Coping with change and uncertainty
Over the next few hours and days, this initial shock and disbelief may be replaced by powerful and overwhelming emotions. These may include:
- loss of control
All of these feelings are normal and most people will experience some or all of them. As time passes, people generally find that feelings of distress become less intense and frequent.
Many people find it helpful to talk to those they love and trust. It may also help your family and friends to understand more about your situation and how they can support you.
If talking to family and friends is too difficult, or you don’t have people you can turn to, you might want to talk to someone who is removed from your situation.
You may find it helpful to talk to other people who have the same condition as you, or are living with a terminal illness. Ask your doctor or nurse about local support groups. Many specialist charities also offer similar support through forums like the Marie Curie Community and email contact services. Our article 'Coping with your feelings' has more information.
How you choose to handle the situation should be your decision. Don't let other people pressure you into talking about it before you feel ready. This is a very personal and emotional time.
Having a terminal illness is likely to make the future seem uncertain. You may have questions that currently have no definite answers. You might be wondering how your health will change, the effect your illness will have on your independence, relationships and working life, and exactly how much time you have left (the prognosis).
Not knowing what is going to happen can feel overwhelming and upsetting. Again, it may help to talk to family and friends about how you’re feeling. Or you may prefer to speak to someone who is going through a similar experience about how they’re coping with uncertainty.
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