Question:

Are there anonymous ways of coping with cancer?

Living with Cancer: Coping

Coping with cancer can be an emotional roller coaster that leaves the cancer patient and his or her caregivers emotionally drained. This can possibly lead to depression and thoughts of suicide.

There are many online sites with forums and support groups and support groups “in real life” that can help with coping with cancer. Additionally, some patients and caregivers have learned that certain actions go a long way in helping with coping with cancer and staving off depression:

  • Look for more information when problems arise when bad news is presented.
  • Talk with others and share concerns when a problem arises.
  • Try to lighten up and see the humor in a tough situation.
  • On some days, just try not to think about the illness.
  • Keep busy to distract yourself from being sick.
  • If reliable information shows a change in treatment is needed, do it without delay.
  • Re-examine life, but still enjoy activities and visiting with people.
Using all of these methods may or may not work for each individual. Each patient and caregiver should do what works for that individual person. Some people are very private and may not like talking to others about their illness—talking to the doctor or other health professional can help, or finding an anonymous group of cancer patients or caregivers can take the place of talking to someone you know. When working online, you can always use a screen name to protect identity and privacy. The patient and the caregiver still get the benefits of talking about the illness without “attaching” the illness to his or her person.

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