When you’re facing a cancer diagnosis and treatment, like many patients and caregivers, you may feel overwhelmed from time to time. For those moments when your spirit needs a boost, it can help to have tools in your back pocket to rely upon. The Pastoral Care team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® in Tulsa, Oklahoma suggests this set of 10 simple tools as a start.
Pray for those who are caring for you. Pray for your health and healing. Pray for patience, endurance and strength. Pray for family and friends. Pray for other patients and caregivers. Use the prayers in Scripture to guide your prayers.
2. Embrace Song and Scripture
Singing or reciting your favorite hymn, or reflecting on your favorite scripture verses can bring the presence of God nearer to you.
3. Make Use of Your Time
Plan for the times you wait for a test or between appointments. Bring an inspirational book or something to busy your hands such as sewing, a craft project or an iPad®. Talk with those around you and get to know other patients. How can your spare time be turned into moments of devotion and service?
4. Build A Support System
It is essential that you stay in touch with friends, family members and other cancer patients. Join a local or online support group to connect with others committed to winning the fight against cancer. Visit Our Journey of Hope for weekly devotionals, sermons and testimonials. Remember that God is part of your team.
5. Say “Yes” and Accept Help
People around are willing and wanting to help you. When someone offers you a prayer, a food item or a hug — say “yes.”
6. Keep a Proper Perspective
Think positive, look at the big picture of life, think about what is most important to you, and brings you the most support and encouragement.
7. Take Care of Yourself
This is a stressful time for you. Be sure to get enough food, sleep and personal time.
8. Turn Your Attention Outward
Times of medical discomfort or challenge can turn our attention inside of ourselves; and while being attentive to your own needs is important, turning your attention to those around you can be an encouragement to you and can help you cope through your own cancer journey.
9. Develop Coping Strategies
When you are faced with medical challenges or hard times surround you, keep something in mind to keep you going and ease the pain. Reward yourself with a special treat. Meditate on something that makes you happy, joyful and encouraged. Rejoice in the small victories.
Sharing concerns, fears, joys or moments of challenge are important. Bottling up how you feel can cause medical, physiological and emotional pain. Use the resources provided by your local church, support group, family or friends to work through and face issues in your life. Talk to a professional counselor, pastoral care staff at your hospital, or your churches’ ministry staff to share your feelings and to receive needed support.