Chapter 1: Exploring feelings while living with a serious diagnosis

What may help

What may help

Talk to someone

While there are no easy answers for dealing with loss, talking about these feelings will at least give you a chance to vent and feel understood.

Focus on and help the ill person focus on the things they can control

Another option for dealing with loss of control is to redefine our experience. As human beings, we are amazingly resilient! Rather than just focusing on loss of control, it can be helpful to be proactive by thinking of ways to take control where we can.

Decide what is really important

A key consideration centres around “How do I want to use my energy?” Some things may not be worth the physical or emotional effort. You may want to save your energy for things that really matter to you.

Acknowledge and accept the changes

Sometimes we continue placing demands on ourselves to keep going as if nothing has changed. Acknowledging and accepting the changes may save valuable energy.

Stay flexible as a family

Adjusting as a family requires open and direct communication. Family members may have to be flexible in adapting to new roles. In addition, you may have to acknowledge and accept differences in the way individual family members respond to the situation.

Helpful resources