The emotional impact of living with a long term cancer diagnosis can impact our lives in so many different ways, and I think it is important to not be to hard on ourselves. Easier said than done I know…
Even though I have been quiet with my usual blogs I have been writing occasional pieces for Neuroendocrine Cancer UK as part of my role as an Ambassador. Below is a another piece I wrote in April 2021.
Being diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer tips life upside down (as will any type of cancer diagnosis) .It can take a long time to come to terms with, and not only is Neuroendocrine a confusing and complex cancer, few seem to have heard of it either.
Furthermore, its a cancer that you know is probably incurable, which can in turn can have a big impact on your mental health; it can leave you feeling very alone and isolated, and you may even question if You are still You anymore?
When word gets round, you may notice that some people look at you and treat you differently, mainly I think because they are unsure of how to react. It scares them too.
But what do you see when you look at yourself? What do they see when they look at you? You haven’t changed as a person, you may have lost some weight, you may have gained some; you may have had surgery, you may not; you may be taking a whole medicine cabinet of drugs everyday, you may not. Nevertheless, one of the most important things to remember in all this is that You are still You.
There are good days and bad days, and those days can take many forms both physically and emotionally, and they can arrive quite unannounced with their own additional challenges. Still, the person having to deal with these challenges is essentially the same person you were before diagnosis, dealing with everything that life throws at you in its own inevitable way. Often you may also need additional help to do this; and if you do please don’t be afraid to ask for it.
Through it all though remember, You are still You, and yes some people will fall by the wayside as you travel on this part of your life’s journey, but those who stay also see that essentially You are still You too.
In the words of Brené Brown – “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.”