Dealing with your day-to-day life of school, friends, and family can be tough enough as a teenager. So when you receive a diagnosis of cancer, you may be totally thrown for a loop, like your whole world has been turned upside down.
It’s totally normal to have lots of questions. Maybe you feel confused, angry, scared or like nobody in the world could possibly understand what you are going through. Remember, everyone is different which means everyone experiences cancer differently. This is your life and nobody else can possibly understand how you are feeling and what you are going through.
The most important thing to focus on is what YOU feel and how you want to live YOUR LIFE with cancer. So “get in the driver’s seat,” which means, saying to yourself that you, and only get’s to decide you feel, how much you want to know about cancer, and how you want to live your life.
Feeling like you have some ownership over your cancer experience can help you to feel more in control of your life. You will most likely begin to feel better about life and confident in your ability to handle tough situations.
- to find other teens like you!
- Acknowledge your feelings – it can be tough to sort out your feelings. Maybe you’ve never felt this feeling before or don’t know how to describe what you are feeling. This is all normal. Whatever you are feeling, another teen with cancer has felt the same thing. A first step to figuring out how you feel is by getting them out of you. Some helpful ways to do this are to write in a journal, create a song, paint or draw, or talk to people whom you feel comfortable and can trust. It may also be helpful to meet and talk with other teens who are also living with cancer.
- Do what feels right to you – Learning about your cancer diagnosis can be a scary thing. Some of you may not want to learn that much about your cancer diagnosis, and that is OK. Others may want to learn a lot about their cancer, and that’s OK. Some of you may want to talk to your doctors and your friends and family about cancer and that is OK. Others may not want to talk to their doctors or friends and family about cancer and that is OK. DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT TO YOU.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support – let’s get real, you’re going through a tough time and possibly experiencing changes with school, friends, and family. Be sure to take care of yourself. Asking for help can be hard for anyone. Your friends and family can’t read your mind so let them know what you want and also what you DON’T. Try putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and think about how you feel when you help someone and don’t know how to be of the best help.
Remember, feeling like you have some ownership over your cancer experience, and recognizing what YOU need and want, can help you to feel better about yourself, and more in control of your life. Going through cancer may help you build strength, a stronger sense of identity, and the confidence in your ability to handle tough situations.