Living with cancer

How a sense of purpose helps in fulfilling your heart’s desires

Having cancer often means a serious disruption to your entire life and future plans. Especially when it comes to health, it’s never too late to try something new, as long as you feel good about it. See the disease as an occasion to change your Priorities new and thus actively contribute to your recovery. Learn that Living with cancer. The SMART Method Helps you actually achieve your new health goals and live in the here and now despite cancer.

Fighting cancer holistically

With a cancer diagnosis, one question always comes up: How can I contribute optimally to my health and live well with cancer?? In addition to surgery, radiation or chemotherapy have been gaining for several years Holistic approaches becoming more and more important. 1 Specialized cancer centers, who treat according to the latest knowledge, aim to provide comprehensive care. The fact that various departments and practicing physicians work together in a network there. They meet high professional standards and take the importance of the psyche for health more and more seriously. Doctors, psychotherapists and psychooncologists are becoming trusted contacts who can help alleviate physical, as well as psychological and emotional, symptoms. 2

Here’s how they can also help organize and optimally improve your life with cancer. At the top of the list is to not let your focus on the aspects of your life that are driven by your illness. Instead, they help you to recognize and promote your strengths and energies. 3 Changing your perspective to this offers opportunities to improve your Life perspective Gaining back and growing personally. 4 Being health conscious provides you with the resources you need to do this. Use this inner driver in a positive way to bear active to your health in.

Self-empowerment – the key to a healthy lifestyle

Even small improvements in terms of a healthy lifestyle can have a significant impact on your well-being. The effects of sufficient exercise, a balanced diet with moderate alcohol consumption, refraining from smoking and from intense sunlight, effective stress management and more social contacts as compensation cannot be denied:

  • Improved physical health and quality of life 5
  • Longer overall survival 6
  • Risk reduction of a relapse 7
  • Risk reduction of other chronic diseases, such as z. B. Type 2 diabetes 8
  • Improving persistent symptoms and side effects, such as fatigue or depression 9

Learn more about the positive impact of exercise on cancer treatment here.

Living with cancer in the here and now

Despite the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, implementing it can be challenging. Possibly your motivation suffers from cancer therapy or you have physical limitations that are a hindrance. Then now is the time to question previous goals and achievements. Look for yourself new focus of interest within reason and thus strengthen your Self-confidence. 10 Even if you can no longer pursue your old hobbies because of your physical condition, that doesn’t mean you can’t do any new hobbies be able to try. You may enjoy painting or learning about new people and cultures. To do this, it is certainly good for you to free yourself from ingrained beliefs: physical activity does not have to consist only of jogging or fitness, but can also mean gardening or a walk with your dog.

See living with cancer as an opportunity to improve your Priorities Re-set and honestly challenge the following:

  • What is most important to me in life today?
  • What fulfills my life?
  • How much time do I devote to my family and friends??
  • Is my role in the family satisfying?
  • Does my work make me happy and satisfied?

Focus on what you can do and what you want to do, and not on what is increasingly causing you problems. 11 Start to live life with cancer and actively shape it in the here and now.

A woman on a mountain looks into the distance. Life with cancer also allows many beautiful moments

Using the SMART method to successfully turn goals into action

It is not worthwhile to stick to goals that are unrealistic and unattainable. Goals can have a positive impact on your actions and motivation, but only concrete goal setting is also promising. 12 For one better quality of life with cancer, you can formulate your personal goals and wishes together with your doctor. Also the SMART method 13 , for example, can help you not to throw these goals overboard after a short time.

