Managing your psychological wellbeing during treatment

It is common to experience a range of different feelings during cancer treatment. You may be experiencing feelings such as disbelief, fear, worry, anger, sadness and loneliness, or you may be finding it difficult to feel anything at all. You may feel that you do not have capacity to process or make sense of how you are feeling due to the other demands of treatment.
The range and intensity of your feelings is likely to fluctuate during treatment.

It’s okay to not feel okay.

Your treatment may last for a long period of time. There may be periods of waiting and uncertainty. It can be physically and emotionally demanding. There are no right or wrong ways to feel. It is common to experience a range of emotions at different points during treatment. You may find some intense feelings pass with time while others stay for longer. Some people describe the process as like an ‘emotional rollercoaster’. It is important to remember that your feelings are likely a response to the situation you find yourself in.
There are many different ways to manage difficult feelings and you do not have to suffer alone.

If you are experiencing difficult feelings during treatment, it may be helpful to consider the following questions below.

Self-help during treatment

What is my understanding of what my treatment will involve?
Consider whether you have any unanswered questions. Seek information from health professionals involved in your care if you feel you are unclear about aspects of your treatment plan.

What are my hopes and expectations of treatment?
Consider your understanding of what your treatment plan involves and what your treatment goals are. Seek information from health professionals involved in your care if you feel you are unclear about aspects of your treatment plan. Understanding your treatment goals will give you a clearer sense of what to expect and what you are working towards.

What might help me manage during treatment?
Consider whether additional psychological preparation for treatment may be helpful. There may be practical support that helps. If you are experiencing difficulties, support understanding and managing your feelings may be helpful.

What could others do to help me manage during treatment?
Consider what support you need from others. Let others know what you support you would find helpful. Finding the support you need from others.

Your treatment journey will be individual to you and your personal circumstances.
Treatment is likely to place many physical, psychological and practical demands on you which may feel difficult to manage at times. Some people experience high levels of psychological distress during treatment which may feel overwhelming and unmanageable.

Some people find they have limited capacity to connect with their feelings while they are going through treatment. While others find they experience a combination of overwhelming feelings and disconnection with feelings.

There is no right or wrong way to feel during treatment.
If you are finding it difficult to manage your feelings, you may find the following information helpful:

Further support and help:

The advice on these pages is designed to help you prepare for the treatment ahead and support you through to recovery.

If you need further advice and support please discuss this with your key worker or healthcare professional.

  • Macmillan Cancer Support:
    0808 808 00 00
  • Maggie’s Cardiff:
    029 2240 8024
  • Tenovus Cancer Care:
    0808 808 1010
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