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Coping with Depression If You Have Cancer

Maybe you are going through a difficult time because of personal problems in your private life, or maybe because of financial issues arising from your job and future. There are always questions in your head that you cannot answer. You put yourself under stress while looking for answers to these questions. On the one hand, you try to continue your daily life. And this process is very tiring for you. Your body is silently watching you for a while and wondering what to do. Then it starts to react. Pain, swelling, non-healing wounds, bleeding, and inflammation occur in various parts of your body. Not to mention the accompanying sleep problems, unexplained fevers, sudden weight loss/weight gain, or malnutrition. You don’t care about these reactions for a while, but you go to the doctor when the severity of the symptoms increases. 

Perhaps you have no symptoms (Many types of cancer can live in your body for years without showing any signs). You give a blood test at routine doctor’s checkups, and your doctor tells you that some of your cells have mutated. This is how you and everyone around you (if there is no family history of cancer) face the reality of cancer. 

At that moment, a new era begins for you. You might stop for a moment and start to question why this happened to you. . Maybe you find yourself in more significant future concerns. 

After learning that you have cancer, you may feel depressed and frightened because perhaps you have never faced anything that faces you so much with the fact that you are a “mortal”. You know that a complex process is waiting for you, and your living standards will change, or you are just learning. 

But whatever happens, it’s happening now. You have a disease and what you do with it is entirely up to you. Because having cancer is not always the end of the world, cancer is usually a highly treatable disease. 

Giving up and getting depressed is the last thing you need here. Because the process you are in is a challenging road, and you need a lot of energy, endurance, and facts that will motivate you and inspire you to walk on this path. So, what can you do, and how can you turn this process in your favor? 

The Power of Good Communication 

First, it is essential to establish an honest and sincere dialogue with your doctor. You need to understand why and how your disease occurs, at what stage it is, the treatment processes, and how it will affect you and your loved ones. You need to fully accept the disease and learn to live with it instead of fighting it. It is imperative to establish good communication as your healthcare team will accompany you on this journey. You should ask your doctor about everything on your mind and prepare yourself for this process. 

It is not a process that you can usually go through alone. You should share all the details and your situation with your loved ones and inform them about your illness because they have a lot of responsibility in this journey. You may need them with you, both spiritually and physically. In such a case, do not hesitate to ask for support. Remember, they are always ready to help you! 

You can also choose to join support groups, as communicating with those who have struggled with the disease before and listening to their experiences will give you more perspective on your journey. 

Do Not Underestimate Your Immune System 

Since cancer is a disease that affects the immune system, you should keep your immune system high during this process. Eating a regular and healthy diet, staying away from excessively fatty foods, and unhealthy environments such as smoking or alcohol helps protect your immune system. 

Regular Exercise is a Way of Life 

Exercising regularly improves the quality of life of each individual, not only cancer patients. The walks that you will add to your daily routines, at least a few days a week for 15-20 minutes, will speed up your blood circulation, help renew your cells and make you feel fit. It straightens your spine and body. 

There’s Nothing Like Quality Sleep 

Whether you sleep more or less, being asleep at the same time every day and sleeping uninterruptedly is one of the most critical factors in the sustainability of human health. For a quality sleep of 6-8 hours, you should eat at least 4-5 hours before going to bed and stop consuming liquids at least 2-3 hours before waking up frequently. If possible, you can minimize the use of electronic devices that emit blue light, such as mobile phones and computers, before going to sleep. Instead of watching movies or reading books that can affect your sleep and cause you to have bad dreams, you can choose books or films that will relax you and give you peace. 

Nature is The Best Cure Ever 

Spending time with animals and plants in nature always makes us feel good. Taking forest/lake/coastal walks in your spare time, growing plants in your garden or balcony, and communicating with animals can give you the joy of life. It takes you away from the stress and depressive feelings that the disease will bring. 

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