you make sure your counselor is experienced in this field. Another means for you to be assured that they have been specially trained is to check if they have a significant professional group representing counselors managing individuals with cancer.
Cancer impacts not only the cancer patient but also the partner and the entire family. In situations like this, you might want to seek counseling for extra support and guidance. Some individuals also find it helpful to join support groups with people who go through cancer.