Managing uncertainty

Many carers, and people with cancer, struggle with uncertainty after the diagnosis. Your plans may change or have to be put on hold if the future is unknown.You may want to delay making any major changes or big decisions for a while. The anxiety will come and go, but it can help to learn ways of dealing with it.

Here are some strategies you can use to deal with uncertainty:

  • Focus on what you can do  Think about what has helped you cope with previous difficult times.
  • Read about what to expect − Information can help you understand what to expect, and plan for any changes. This may make you feel more in control.
  • Try relaxation strategies − Your local community health centre or council may run relaxation, yoga or tai chi classes. Regular exercise, adequate sleep and a healthy diet can also help.
  • Speak to your doctor or health professional − If at any stage you feel that you are not coping, they can refer you to a counsellor and prescribe short-term medicine if needed.
  • Join a support group − Face-to-face, internet and telephone support groups are available. These are groups of people in a similar situation that meet regularly to share their experiences. There are groups for people with cancer and their carer/s or groups just for carers. See page 74 for details on how to access the different types of support groups.

This information was last reviewed in December 2016
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