Cancer is a disease that can eat up your life – it consumes your entire life with treatments surpassing hours at an end, numerous medications that you lose count of, and painful chemotherapy sessions that quite literally suck the will to live out of you. Post diagnosis and during treatments, patients experience a myriad of emotional and physical changes that can affect their self-image, and lead to permanent identity loss if not treated timely.
Some of the physical changes that cancer patients experience include hair loss, scars from surgeries, weight loss, weight gain, fatigue, and rashes from drug therapy. In addition to that, some of the emotional changes they may experience include a constant feeling of looming dread, anxiety, loneliness, fear, and guilt that they may be burdening their loved ones. Emotional changes you may experience include a constant feeling of doom looming over you, anxiety, anger, fear, loneliness, and guilt of overburdening your loved ones.
All of the above can greatly impact your self-image, and if you are a cancer patient or survivor, given below are a few things you can do to reverse your identity loss to some extent:
Get your hair back
Hair loss is a big part of every cancer patient and survivor’s life, and it is truly an ordeal for those growing through it. Your hair represents your personality and is a part of your self-identity. Losing hair can never be easy on anyone, and instead of letting your hair loss progress, you should do something about it.
While there is no successful medical treatment for hair loss as a result of chemotherapy, you can get hair extensions for the time being. Quality extensions such as remy hair extensions can mimic your real hair, and contribute towards reinstating some normalcy in your life until you are healthy once again and have your hair growing back.
Don’t seclude yourself from others
Cancer patients often tend to seclude themselves from the rest of the world and think of themselves as lone wolves. Not only does doing so affect the relationships in their life, but it also further deteriorates their mental health. This can lead to depression in the long-run, and further affect their quality of life. Instead of secluding themselves, cancer patients should join support groups with fellow cancer patients and survivors to gain from their experiences and find an outlet to engage with those who have a lot in common with them.
Furthermore, cancer patients and survivors should build a network of friends that they can meet up with regularly and speak to when they are feeling down. Don’t be afraid of asking for help from your family and friends, and try to hire extra help if you can afford it for everyday tasks.
Invest your time in a hobby
As a cancer patient, most of your time can be consumed by trips to the hosting, drug therapies, and chemotherapy sessions. The remaining part of your day is either spent with your family or relaxing. However, this can make your life rather monotonous and boring, and if you aren’t happy in your daily routine your treatment is not likely to be effective either.
Hence, cancer patients should try to invest some part of their daily life and routine in a hobby – whether this is playing an instrument, reading, writing, or any other activity, diverting your mind towards something fruitful would do you some good in getting back your self-identity.
Cancer patients and survivors live very extremely tiring lives. Add to that, the physical and emotional changes they experience during and post-treatment can severely affect their self-identity. The above-mentioned tips can help cancer patients and their families work towards restoring their self-identity and image to a great degree.