One of my family members just got diagnosed with nose cancer, stage 3. I am choked - don't know what to do and say so he knows we support him and let him know that we love him.
How does it feel when you first get diagnosed, and what would you like to hear from your family member? Pls help me so I can say the right things....
______________________________ By :lee
It is often said that when someone in the family contracts cancer, the whole family also feels the same. The emotional outpouring, pain and stress affects everyone. This is understandable. Cancer afterall is still a very feared word.
Firstly, the cancer person will go through his own emotional turmoil. Questions like "Why me", "What did I do wrong" etc will invade his mind. The fear of death and leaving all loved ones behind is very real and frightening. This is a phase which most people go through when they are told they have contracted cancer. It is a natural reaction to the heart breaking news.
Secondly, family members and loved ones will be equally or even more badly affected. Often they are at a loss for words and what to do to help the person. This is also understandable.
But there are blessings from cancer - this may sound a little blant at this point in time. But let me highlight some of these blessings:-
1) it brings the family together in the realisation that they must come forward to love and support one another in this challenging time.
2) although there is pain and emotion, love, care and concern will prevail.
3) the family will stand together and this will develop a stronger bond all round.
What do you say to the person who has contracted cancer. Sometimes, nothing needs to be said. It is being around, showing love, care and support. But what is also equally important is to move away from the emotional phase into a accepting and practical phase.
Firstly, after all the emotional outburst, one has to accept the fact that one has contracted cancer. Nothing you say or do or deny will ever change that fact. So accepting that one has contracted nose cancer is important to come to terms with the illness so that one can deal with it in a clear manner.
Secondly, mind over body. You need to galvanise yourself to be strong and be prepared to walk through this journey, which is probably the darkest moment in one's life. Without this inner strength, one will always be bogged down by negative thoughts. Negative thoughts will not make the situation any better. In fact it will make it worse. So smile instead of frown. Ask oneself what can I do to make my life better by dealing with the cancer.
Thirdly, this is the time to press on to your religious faith. Yes, trust and beleive in the divine. There you will find inner peace, acceptance of your situation because God is in control.
What i have shared may appear to be more for the person who have contracted cancer. But it also applies to the family members and loved ones as well. Each of you need to strenghten youself and help to encourage the person to deal with his issues.
I hope I have provided some insights from my own and those of our members experiences. We will be glad to share more with your loved ones. He can contact me and I will be glad to meet up with him to share my own experiences and encourage and guide him along his treatment and post recovery care. Afterall, i have contracted nose cancer and i can empathise with him and also know what he is will going through in terms of his thoughts and later on his treatment. My sharing, I believe, will give him the confidence to face the situation better.