Santa Fe New Mexican

Support And Self Care

The changes that you and your loved ones experience during this time are huge adjustments. Be patient with yourself as you experience the highs and lows that come along with this journey. Allow yourself to feel the spectrum of emotions that naturally come with your condition. No matter what, practice self-compassion and prioritize your self-care. Christus St. Vincent’s Oncology Social Worker Karen Gano suggests the following ways to foster self-care: • Ensure you’re taking care of the basics: sleep, nutrition and exercise. • Think of what has brought you joy in the past and devote time to incorporate it into your routine. For caregivers: • Ask patients what they miss or what would bring them joy, such as takeout from their favorite restaurant. • Bring comfort to them, whether via food, video calls, or written cards. • Explore who on the cancer patient’s interdisciplinary care team can provide aid in different areas to alleviate burdens. • Accept personal limitations and have honest conversations. • Empower cancer patients and respect everyone’s right of self-determination. American Cancer Society offers the following tips to support your emotional health: For more information, visit Express Your Feelings: People have found that expressing strong feelings, like anger or sadness, help them let go of them. Some sort out their feelings by talking to friends or family, cancer survivors, a support group, or a counselor. You can also work through your feelings by writing them down. Don’t Blame Yourself for Your Cancer: Scientists don’t know why one person gets cancer and one person doesn’t. Cancer can happen to anyone. Don’t Try to Be Upbeat If You’re Not: Many people say they want the freedom to give in to their feelings sometimes. As one woman said, “When it gets really bad, I just tell my family I’m having a bad cancer day and go upstairs and crawl into bed.” Look at What You Can Control: Some people say that putting their lives in order helps, including establishing a regular routine.