Since my recent scare (click here to read Dad's blog if you missed it) I seem to have been emulating the pirate ship in emotional highs and lows for several weeks now. My poor husband and Dad have been the victims of this emotional piracy and it's getting rather tiresome. So I turned to my trusty friend Google, to see if this is 'normal'. Thank goodness. It is. Normal for a cancer 'survivor' anyway.
So for those of you who are wondering whether you're on your own emotional pirate ship, then here are my tips:
1. Be kind to yourself. No-one's expecting you to bounce back immediately. And it's not a linear process. Be patient. (Not my greatest attribute but I give it a go).
2. Do the things you love with the people you love.
3. Pray. God loves you and carries you through. I know my Dad is amazing but God the father is incredible.
4. Acknowledge how you feel. Fear, grief and loss are completely normal emotions. Express them don't suppress them.
5. Speak to other people who are in the same boat (or pirate ship). Support groups help in normalising difficult emotions.
6. Don't be afraid of recurrence. This is really hard, but if you can swap fear with faith then this will help.
7. Stay fit and healthy. I embarrassed myself completely this week by flailing around at a trampolining fitness class. It's impossible to be soul searching when you are concentrating on staying upright.
8. Avoid stress. I'm terrible at this but it can be helpful to avoid stressful situations. If you think you need additional support, your local hospice or the GP will offer a range of different types of help.
9. Get used to the new you. You are different now. The long-term after-effects of cancer might be physical such as a scar, or hair that's grown back with a mind of its own. Or it might be a new outlook that makes you feel isolated from those who haven't experienced what you have. Tell your friends and family how you're feeling. That's what friends are for.
10. Go to all your appointments. Don't be scared of bad news. With cancer, then you need to act fast if you notice any changes. A stitch in time and all that.
Above all, take support from every angle. For me it's my family, friends and church community. The violent swings of the pirate ship are no match for love, faith and peace.
|My emotions right now|