Movies depict cancer as a sign of an end or a struggle for a new beginning. There are scenes where people tick of things on their bucket list. There are conversations about mortality and philosophy. There is something about every angle you could think of, except daily self-care.
Health above all else
A frequent scene in movies and books is the introduction to a new way of life. Having regular check-ups, going to chemotherapy, staying at the hospital overnight, and even attending therapy is a significant lifestyle change. Remember to stay on top of your medication and follow diet restrictions. Eat portions that allow you to keep your energy and stamina. Stay hydrated and well fed even through nausea.
Another aspect of your health is your mental and emotional wellbeing. Meditating is a piece of common advice, but any reflective activity and outlet will do. The unnecessary stress that comes from worrying too much or being afraid can do a lot of damage to your recovery.
Participating in cancer support groups in person or online can be a way to release any pent-up thoughts. Community is an important aspect to maintain as you navigate new territory. Your family and friends might find themselves at a loss to help you. Other people going through to the same thing could provide a new perspective.
Participate in hobbies and activities you enjoy
Having a hobby is linked to the previous point about outlets. Depending on the kind of cancer and the stage it is at, you might be taking time off school or work, which leaves you with so much free time. While that free time is necessary to fight and recover properly, it can affect your sense of self-worth. Hobbies like knitting, painting, sculpting, and other crafts are a good replacement for work since you create a product. It is fulfilling and encouraging to finish a project, and during longer fights to see your improvement as well.
If you find yourself not inclined to art and craft related activities, a cancer-journey journal or diary can be the right kind of outlet for you. It can embed itself in your daily routine and take up any idle time you struggle to fill.
Not all cancer will restrict your physical movement. You are encouraged to participate in light exercise. You can even do more strenuous activities but at your doctor’s discretion.
Try alternate ways to deal with side-effects
Self-care is not just limited to feeling good but also setting yourself up to succeed in any way you can. For example, you can deal with physical side-effects like nausea with aromatherapy. You can take your free time to sort out your finances so that your recovery will not be spent working your way out of debt. You can take the time to mend or foster relationships.
Remember cancer’s side effects are not just physical, they manifest in different parts of your life.