With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts

- Eleanor Roosevelt

Looking after your mental health


When people are first told about a cancer diagnosis-  themselves, their family and close friends are usually overwhelmed with many emotions.  This is part of the process you go through when dealing with a serious  illness. Common feelings can include;

Shock – When many people are diagnosed they are in shock and do not want to believe what they have been told. This could lead to them asking the same questions about the illness and finding it hard to talk about because they do not fully believe they have it. This shock can lead to denial.

Fear – People experience fear around whether their cancer is curable or not. This is the greatest fear when diagnosed. When going through treatments doctors do not always know what the specific outcome may be, this uncertainty is a big fear so it is very important to talk out all the options in detail with your doctor.

Anger – People can feel very anger at their illness. This sometimes leads to you taking your angry out on the people closest to you. Being angry can also hid your other feelings that you have like sadness and fear. It is important to talk out your feelings with people around you and your doctors, and to make sure that they know your anger is about your illness and is not directed towards them.

Guilt – You may feel guilty about past choices, that you think have lead to your diagnosis. Instead of focusing on these you need to look forward and focus on your choices now. You may also blame yourself or others for your illness, but you will never know what exactly caused your illness so there is no point in blaming anyone.

Resentment – It is understandable that you could feel it is unfair that you have this illness and other people do not. You should share these feelings with people close to you and to not keep them to yourself.

Isolation and Depression – You may feel alone and that your family and friends do not understand what you are going through. Though it is important that you know they are trying their best and that the more you share with them about how you are feeling the more they will know and the less alone you will feel. If you think you could be depressed you should go to your local GP and get help there.

Worry – Living with the fear of a your cancer recurring is a very real and  normal fear to have.  Worrying about cancer coming back is usually most intense the first year after treatment. This worry usually gets better over time but for some it remains a constant challenge many years after treatment.


Helpful Resources-

Advice for practising self compassion – click here. 

For some, pranic healing, a form of non touch healing, can be very helpful. For more information, visit Pranic Healing Clinic.

For information on councelling services, visit the Counselling Services page of Survive and Thrive.ie

For more information on how to cope with living with cancer, visit The Marie Keating Foundation website.