I know it was only a few days ago i last did one of these style posts, but after having such good feedback from the last one, i thought i would go ahead and do the next.
This topic is one which i think most people can relate to, they have experience with either first hand or know somebody who has gone through it. I am talking about having to cope with someone who has cancer. It could be a friend, a family member, which is what happened in my situation. When i was younger i had my Grandad pass away with cancer, and more recently i have had to deal with finding out that my mum was diagnosed as well. At the time i found that i felt like i had few options of where to turn to and places where i could say how i feel about all the different things going on, hence why i thought i would write this blog post about the ways i coped and the different outlets of information and help available to people in similar situations.
Firstly i found that it is important to realise that you are not alone! It can seem a really daunting and frightening situation and can leave you feeling like you have to cope and try to sort through your thoughts on your own which is completely untrue! I always ended up thinking i shouldn't talk to people about it especially with other family members as i did not want to upset them or burden them with my troubles, but i soon realised that speaking about how you are feeling is vital as it always ends up building up and making me feel awful and start to affect how i acted around others. If you have no other family or friends to speak to there is always local support groups or charities,in particular (and who i personally turned to) MacMillan Nurses.It is an amazing charity which provides information,support and nurses which help cancer patients, but they also have a massive support system for friends and family who know someone who has been diagnosed or has sadly passed away from cancer. They have a phone line available where you can call up and have a chat with one of their specialists who will sit and listen to how your feeling and answer any questions you may possibly have. They also have an online community and local support groups where you can talk. I found this SO helpful when my mother was diagnosed! The ability to speak to somebody for however long you need,knowing they will never judge you allows you to release any burdens or feelings you may have been keeping locked up inside!
If speaking to others about it all is not necessarily your way of coping, another technique which my mum actually did when she was going through her treatment but could be used by anyone really is to write it down. You could keep a diary or even write a blog about everything you are feeling or any situations you have been through.
Another thing to remember while everything is going on is that is not selfish to want to spend time away from anything that is going on or the person who has been diagnosed. I particularly struggled with this, i felt incredibly guilty about leaving my mum or being away at uni while she was at treatment appointments, but i came to realise it isn't healthy to be in those situations 24/7. Of course you should support the individual is suffering, but trust me when i say that nobody would judge you by spending even a short time away. Giving yourself time to make sure you are eating correctly and are mentally stable is highly important and in the long term it will be better for all if you are feeling your best, there is little you can do if you are not feeling right!
One thing i also used to worry about is not understanding what is going on. I always used to think i didn't know what actually was wrong with my mum or what her treatment was actually doing to help her. I found that asking my mums doctors/nurses to explain to me what was going on, as well as asking questions like i mentioned before to the MacMillan nurses phoneline and also family and friends made me feel much more comfortable about the situation as i felt i could understand much better exactly what was going on. By leaving yourself confused and questioning what is going on, you lead yourself to worrying more and feeling more anxious of what is going on. Another piece of advice i would also say is to stay clear of unreliable sources of info, such as certain websites on the internet! By reading the wrong info you can end up worrying yourself more ( which i did at first!). You are much safer asking somebody who will actually be able to answer your questions correctly and will give you more realistic expectations of what to expect.
I am in absolutely in no way a medical expert,but i hope you have found this somewhat helpful. I remember at the time when it was all going on i just did not know where to even begin to turn to so hopefully this post has given you a few ideas. I have been asking on twitter others ways of coping and the biggest response by far was spending time with friends and family and talking together about what is going on!
I have added a few websites and telephone numbers below which may also be helpful:
MacMillan website : here
MacMillan Advice for partners,friends and carers : here
MacMillan telephone number for a chat with their cancer support specialists : 0808 808000
MacMillan 'talk to us' page : here
NHS Direct: here Telephone number: 08454647
NHS24: here Telephone number: 08454 242424
The Samaritans: Here ,Telephone number: 0845 790 9090
If you need a chat or would like to leave me your suggestions of how you coped if you have been in this situation then leave a comment :D!
Love Kristina x
P.s. i am sorry to those who these types of blog posts may not particularly interest if you are simply looking for beauty blog posts, but i really enjoy doing them and if i can help even one person then it is worthwhile :D! There will be plenty of beauty blog posts to come so hopefully you will still enjoy the blog! I appreciate absolutely everyone that comes to check it out!!