Think About Your Life

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Treatment

Going in and out of doctors' offices, lying on radiation tables, and sitting in chemo chairs can all be dehumanizing experiences. You feel sick, your medical team may not know you, and you may be having a hard time doing the things you want to do because of side effects, but once you settle into your routine the rhythm of cancer becomes almost normal.

Yeah, you are still afraid, but life goes on around you, and you can find resilience in this experience.

Treatment is the time to marshal your advocates and allies, and tell them clearly, ‘this is what I need right now’. Most people want to help, but they are often just at a loss as to how to help you. It's your job to tell them clearly what you need.

Thinking tools to try

Thinking Tools

One-page Profile

Try this if you want to give others a picture of your life and the support you need now.

SHOW ME

Thinking Tools

Good Day Bad Day

Try this to figure out how to cope, take action, and get help. It’s good, for example, if:

  • side effects from treatment are awful
  • I’m tired all the time
  • I don’t have enough help
  • I look OK but that doesn’t mean I am

SHOW ME

Thinking Tools

Communication Chart

Try this if you want people to know better how to support you on bad days, and how to help you through treatment. It’s good, for example, if:

  • I want people to pick up on my moods and needs so I don’t feel I’m always asking for help
  • I’m inundated with people wanting to help
  • I don’t know how to say no to friends and family
  • I don’t know how to communicate with friends and family about my disease

SHOW ME

Thinking Tools

What's Working - Not Working

Try this to work through specific concerns. It’s good, for example, if:

  • I don’t know how I’m going to pay for treatment
  • I need to earn money but I don’t feel well enough to work
  • I don’t know what to tell my boss

SHOW ME

Thinking Tools

Hopes and Fears

Try this when you are struggling emotionally through treatment. It’s good, for example, if:

  • I don’t know how to communicate to friends and family about my disease
  • I’m terrified of dying
  • I feel depressed, angry, scared

If you’re feeling depressed or very anxious, you must take this seriously and consider professional support.

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Co-survivors

Treatment for cancer can take many forms, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. As a co-survivor you can help a great deal with hands-on support such as looking after children, cooking or delivering meals, and going to treatment sessions.

During treatment your loved one may experience difficult side effects, blue days and a wide range of emotions, and you can help them cope with this. Here’s a thinking tool you can use:

Thinking Tools

Good Day Bad Day

This thinking tool can help you know what good days and bad days look like for the person you are supporting. You can use this to help make days better during treatment.

SHOW ME

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Think About Your Life is funded by the HSA Foundation.

The HSA Foundation is a charity
registered in England and Wales (no 1125219).