Are you struggling with one of the most stressful parts of cancer? We have solutions to help you get through it!
Cancer is distressing in so many ways, and the uncertainty is one of the more terrifying things about it. Everyone is different, everyone responds differently and what worked for someone else, may not work for your loved one.
Update: If you have no idea how to deal with all this cancer business, we can help you formulate a plan to tackle the immediate issues… finding the best care, talking with your insurance company, finding resources that will actually help, and dealing with the fear, anxiety and overwhelm of this whole situation.
We can’t control the cancer, but we CAN show you how to manage this crisis. And it’s 100% Free.
When you’re helping someone you love battle cancer, waiting is excruciating and undoubtedly one of the most stressful parts of cancer.
You end up spending a ton of time anxiously waiting for everything…
- Waiting to see if something worked…
- Waiting to see if something didn’t work…
- Waiting for test results…
- Waiting for treatment options…
- Waiting for next steps…
- Waiting for referral doctors who can help you with specific issues…
- Waiting for 2nd opinions…
- Waiting for further options…
- Waiting for appointments…
- Waiting for symptoms to subside…
- Waiting to see if you’ll be heading to the emergency room…
You get the picture. You are literally always waiting for something. And the uncertainty and the stress of “not knowing anything” completely drains you. My uncle says, “stress like this makes you feel like you’ve been out digging ditches all day.” And he’s right. The stress is crazy intense…
Sometimes the waiting game is just stressful and annoying. But most of the time, waiting is absolutely terrifying and the most stressful part of cancer, because it feels like your whole future is hanging in the balance.
Waiting freaking SUCKS.
What my family and I found over the course of our journey is that having a plan to help you get through the stress and terror of the waiting periods will help you TREMENDOUSLY.
But before you do that, stop for a minute and breathe…
It doesn’t take long before you realize how stressful this part of cancer is. Now’s your chance to do something about it!
How many times have you created the most horrific possible outcomes in your head? You know what I am talking about, you have entered yourself into the absolute worst case scenario before you’re even out of the starting gate.
I am the queen of this! If I don’t feel well, the next 6 hours will be a play-by-play of how I will be diagnosed with the Bubonic Plague… because I’m a little crazy and also because the natural response to uncertainty is to prepare for the worst.
Take a breath and put your faith in God. Truth is, he’s the only one in control of all this anyway…
And whatever is actually happening, is probably not nearly as terrifying as whatever is happening in your head.
Now, on to making a plan…
Let it go
Give it God. You have no control over any of this. And, all of this stress and anxiety you’re feeling is not going to change anything anyway.
And while I get that… actually letting it go, feels like an impossible feat!
I struggle with this one. Hardcore. It’s really difficult for me to let things go.
I mean really, who better than me to control, stress, and deal with everything…? Sigh. ☹
But the reality is, it does not matter how we feel or what we think. Whatever is supposed to happen is what’s going to happen. And it’s totally out of our control. The Lord knows what we’re going through, and he is going through it right there with us.
You have enough stress and anxiety going on in your head…
Let some of it go.
This type of stress causes heart attacks and where will your loved one be if you don’t take care of yourself?
Let some of it go.
Whatever is about to happen is probably not nearly as horrifying as what’s playing out in your head.
Take a deep breath. Ask God for help. And give it to Him.
Now let him handle it and so you focus on helping your loved one get through this… you’ll need that energy, so you can keep fighting!
Never underestimate the power of prayer to get you through the most stressful parts of cancer. I am absolutely certain that my dad was able to live his life to the fullest and enjoy the experiences we did for 21-months because we had an army of prayers that were building every day.
Prayers are a HUGE part of our cancer journey.
If you have never talked with God before, don’t worry. He’s waiting to help you.
I just talk to Him the same way I talk you to you.
I’ve been a Christian for a very long time. Since I was a teenager actually.
One of the early conversations that the Lord and I had about this cancer business was our second month into this who ordeal. I started by thanking him for one of the many amazing things that came out of this whole situation and then I begged Him not to take my dad. I told him “I wasn’t ready”. And then I thought I should mention (in case he didn’t already know) that “I was never going to be ready.”
