For me, the worst part of my brain tumour journey, was immediately following Steve's diagnosis. I was so scared for Steve and I and also so sad about the future we would lose together. I fell quite quickly into a state of depression, suffered bouts of anxiety, unpredictable emotion, a complete lack of appetite and inability to sleep. I had diarrhoea for 9 long weeks. Clothes fell off me and I couldn't work. I am pleased to say that a couple of sessions of counselling plus a course of anti-depressants really helped me in the early days, as did a short-break away, which helped to change my outlook on life. I also started to write my feelings in a journal and following the initial shock of Steve's diagnosis, wrote down specifically 13 things, which I learnt from my own experiences. I have recently looked back on them and hope that by sharing them, they provide support and help to others forced onto this unfortunate journey, so here they are.....
1/ Seek the support you need, from the people you love - you will know who they are.
2/ Ask the right questions, to the right professionals - don't expect one person to know all the answers.
3/ Force yourself to go out, be around people and have a change of scenery - you will feel better for doing this.
4/ Let time heal the initial shock - you will start feeling better, but it will take time.
5/ Cry - its ok to.
6/ Concentrate on the here and now - because that is all you have right now. Try mindfulness techniques.
7/ Keep positive about as much as you can.
8/ Know that whatever happens, you WILL be ok.
9/ Know that everything you are feeling is natural & normal - don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
10/ Make plans - these can always be changed if required.
11/ Talk, talk, talk about your feelings
12/ Eat right, exercise & sleep
13/ Don't expect too much of yourself. Adjust to the changes happening in your life & accept them before trying to return to "normal".
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