About This Booklet
"What lies behind us
and what lies before us
are tiny matters
compared to what lies
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
You've struggled with the
treatment, and maybe
of cancer. Now doctors may have told you
that you have
They may have said that your
cancer is not responding to treatment and that long-term
is no longer likely. Or they may have said they
have run out of
options. However you
learn the news, it can be devastating to you and your loved
ones. Often it's hard to believe or accept at first.
"I have good days and bad days.
But I try to let there be more good
ones than bad, and focus on things
in my life that I can control. I just
do the best I can, enjoying family,
friends, and the little things in life."
Having advanced cancer can bring anxiety and uncertainty
to your life. But some people with advanced cancer live far
longer than expected. And remember, you are still in control
of your choices and actions. Having an advanced disease can
be a time of personal growth. It can even be a time of
second chances. Many people say they started to see life in a
new way after learning that their cancer had progressed
despite treatment. They realized the importance of making
the most of each day.
This booklet stresses four main points:
- Learning more about ways you can help yourself may
ease some of your concerns.
- Your treatment may change, but as always, you deserve to
ask for and receive good medical attention from your
health care team and support from your caregivers.
- It's important to talk about your worries, frustrations,
and problems, and get support from others. In fact, it
may be one of the best things you can do for yourself.
- As your medical care changes, you still have many choices.
You can choose the way you wish to live each day.
"There are lots of things I still want to do, but I know
that I may not be able to do them the way I planned.
But that doesn't stop me from trying to achieve them
in a different way." - Millie
No two people are alike. Some chapters of this booklet may
apply to you while others may not. Or some may be more
useful later on. As you read this booklet, choose the parts that
are right for you. Share it with your family members and
loved ones. They may find it helpful to read it with you. Keep
in mind that this booklet is for you, an adult with advanced
cancer, and the people close to you. For other information
for a parent or loved one of a child or young person with
cancer, see the NCI booklet,
Young People With Cancer.
friends and family members may also want to see the NCI
booklet, When Someone You Love Has Advanced Cancer.
Above all else, try to remember that you are still in charge of
your life. It may be hard to do this with all that you are going
through. You may have trouble coping with your feelings
from time to time. Or you may be grieving that your life has
gone a different way than you had hoped. It's natural to feel
negative at times. You'll have ups and downs. We hope this
booklet will help you. Our goal is to help you stay in control
as much as you can, and make the rest of your life fulfilling
and satisfying. You can still have hope and joy in your life,
even as you cope with what lies ahead.
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