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“Cancer is a part of our life,
but it’s not our whole life.” 

Nick Prochak, survivor

Coping Through Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

There are many mental health concerns that people can face when they receive a cancer diagnosis, during treatment, and after treatment ends. These can include:

  • Anxiety about the future

  • Stress and worry about practical matters such as finances, employment, transportation, and caring for children

  • Anger and a feeling of being betrayed by your body

  • Depression, grief, and feelings of isolation

  • Impact of pain on emotional well-being

  • Frustration with the inability to plan ahead or predict energy level days in advance

  • Discomfort with relying on others

  • Fatigue, sleep-related problems, or distress around feeling "unproductive"

  • Distress around "chemo-brain" (fogginess, confusion, memory loss, trouble concentrating, and difficulty making decisions)

  • Spiritual distress, questioning beliefs or religious values

  • Sexual concerns and feelings of self-consciousness about changes to your body

 

Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between cancer-related fatigue, sleep-deprivation from insomnia, nutritional deficits, and depression. Additionally, cancer and various treatments can cause inflammation, which can increase your risk of developing depression because of how the body uses serotonin in fighting inflammation.

Podcasts

  • Excellent series of podcast episodes from Cancer Council NSW on the journey of a cancer diagnosis from Cancer Council NSW. The episodes provide helpful information about dealing with fatigue as well as information for family and caregivers. [website]

General Resources

 

Cancer-Related Fatigue

Cancer-Related Depression and Emotional Difficulties

Resources Local to Wichita, KS

  • Victory in the Valley assists residents of Wichita, KS with transportation, lodging assistance, medical equipment, and caregiver support as well as provides a Hospitality Centre to serve the needs of all cancer patients and their supporters. [website]
     

  • The American Cancer Society offers resources in the Wichita, KS area that include transportation and lodging assistance. [website]
     

  • The Wichita Cancer Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to cancer patients in Wichita, KS. [website]

Support Groups

  • Peer support groups are often run by those who have personal experience with the subject of the group. There are often local and online groups that you can attend for free. HeyPeers.com is a great place to start your search for support groups. This site also helps connect you with local resources and chat rooms. Sign up on the website, or access the service through its app.
     

  • Victory in the Valley offers local support groups that meet throughout regions in Kansas. [website] 
     

  • The Cancer Survivors Network is a peer support community for cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, families, and friends. [discussion board and chatroom]
     

  • The American Cancer Society 24/7 helpline connects you with cancer information specialists. Call 1-800-227-2345 or visit their website for more information. [website]
     

  • Online discussion forums hosted by Cancer Council NSW have sections for new diagnoses, treatment and side effects, life after cancer treatment, and support for caregivers. [website]

A Word About Online Resources

My hope is to share resources here that are useful. Although I do my best to keep information current, it is possible for links to become outdated or for material to change. A link is not an endorsement of a particular person or organization, nor do I receive any incentives from them.

 

Keep in mind that these resources are not specific to your situation and therefore are not therapy or a substitute for mental health services. Please consult your therapist, physician, or other professional support for advice that is specific to you, and call your local 24-hour helpline (988) if you are in crisis.

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