Being diagnosed with cancer can be the most shocking news one could hear about their health. How would you feel knowing the seriousness of your condition? The slowly sinking thought of the imminent deterioration of your health can be too much to handle.
Some people don’t understand that saying “be positive” or “keep your head up” can put too much pressure on cancer patients because realistically, it is a hard situation to deal with. It is not reasonable to think that having cancer is easily bearable, that it is like a tummy-ache where you can put on a fake smile.
Debunking The Myth
To be straight up, a positive attitude does not affect cancer itself at all. And the patient would still go through those sickening cycles during treatment and they would still feel pain and fear. But this normal. And they don’t have to hide all those feelings either.
A study conducted of middle-eastern families suggests that the patient’s family members experience negative emotions more than the patients themselves upon cancer diagnosis disclosure. This study will help patients understand their loved ones’ guilt behind all the encouragement and optimism that the family is trying to influence the patient.
Understanding this helps the patient accept their condition and feel less guilty about being real in dealing with their situation. And in turn, their family and friends would be able to assist them better with their condition, which could positively affect their overall attitude during treatment.
A number of researchers suggest that a positive attitude, although not proven to help with cancer treatment, can have a great impact on the patient’s quality of life and possibly reduce the rate of readmission and make hospital stays shorter. Acceptance can also make the patients feel a sense of control in their path. It’s not that bad, after all, to have the spirit to go through it all despite the hardships and struggles during treatment.
When a family member is sick, we want to cheer them up, we want to see them respond the way they normally would. We want to see them positive because it pains us seeing them weak, and hurting. It is normal for us to feel this way, especially about our suffering loved ones. We have to understand that sometimes, it’s okay not to be okay, that it is alright.
The best thing we can do for them is to just be there when they acknowledge their discomfort or agony. We don’t have to force them to “stay positive” because to be honest, saying cancer is stressful is an understatement.
A sudden surge of emotions can easily affect an individual in any given situation. Having knowledge of one’s own deterioration can make anyone feel lonesome and debilitated. That is why getting emotional support as a cancer patient can be really overwhelming, especially to the newly diagnosed patient.