Ways to cope with your terminal illness diagnosis

When your doctor labels your illness terminal it can feel impossible to make decisions and to know where to turn. A terminal illness may mean weeks or months to live, but terminal by definition means your doctor judges your illness unable to be cured or treated long term. No course of action is the ‘right’ way to act in this case, but the suggestions below can help you find support and a way to move forward in this difficult time.

terminal-illnessSeek support

Seeking outside support is essential when you are presented with such difficult news. This support may need to practical, emotional or both. Your family and friends will want to help you, so consider what practical help they can offer. Close by friends and family may be able to assist you by taking you to doctor appointments or with other tasks you need to take care of. Friends and family both near and far can provide emotional support. If you have nobody close to help you, then your hospital can provide palliative support. This may be staff, such as nurses, who can help you with practical care, other services to assist you with specific tasks, or volunteers to talk with you and make your days a little brighter.

A positive mindset

Staying positive may seem like the last thing you can do when presented with your diagnosis. However finding things to enjoy in your day to day life can help you enjoy your time and make the diagnosis feel easier. This could be something simple, like treating yourself with a foot massage or special meal, or something larger, like a holiday or a big day out you always wanted. Vocalising what you’d love to do to family and friends could help these dreams come true.

Discuss your diagnosis

Dealing with your diagnosis can be extremely difficult and talking about it might help. A huge range of emotions are normal when facing a terminal diagnosis. In some cases this is the relieving conclusion to a long and painful illness, whilst for others the diagnosis is a shock.Professional palliative counselling gives you a safe space to discuss your diagnosis and your reactions to it –without worrying about the feelings of your friends and families.

Be informed

Being informed can help you understand more about your diagnosis and what will happen next. Ask your doctor or nurse about the expected development of your illness and any future decisions you may need to make. They should be able to provide you with information on care options and pain control. You can also speak to your counsellor about these concerns. Being informed often helps people feel a greater sense of control in such a difficult time. Find the perfect counsellor to help you with the concerns your having right now at Life Supports by calling them at 1300 735 030!

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