Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Learning You Have Cancer: Stress

"I read as much as I can find about my cancer. Imagining the worst is scarier than knowing what mighthappen. Having all the facts makes me much less afraid."

Your body may react to the stress and worry of having cancer. You may notice that:
  • your heart beats faster
  • you have headaches or muscle pains
  • you don't feel like eating or you eat more
  • you feel sick to your stomach or have diarrhea
  • you feel shaky, weak, or dizzy
  • you have a tight feeling in your throat and chest
  • you sleep too much or too little
  • you find it hard to concentrate
Stress can also keep your body from fighting disease as well as it should.
You can learn to handle stress in many ways, like:
  • exercising
  • listening to music
  • reading books, poems, or magazines
  • getting involved in hobbies such as music or crafts
  • relaxing or meditating, such as lying down and slowly breathing in and out
  • talking about your feelings with family and close friends
If you're concerned about stress, talk to your doctor. He or she can suggest a social worker or counselor. You could also find a class that teaches people ways of dealing with stress. The key is to find ways to control stress and not to let it control you.

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