Eye cancer can affect you emotionally, physically and practically. Find out how you can cope with these changes.
You might have a number of different feelings when you're told you have cancer. You may feel shocked and upset. You might also feel:
- frightened and uncertain
- angry and resentful
You may have some or all of these feelings. Or you might feel totally different. Everyone reacts in their own way. Sometimes it is hard to take in the fact that you have cancer at all.
Feelings are a natural part of coming to terms with cancer. All sorts of feelings are likely to come and go.
Eye cancer and its treatment may cause physical changes in your body. You might have changes in your eyesight and your appearance. These changes can be very difficult and may affect the way you feel about yourself. Such changes can affect your self esteem and the way you relate to other people, especially close family and friends.
You might also have to cope with feeling tired and lethargic during and after treatment, or if the cancer is advanced.
Relationships and sex
The physical changes you have might affect your relationships and sex life. There are things that you can do to manage this.
You are more able to cope and make decisions if you have information about your type of cancer and its treatment. Information also helps you to know what to expect.
Taking in information can be difficult at first. Make a list of questions before you see your doctor. Take someone with you to remind you what you want to ask and help remember the answers.
Ask your doctors and nurses to explain things again if you need them to.
Remember that you don’t have to sort everything out at once. It might take some time to deal with each issue. Ask for help if you need it.
Treatment causes side effects. These can be mild or more severe. Tell your doctor or nurse if you have any side effects or if they get worse. They can treat them and help you find ways of coping.
As well as coping with the emotions a diagnosis of cancer brings, you may have to work out how to manage practically. There may be money matters to sort out. You may need information about financial support, such as benefits, sick pay and grants.
It can be difficult telling people you have cancer, or deciding who to tell. You may also have children to think about. We have information about talking to people about your cancer and how and what to tell children.
You don't have to sort everything out at once. It may take some time to deal with each issue. Do ask for help if you need it.
Your doctor or specialist nurse will know who you can contact to get some help. They can put you in touch with people specially trained in supporting those with cancer. These people are there to help and want you to feel that you have support.