How should I feel?
here's no right way to feel. There is only your way to feel today...or this week.
It is not uncommon for people to feel totally overwhelmed when they are told they
have cancer...to feel afraid, terrified...to feel as if one has lost all bearings
in life, if only temporarily.
It may feel like the end of the world for you. You may feel severe, unspeakable
anguish and devastation. Terror can be so great that one temporarily loses the
ability to think or focus. You may feel as if the entire foundation of your life
has crumbled. You may feel hopeless and in a state of shock. You may say to yourself,
"Oh my God, I'm going to die."
And given the fact that you may never have felt so devastated, it is not uncommon to
be angry...to be sad...to break down and cry...and cry.
It is common to ask, "Why me?" It is even not so uncommon to just feel numb for
And there are people whose reactions are not so emotional. Some people feel best by
reading, by gathering information on their illness.
A diagnosis of cancer can produce a crisis in meaning, making you feel as if your
life has been turned inside out. What seemed to be the most important thing in your
life yesterday may not seem important today.
Many people feel as if they have been stuffed in a box from which there is no escape.
But the box will fall away, a door will appear and you will soon forget about that box
and the fear that created the box.
Most of all what you need to do is accept your response to the diagnosis of cancer.
There is no right or wrong response. There is only your response.
You are not alone. Millions of people have gone through what you are going through
today and countless people are sharing your experience this very day. And there is
good reason for hope.
We are making every effort to help you deal with the diagnosis of cancer. Not only
will this pamphlet help you... your feedback to us will help us in designing the
best strategies for coping with Cancer: Day One, so that millions of others in the
future will find it even easier to move from fear to hope.
What do I do with my feelings?
What else can I do?
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