A person who has been diagnosed with cancer immediately has many problems, against which the question of how to survive what happened is usually overlooked. Therefore, a person who is faced with an oncological diagnosis has to look for answers to the questions swarming in his soul in conversations with loved ones.
How to answer them correctly, aif.ru told Sergey Tokarev, head of the Yasnoe Utro psychological service for oncological patients.
Before a person who was diagnosed with cancer for the first time, such questions most often arise.
1. Why did this happen to me?
According to statistics, every fourth family in Russia faces an oncological diagnosis, and the incidence is constantly growing. Therefore, the risk that the person himself or his relatives will face such a diagnosis, unfortunately, is quite high. As well as the likelihood that the disease can be transferred into a stable remission. Treatment methods are constantly being improved, and many types of cancer today have a favorable prognosis.
2. Perhaps I am to blame for what happened? Is it my behavior (actions, thoughts, quarrels, etc.) that led to the disease?
Cancer is a multifactorial disease. It is extremely rare that it is provoked by some specific factors (viruses, stresses). None of the patient’s actions can be the decisive cause, if only because a lot of people did about the same thing, but nothing happened to them.
The responsibility of the patient for the disease can only be acceptable if the person draws strength from such a formulation of the question. After all, if one of his actions led to illness, then others can lead to healing.
But in general, blaming yourself is an extremely dangerous path. In every nation and epic there are myths or tales about the descent of a person into the underworld. The main friendly advice that his guides give him before this is to refuse help to everyone who asks. Because if the hero gives even the smallest and most insignificant, it will prevent him from returning back.
When a person is sick, it is extremely important to save your strength and not waste it both on unnecessary things and on unnecessary emotions. The most energy-consuming of them is self-pity. Therefore, it is important to resolutely say no to feelings that take away precious vital energy, which is now vital in the fight against the disease.
3. What will happen to my children (who will pay the mortgage, finish building the house, take care of bedridden relatives)?
Experts call such questions “premature grief.” There is a good rule – to solve problems as they come. When a person has just been diagnosed, everyday questions are not yet acute. Therefore, more often behind such questions is another, unspoken – “what will happen if I die?”
Oddly enough, it also belongs to irrelevant. Modern therapy is able to keep people alive for years, even with advanced and aggressive types of cancer. It is very important not to dwell on such issues (see points 1 and 2).
4. How will I communicate with people? After all, having learned my diagnosis, they will avoid me as a leper.
Since the incidence is constantly growing (as well as awareness of oncology diagnoses, patient prognosis, etc.), the diagnosis of cancer no longer inspires people with horror and awe. The question of the contagiousness of cancer can also be considered closed. Therefore, when communicating, the diagnosis of interlocutors does not matter at all.
Today, communities of oncological patients are being created everywhere, who actively appear in the media with stories about patients who not only live for 10-15-20 years, but also actively work, travel, etc. with their diagnosis.
For example, in Kaliningrad, the Vita Cancer Patients Society is actively working, headed by a cancer patient, gynecologist Lidia Chashina. Every year, a march of cancer patients is held in the region, which passes through the central streets of the city. The purpose of such events is the same – to remove people’s fear of their diagnosis, to set them up for a successful fight against their illness.
By the way
“In May, a conference for patients with oncological diseases was held. For women with breast cancer, a photo session was organized with professional stylists and famous photographers, which showed that our patients are interesting, beautiful, well-groomed, – says Olga Khrupalo, Head of the Oncological Dispensary, MMOC. – The pictures taken with the permission of the models, who do not hide and are not ashamed of their diagnosis, will be placed in oncology dispensaries of the Kaliningrad region. Until recently, such a degree of openness was unimaginable.”