Monday, October 10, 2011

Learning You Have Cancer: Your Feelings

"I heard the doctor say, 'I'm sorry; the test results show that you have cancer.' I heard nothing else. My mind went blank, and then I kept thinking, 'No, there must be some mistake.'"

You will have many feelings after you learn that you have cancer. These feelings can change from day to day, hour to hour, or even minute to minute.
Some of the feelings you may go through include:
  • denial
  • anger
  • fear
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • sadness
  • guilt
  • loneliness
All these feelings are normal.

Learning that you have cancer can come as a shock. How did you react? You may have felt numb, frightened, or angry. You may not have believed what the doctor was saying. You may have felt all alone, even if your friends and family were in the same room with you. These feelings are all normal.

For many people, the first few weeks after diagnosis are very hard. After you hear the word "cancer," you may have trouble breathing or listening to what is being said. When you are at home, you may have trouble thinking, eating, or sleeping.

People with cancer and those close to them experience a wide range of feelings and emotions. These feelings can change often and without warning.

At times, you may:
  • be angry, afraid, or worried
  • not really believe that you have cancer
  • feel out of control and not able to care for yourself
  • be sad, guilty, or lonely
  • have a strong sense of hope for the future

You will have many feelings as you learn to live with cancer. These feelings can change from day to day, hour to hour, or even minute to minute.

Feelings of denial, anger, fear, stress and anxiety, depression, sadness, guilt, and loneliness are all normal. So is a feeling of hope. While no one is cheerful all the time, hope is a normal and positive part of your cancer experience.

In the next few days we will blog about the emotional toll of cancer and sincerely hope you will join us each day as we share our experience with you. 

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