It is natural to feel frightened and overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of ovarian cancer and all that is involved with treatment. However, you can manage your situation by evaluating your options and developing an action plan to guide you. Consulting with your gynaecologic oncologist will be a big part of this process.
Ideas for coping
- Dealing with Anxiety. Feeling scared is normal. Don’t feel like you have to be “brave”. Talking through your feelings with friends and family can help in relieving your anxiety and theirs. You may wish to talk with your family doctor if you feel anxiety is out of control.
- Practice relaxation techniques and visualization. There are many books and tapes available that can be very useful and calming.
- “Knowledge is Power.” Learn as much as you can about ovarian cancer as you go along. It can be hard to absorb all the information, at once so find out what you need to know right now.
- Be pro-active. Ask your physician about the possibility of clinical trials and the latest treatments for ovarian cancer.
- You are Not Alone. Don’t feel like you have to go through this experience on your own. Ask a trusted family member or friend to come with you for your appointments. It may be helpful to have someone outside your immediate family to be an additional support person.
- Line up help during this phase. Treatment can be difficult, and it will take time to recover. You may need help with practical household chores and family responsibilities. When anyone offers help, if you provide specific tasks about what you need people will be more likely to step in. Decide in advance what visitors (if any) you will have while you are in treatment. Focus your energy on your healing.
- Dealing with your employer. Some women find their employers to be very supportive. If you are employed, you are entitled to sick leave. Consider how best to communicate with your employer about your health.
- Finances. If you are worried about finances, find a trusted advisor that can help you draw up a plan and work out a financial strategy. More
- An advocate. It is helpful to have someone that you trust who can speak to the medical team on your behalf if necessary; someone to stay by your side and filter the information that you will receive. Your advocate can help by writing a list of questions about your treatment and the responses.
- One day at a time. Try not to worry about the “what ifs”. Take it one day, one moment at a time. Our Mindfulness session on youtube might help you to do this.
It is understandable that you may be worried about the outcome of your treatments. Although much of what you are going through may be out of your control, a hopeful and optimistic outlook can help you cope emotionally.
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its strength.” - Corrie Ten Boom
For more information, please order our free resource guide, You Are Not Alone.