After the diagnosis is confirmed as cancer and the treatment plan is decided upon, the third phase – the treatment / therapy phase – can begin.
Aunt Millie has breast cancer. She is still in shock; she is afraid and nervous. Chemotherapy is what her doctor suggested, and she is anxious, because everyone knows what happens when getting chemotherapy, right? Her hair will fall out, she will be sick and throwing up all the time, becoming thinner and thinner. And then they want to operate as well… the doctors recommended getting a mastectomy – a nightmare for Millie. Will she still be feminine then? Doesn’t it look funky, all lopsided? Will Edwin still look at her the same?
Her worries and anxiety are constantly increasing. While searching the internet for other experiences and stories of breast cancer survivors, Millie comes across the term “cancer coach.” She finds one close to her and makes an appointment to deal with all her thoughts and worries and grief and anger. Her cancer coach, Anna, also helps her to stay motivated during this long treatment phase.
Edwin is not unaffected during this treatment phase. The nervousness and fear at the beginning have dimmed a bit, but as a relative, he is struggling with daily life that doesn’t just stop. Even though he has understanding coworkers and employers, he is constantly organizing: Arranging free time to drive Millie to appointments, seeing if he can leave work early to be there for Millie when she doesn’t feel good. And still trying to get his work done. Additionally, he is now taking over more housework of what Millie had done previously. He’s trying to be supportive and be available to her, but he often doesn’t get a chance to do things for himself and his strength is slowly fading. And when Millie starts nagging at him on top of all that because she is overwhelmed with the situation, he sometimes feels the urge to just scream back. But he is restraining himself. Still, he asks himself: How do others do it? There has to be another way?
It’s a marathon, not a sprint
Anna, the cancer coach, is working with Millie during her treatment phase. Together, they come up with ways for Millie to deal with the side effects, to find motivation and to cope with the bodily changes she faces. Anna is encouraging Millie to try new things like Qigong or meditation to find back to her body and to connect body, mind and spirit gently.
Anna soon notices that Millie and Edwin’s relationship is becoming tense and that the cancer disease has taken up space in their relationship. She recommends that Edwin also seeks help from a cancer / life coach to deal with his own feelings and issues surrounding this topic.
Meditation for mental support
There are a variety of matters that can become important during the treatment phase. The longevity, motivation, side effects, fear of surgery, new daily lives and different social interactions are all topics here.
Meditation can always be helpful but especially in difficult times. The focus on mindfulness and breathing can help with relaxation, decreasing of stress and anxiety and this is then supporting recovery because it is promoting to find one’s inner balance and calm.
We have a free meditation sample available for download. Just click on the picture and it will take you there directly.
So, what happens after the treatment is all done? The fourth phase is the remission phase that we wish every cancer patient would reach.
Until then, take care!