My dad lived almost 2 years after that conversation. We got a ton of time together, crazy adventures together and amazing memories that I’ll get to keep forever.
In the end, I wasn’t ready to lose my dad. Truth is, I’ll never be ready for that.
But, I also didn’t want him to live in constant sickness and pain and I supported his decision to stop treatment. The Lord helped bring me to a place where I could at least understand what was best for him. Even though I wasn’t ready… daddy was. And there is some HUGE comfort in that.
Get some of this stuff off your chest. Write it out.
- All of your stress.
- All of your worries.
- All of your fears.
- All of the things you appreciate about this experience.
- The things you can’t deal with.
All of it. Get it out of your system and onto paper. It helps tremendously.
Take 5 minutes in the morning to write out everything you’re stressed about, and you would not believe how much of a difference it makes.
It doesn’t fix everything by any means, but it certainly helps get some of this intense stress out of your body and onto paper.
Not sure where to start? You can download Take Back Your Life, the FREE journal that helped my family find hope and perspective during the most stressful parts of my dad’s cancer journey.
Stay busy spending time with the people you love
Plan some time with your people. The people who make you happy and support you. The people who keep you busy and can find hope in the situation. Surround yourself with those people, especially while you’re waiting for the endless slew of verdicts that inevitably come with a diagnosis of cancer.
Spending time with the people you love is a great way for everyone to stay positive and keep your mind occupied so you can move through the waiting period a little bit easier.
Staying busy is the key to NOT losing your mind.
(P.S. little kids are a great distraction)
No joke. Breaking things makes you feel so much better. Seriously. Have any home improvement projects that need to be done? Walls that need to be ripped out? Plants or weeds that need to be ripped out of the ground? Furniture that needs to be broken apart and discarded? Do that now!
Breaking things releases physical energy that makes you feel better. And using your energy to break things… well, that’s crazy helpful too. Short bursts of energy where you don’t have to be careful or gentle. Where you can just kind of fly off the handle and direct all of your fear, worry, and energy into is immensely helpful.
Breaking things was one of my favorite ways to combat the stress of this whole situation.
Try a Yoga, Pilates, Belly Dancing or a CrossFit class for the first time and see if it’s your thing. How about a walk-through nature, or a hike in a local park? Biking through the City, or roller-skating with the kids on Friday Night.
If intense exercise is not your thing? Rip apart and clean your house from top to bottom. Trust me, if your house looks anything like mine, that will keep you busy and active for a while.
Distraction is a great way to get through the waiting period. Find a project or a task that has been waiting for you to be ready and dive in. Cleaning out your closets, kitchen cabinets, helping a friend deal with a family situation. Whatever takes your mind off all of this craziness, dive into it.
Kids are a great distraction. They keep you on your toes, they keep you busy and there is always something new and fascinating going on to catch your attention.
Check something off your bucket list
Take the waiting opportunity to knock off a few things on your bucket list. Take advantage of those days and check out something you have wanted to do for a while!
Maybe a museum, a national park, a zoo. Take a trip to the beach or a ski slope for the weekend, visit some family members who live out of town… or spend a few days on a super cheap last-minute cruise.
You’ll be busy, you’ll be distracted, and you’ll be doing something you really want to do.
Waiting is never going to be easy (at least it wasn’t for us!) and it seems like as soon as you’re done waiting for one thing, you start waiting for something else. Waiting is without question, one of the most stressful parts of cancer.
Having a plan for the waiting period, surrounding yourself with people who love you and the things that make you happy doesn’t fix anything… but it does help you get through the time a little bit easier!
P.S. If you’re drowning in all this cancer business, and you have no idea where to start… The Cancer Combat Plan is a step by step guide from someone who has struggled through this and found ways to manage the chaos, the stress and the overwhelm.
Things feel better, and more in control when you have a plan. So if you’re looking for action steps, resources, and strategies that will help you manage this crisis, we’ve got you covered. And it’s totally free…
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