In this second blog on terminal illness, I would like to talk about the emotional aspect of coping with terminal illness. Coping emotionally with terminal illness effectively requires a person to experience a whole range of emotions, including all the big and difficult ones. Trying to be positive in grave situations is certainly a difficult task, so don't try to force yourself into feeling a certain way just because it is socially acceptable and advised by others. It's okay to feel down in the dumps. There's no point in pretending to feel happy and positive when you don't feel that way. Just be yourself.
It is also not your job to be mindful of other people's emotions all the time. If you feel like others are uncomfortable around you, encourage them to ask you questions about your illness, or just share how you're feeling at that time.
Apart from experiencing a wide range of emotions and dealing with them in a healthy way, there are some other things you can do that might help. Some of the things I recommend doing are:
Talk to loved ones about your feelings. Share your concerns and see if they can help sort out certain issues
Get professional counselling or psychotherapy if that's something you are open to
If you are a spiritual person, talk to a spiritual leader and get guidance from them
Take up a new hobby, read some interesting books or listen to your favourite music if you are able to
Try to stick to a daily routine and keep yourself busy if you can
Join a support group, preferably one with people facing similar circumstances as yours
Spend more time with loved ones, or spend more time at places you love, doing the things you enjoy
We know how challenging living with a terminal illness can be. At in4MED, we can make this stressful time easier by connecting you to local support systems and being there for you as your trusted health advocates. Take a look at the resources listed below and as always, feel free to connect with me or leave a comment.
Stay tuned for more on terminal illness next month. This is the second of three blogs on the topic.
Healthcare Consultant, in4MED
Accepting the diagnosis https://cancer.ca/en/living-with-cancer/advanced-cancer/accepting-the-diagnosis
Coping with cancer, support at any stage https://cancerhopenetwork.org/support/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4-6tm5TO9gIVS21vBB0UawcmEAAYBCAAEgJ5x_D_BwE
Financial Programs for Patients with Cancer and their Caregivers https://www.uhn.ca/PatientsFamilies/Health_Information/Health_Topics/Documents/Coping_with_Cancer_Income_Assistance.pdf
Canadian Cancer Society, Palliative care https://cancer.ca/en/living-with-cancer/coping-with-changes/palliative-care
Embracing end of life https://ontariocaregiver.ca/embracing-end-of-life/
Palliative and end-of-life care - Public information from the Ministry Of Health
Information on palliative care https://www.virtualhospice.ca/en_US/Main+Site+Navigation/Home/Topics/Topics/What+Is+Palliative+Care_/What+Is+Palliative+Care_.aspx?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4-6tm5TO9gIVS21vBB0UawcmEAMYAyAAEgKvvfD_BwE
Serving terminally ill adults - Dream Foundation https://www.dreamfoundation.org/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4-6tm5TO9gIVS21vBB0UawcmEAMYAiAAEgKI5PD_BwE
A caregivers guide to end of life care https://hospicetoronto.ca/PDF/Acaregivershandbook_CHPCA.pdf
The author of this blog post is a Physician with over 10 years of experience working in the healthcare system as a clinician, researcher and educator. She is passionate about healthcare for older adults and strives to be a resourceful inspiration to caregivers.
*No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional.