Going through any medical treatment or illness is a daunting time, not only for yourself, but for your friends and family who want to be there beside you all the way.
There are so many issues, hurdles and milestones to overcome that you will find yourself looking for your own coping mechanisms to deal with everything you are faced with. However, it can be a minefield and one you will no doubt, have no previous experience of. This can leave you feeling alone and isolated as though no one else is dealing with and going through, the same things as you.
However, it will hopefully be of some reassurance that many of the thoughts, feelings and anxieties you are experiencing are in fact shared by many people and your way of coping will also be the same as someone else’s. There a few common themes when it comes to coping which will hopefully make you feel, you are in fact, not alone.
One of the most common themes is the need to gain knowledge. Many people feel more in control with their situation when they feel they are armed with all the knowledge and information around their illness. It helps them be aware of what they may need to experience and help them prepare mentally and emotionally for this.
Share Your Feelings
Alternatively, sharing your feelings and thoughts with a close friend or family member can also help you to cope. This can help keep your thoughts rational and provide you with a solid sounding board for your worries. We can be our own worst enemy and our thoughts can run away with us and create in our minds all sorts of catastrophes, that may not even happen. By talking things through you can help keep a grounded perspective of the situation.
Losing Your Hair
If you are at a stage of receiving chemotherapy and if you start to lose your hair, then your appearance will undoubtedly change. This can be a huge emotional issue for many people as our hair is our crowning glory, and very much a sign of our strength and health. By losing your hair it is a constant visual reminder that you are coping with a serious illness and often a time when you can feel overwhelmed with new confusing feelings and emotions. If you previously found focusing on your appearance a good distraction which had been helping you cope with things, then it is hardly surprising that this may suddenly knock your confidence.
During treatment a lot of people will opt for a wig to help them gain a sense of daily normality and to help restore their confidence. Chemotherapy wigs can be fitted and styled to give you a fresh look and help you feel good about yourself during and after treatment and until you regain your hair. Don’t be worried about booking an initial consultation as you will treated with empathy and taken through a number of options to find what works best for you.
Whatever coping mechanisms you find yourself adopting whether it is knowledge gaining, talking therapy or boosting your confidence ensure these are right for you and that you are not pressured by other people’s approaches.
This is a collaborative report.