Ask a Life Coach

Dear Jackie,

I’ve been diagnosed with Ovarian cancer and feel like I don’t know which end is up.  I am angry, depressed and sad.  I can’t think straight, I’m worried about my health, my finances and my job.  I also feel like a burden to my family.

Not sure what to do or where to start, hope you can help.

Monique

Dear Monique,

I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis and can understand why you feel the way you do.  Illness is a shock and hearing the “C” word is something that sends us into panic or denial.  I want to start by saying that everything you are feeling is normal in this situation.

First thing you need to do is talk to your family, tell them what is happening and let them know that you are going to need some help with everyday tasks.  No you are not a burden and you would do same for them.  Secondly, you need to take someone with you to your doctors appointment to help you understand and remember all that will be happening in the next little while.  Make sure you make a list of questions for doctor.  Thirdly, use the resources the hospital provides such as social workers and counselors.  Fourthly, you need to talk to your union rep or HR person to see what sick benefits/disability is available to you.  Also, make sure you talk to the bank about your finances. Do you have a safety net?  Are there some things you could liquidate if needed?  Can you rearrange some things to make sure bills are covered?

Lastly, Self Care, Self Care, Self Care!  Even though you don’t feel like it you need to laugh. Watch funny movies. Leave the housework. Enjoy the food that neighbors will bring or order take out.  Go for short walks when you feel up to it.  Just remember, the biggest part of beating cancer is having the right attitude. Allow yourself to cry but also allow yourself to laugh!

Jackie

 

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