The challenge of coping with cancer, its treatments, or other illness that threatens your life or the way you live it

The diagnosis of cancer, or other life-threatening illness, provokes fear in patients and their families. Serious illness and treatments can cause major problems: physical, practical and emotional. Anxiety and depression are both common responses, as is an uncertainty about the future that comes with having a condition that could progress or recur at any time. Some patients search for meaning and someone to blame. Some struggle with the loss of control in their lives. Some experience aspects of their illness and treatment as traumatic. Some battle with thoughts and feelings that overwhelm them.

 

If you are living with cancer or other life-threatening illness, you may be experiencing changes in your work life, your home life, your sexual life, or your relationships that are hard to deal with. Changes in the way your body works, looks and feels may be causing you distress. You may feel helpless and have lost your hopefulness. I have been the Lead Counsellor in a local day hospice and have helped many people who have wanted support from someone outside the family. Like them, you may need to discuss your difficulties with someone who has knowledge and experience of working with these challenges and who is independent and unaffected by the outcomes of the decisions you might make. You might be lucky enough to get access to a counsellor or psychotherapist at the hospital where you have treatment, at your local hospice or via your GP. If that isn't working for you, then try psychotherapy with me. It can be a difficulty journey: let me help you to find your way.

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© Gill Sweeting