A cancer diagnosis can feel lonely: unless they’ve been there, it’s hard for other people to understand how you feel. Your nearest and dearest will be going through their own emotional reactions too. It’s not surprising that, just when the need to feel loved and supported is higher than it’s ever been, many cancer patients tell me that they feel isolated, frustrated and confused.
No one can hear a cancer diagnosis without being profoundly affected. It’s a time of turmoil and change: and it needs to be: since 95% of cancers have a diet-lifestyle-environment link, it makes sense to look at your life and do what you can to look after yourself in every possible way.
But when we change our relationships change too. Not everyone will agree with the decisions you’re making. Indeed, many people think they know exactly what you should be doing – and they won’t mind telling you. Some people can’t handle the emotional intensity of your situation and retreat into their shell, while others turn it into a huge drama of their own. Frequently, dealing with people pressure is an unexpected side effect of diagnosis.
And, of course, you’ll be facing your own challenges: you may be experiencing crippling anxiety and insomnia; or doubting yourself and your ability to cope. You may have questions you daren’t ask – or you may feel forced into decisions that don’t feel right. From everything we understand about health and wellbeing, we know it’s vital that you feel happy with the path you are taking – which means it’s probably wise to find someone you can talk to frankly and openly about what’s going on for you.
Of course, it’s not all bad: one of the exciting things that can come out of diagnosis is a revival of your spark and the renewal of your sense of purpose. That’s what happened to me and inspired me to change career from management consultant to nutritional therapist. If that’s happening to you too, I can help you with finding a way forward.
One of the things clients value highly about my coaching is the fact that I know how that feels. Cancer rocked my life – and not in a good way. It was a profoundly uncomfortable time and it would have been great to have someone on hand to talk it all through.
If you are struggling with the implications of your diagnosis and the impact it’s having on your life and relationships, please reach out for some support. I’d love to help.