Tips for Coping With Cancer: Make a “Grateful” List

Started by anonymous, October 14, 2015
4 replies for this topic
anonymous

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Posted on
October 14, 2015
In 2013, the website Moments A Day posted a lovely list to help moms remember why they’re grateful for the irritations in their life. It’s a great example of recognizing that how we choose to think about events can make a difference in how we view life.

Grateful from MomentsADay_com

Patients with cancer occasionally need similar reminders. Some days we may have difficulty seeing the upside of anything, especially when in active treatment, experiencing unpleasant side effects or facing cancer progression. On such days, we need to be creative and write a list unique to our own values. For instance, here are some things on my list:
  • Daily trips to cancer clinic = outdoor scenery to appreciate
  • Stuck on the sofa achy and exhausted = pet snuggles and science fiction movies
  • Sleeping 12 hours daily = justification to ignore housework
  • Unsteady gait = early boarding at airport
  • Chemobrain symptoms = entertaining new word combinations
  • Friends talking about activities I used to do = motivation to walk or exercise more
  • One more clinical trial = time to help my autistic son refine his independent living skills
What things are important to you? What can you still enjoy when you can’t do what you used to do?

If you can no longer can think of things to write on the right side of the equals sign, maybe it's time to talk seriously with family and health care professionals about depression, quality of life and what’s most important to you. Only you can decide what makes life worth living. Once you decide, tell your doctors as well as those you love. Let them help you achieve your goals.
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Janet FD

Member
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Posted on
October 14, 2015
In 2013, the website Moments A Day posted a lovely list to help moms remember why they’re grateful for the irritations in their life. It’s a great example of recognizing that how we choose to think about events can make a difference in how we view life.

Grateful from MomentsADay_com

Patients with cancer occasionally need similar reminders. Some days we may have difficulty seeing the upside of anything, especially when in active treatment, experiencing unpleasant side effects or facing cancer progression. On such days, we need to be creative and write a list unique to our own values. For instance, here are some things on my list:
  • Daily trips to cancer clinic = outdoor scenery to appreciate
  • Stuck on the sofa achy and exhausted = pet snuggles and science fiction movies
  • Sleeping 12 hours daily = justification to ignore housework
  • Unsteady gait = early boarding at airport
  • Chemobrain symptoms = entertaining new word combinations
  • Friends talking about activities I used to do = motivation to walk or exercise more
  • One more clinical trial = time to help my autistic son refine his independent living skills
What things are important to you? What can you still enjoy when you can’t do what you used to do?

If you can no longer can think of things to write on the right side of the equals sign, maybe it's time to talk seriously with family and health care professionals about depression, quality of life and what’s most important to you. Only you can decide what makes life worth living. Once you decide, tell your doctors as well as those you love. Let them help you achieve your goals.
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scifiknitter

Member
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Posted on
October 15, 2015
This is another very useful post from Janet. I especially appreciate the suggestion that inability to find a silver lining may be a sign that depression is setting in. May we all have doctors who can help us with quality of life issues as well as prescribing treatments.
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Janet FD

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Posted on
October 15, 2015
Thanks, scifiknitter. I'm glad you find this post useful. Depression is not uncommon among cancer patients--especially metastatic patients--and it's important that we realize it can be a side effect of cancer treatment (or the disease itself) and that it has treatment options too.
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coco1101

Member
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Posted on
November 11, 2015
That's a unique way to possibly turn things around, I will share this with some of my LC friends. I am a big proponent of "an attitude of gratitude" and believe my positive attitude is truly one of my very best assets as I go along on my Cancer journey of 27 years. Of course sometimes I go "oh, enough already, I've fought this disease 9x over 27 years... please give me a break". Truthfully though, it's not often been the case. With each Dx I usually say "OK, lets get going" what are the options... I have however, learned so many things about living life (with Cancer) and although it seems an odd thing to say, while this disease is not anything I would want anyone I know to experience personally... Well, I've learned to love the small things in life that make us happy; a beautiful semi-sunny day with a bright blue sky and power puff clouds... Sunsets and sunrises! Your article was helpful... Thank you. Gail
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Janet FD

Member
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Posted on
November 11, 2015
Thank you, Gail, for letting me know you found this helpful. I appreciate hearing that my words make a difference for fellow patients. Hope you continue to enjoy life while you continue to survive cancer!
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