Without goals, actions are unthinkable

This theory of goal achievement can have a lasting impact on your life with cancer and help you achieve what you want:

  1. Define goals in concrete terms (S=Specific): Ask yourself what exactly you would like to achieve and derive concrete goals from this, e.g., to improve your health. B. "I will take up my work again". Vague statements are not enough.
  2. Measure progress (M=Measurable): If you keep reminding yourself of what you have achieved, your successes will become visible. So the effort is worthwhile. Regularly record the extent to which the goal has been achieved, z. B. Based on the hours you work each day. It is too vague to want something "more," "better" or "less". Enter your initial situation in a list and update it weekly. The Progress curve show you what successes you have already achieved.
  3. A contract with yourself (A=Attractive): Ask yourself: Is your goal important and worthwhile to you? Each goal should have a meaning to you. Think about a nice Reward (z. B. a new chain, a visit to the cinema, etc.) once you have achieved your goal or subgoal. A contract with yourself, with clear consequences for non-compliance, will help additionally. In doing so, you make a promise to yourself that you will achieve this goal.
  4. Define realistic goals (R=Realistic): Ask yourself: Is my goal within the bounds of possibility against the background of all accompanying circumstances?? Unrealistic goals often lead to Failure and demotivate. You need to figure out for yourself what realistic means: Think honestly about what you can really achieve. Involve your doctor here – in the spirit of holistic therapy. He knows your diagnosis and personal history best.
  5. Setting a time frame for the goal (T=Terminated): Set a time frame for achieving your goal, not a "someday" or "someday". Longer-term goals should be set in Subgoals Be subdivided. Small successes and partial goals have a positive impact on your stamina and willpower. Try it out!

One promising goal formulation could z.B. look like this: "On my grandson’s birthday in 6 months, I want to be able to take him for a walk around the lake." Now all intermediate steps, which are necessary for this goal, should be noted as well as an attractive reward should be defined. Start z. B. by working on a better condition. In the medium term, then aim for the half round. You will see that can work wonders – at the latest by the binding contract with itself! And always remember that every goal achieved is a success: celebrate it and be proud of yourself.

Get creative

To ensure that your wishes and goals come true, it helps to visualize them additionally. 14 How about creative time out, in which you can visualize your personal Goal collage design? Once you have set your Wishes on paper, you can no longer get lost! Whenever you look at your goal collage, you will be reminded of your goals, such as z.B. get healthy, exercise regularly, have fun with friends and family, enjoy nature, or whatever you want for yourself.

This way you Step-by-step On your creative goals collage:

  • Get the Materials, you will need: From bulletin boards to cardboard, rice sticks, glue, colorful pens, magazine clippings or stickers – there are no limits to your creativity.
  • Now write down all of your goals that you want to visualize. Divide them into different Rubrics. What do you dream of in terms of health, family and friends, finances, career, interests or personal well-being??
  • A picture is worth a thousand words: look for Pictures from journals or magazines that inspire you. Or paint your own pictures or Graphics, that will not let you stray from your goal.
  • Complete your collage with quotes or keywords, encourage you to pursue your goals.
  • Now hang your personal collage in a place you pass by several times a day. This way you will always be reminded of what is worth fighting for!

Rehab offers smart goals for living with cancer

By addressing your own goals, wishes and dreams, you focus not only on your diagnosis and findings. The fact that focusing on your own strengths is positive for recovery is also in line with the principle of Rehabilitation. 15 The concept aims to improve physical, mental and social well-being or to improve the quality of life. to stabilize in order to cope as well as possible in everyday life again. Patients living with cancer can learn about ways to get your Impairments toaccept and learn how to mobilize the remaining capacity – as the smart goals provide. This can work wonders for your quality of life and self-esteem. The services on offer range from massages and therapeutic baths to targeted physiotherapy or occupational therapy, psychotherapeutic talks, relaxation exercises and nutritional and exercise therapies. 16

If you are currently at a point where you are facing a barrier and may need Jump start as well as necessary Proposed solutions need, talk to your doctor about rehab as a possible option. This checks whether a rehabilitation service is medically helpful for you. The approval is then made via the Contact the responsible social insurance agency. This can be the statutory health insurance, but also pension insurance or accident insurance. As a general rule, all patients over the age of 18 must pay co-payments. 17 However, you do not initially need to know which insurance company pays for which measures. Contact your attending physician or doctor. the social service as a trusted contact in this area.

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