My Bright Outlook From Diagnosis and Beyond
The first time I heard the words “You have lung cancer,” my life changed so quickly. All I could think of at that moment was how on earth I would live with lung cancer.
I knew from the start having cancer brings anxiety, fatigue, frustration, fear, and failure. On top of that, I would have to deal with cancer spread or popping side effects constantly. Added to that was the reality of my cancer care and treatment.
Resisting the discouragement
The feeling of being unhappy, tearful, hopeless, or discouraged at times is normal when a person has cancer. However, when these feelings last for a long time, do not go away, or get in the way of day-to-day life, seeking help is a must because these can be symptoms of depression.
Discouragement can be a powerful force, so I need to recognize it and be prepared to deal with it. I find encouragement wherever possible.
Reorganizing what is not working
Open communication with my cancer care team helps in decisions and the path of my cancer treatment. As new symptoms arise, my cancer specialists need to be aware. In so doing, my treatment toxicities can be dealt with.
Sometimes, more monitoring and tests are done to confirm what is not working. There is the possibility of change of treatment along the way. My part is to trust in the cancer care system and follow all instructions.
Refocusing on hope
The bombardment of changes while living with lung cancer can make me feel overwhelmed. Despite the bad news and disappointments, hope can help me move forward.
Through hope, I can find the strength and courage to face unending challenges. Once I refocus on hope, anything is possible. Hope can keep me alive to endure treatments.
Setting achievable goals
Since diagnosis, my goal, together with my cancer care team, is to find ways to live better and longer. With my first TKI, I have had controlled lung cancer and brain mets for years.
Besides, I am living a good quality of life, which makes traveling an addition to my goals. Moreover, I will make use of my small voice to push for lung cancer actions on early screening and biomarker testing. Lastly, my creativity remains in writing articles for the lung cancer community.
Putting energy into worthy activities
Medical appointments while on cancer treatment are my priority. However, other activities outside of the medical realm that bring satisfaction come into play.
Building an exercise routine is one. Another one is engaging in creative activities; for me, it is writing.
One of the best relaxing hobbies is reading. It can take my mind off my stressful situation and transport me to new adventures through my imagination.
Choosing to persevere
My body may have suffered, but my spirit remained strong. I need to respond creatively to a life-threatening illness by doing what matters most while I can and experiencing the joys of living and loving.
It is my prayer to have more time with my loved ones. In addition, I hope for the best in my life.
In whatever way, I must not forget to prepare for the worst.
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