• Are there any recommended resources for rebuilding self worth and self esteem after having multiple life changing losses after treatment?

    Asked by civilwarlady on Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    Are there any recommended resources for rebuilding self worth and self esteem after having multiple life changing losses after treatment?

    I am working to redefine myself and regain the poise and self confidence I had pre-cancer. Any help is welcome.

    15 Answers from the Community

    15 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      First, hold your head high!! You are now a member of an exclusive club, we are SURVIVORS! That alone should make you feel good. But I do know that there is a psychological tole as well as a health tole in this fight. The only resource I can say is the number to the American Cancer Society listed in the "resources" tab at the top of this page. There are surely other resources that can help you there too. Good luck in your recovery, and charge head long into life and enjoy every bit of it. You deserve it!

      over 4 years ago
    • civilwarlady's Avatar

      Many thanks for your words of encouragement. You are right I am now a member of an exclusive club. I guess you could say I am a survivor winner!! :-) I will try the American Cancer Society number and keep searching for other sources. You are right there has to be others. Thanks again and have a great day.

      over 4 years ago
    • Barbara's Avatar

      The source I would recommend for you to regain your self-confidence and poise is YOU!!!! Of course, cancer support groups are important for a start. Books are available by the ton to give you advice , but the person to rely on is you. It may take some serious time and thought to realize that you are the master of your own destiny. What did you do before cancer reared its ugly head? What made you feel good, important, and worthwhile? Look with in yourself and say 'I can go back to the things I love even though I may have to do some alterations.' I was a concert pianist up until age 80 when cancer struck. I went through the awful period of self-doubt and 'my life is over' like you seem to be experiencing. I discovered using my musical talent and ability to play for patients, staff, friends, an d family at nursing homes, giving short programs in retirement homes (I'm now 82) and church groups not only helped them but was therapy for me. Do some self-searching and I feel that you will rediscover "You" and find the relief and confidence you have been looking for.

      over 4 years ago
    • MTCMLE's Avatar

      I am finding it very helpful to see a therapist every week (one on one, not group), and doing yoga has also been wonderful. I found a great teacher who incorporates meditation into the practice, which I really like, and the physical part just makes me feel good in general. While I agree that we make our own confidence, it can be nearly impossible when you're really down and depressed. Therapy helped me enormously with that.

      over 4 years ago
    • judalou's Avatar

      My future is very uncertain with ovarian cancer stage 4...I would be elated to be a survivor...What boost that alone could be...

      over 4 years ago
    • adolmakr's Avatar

      Spend time talking to yourself in a mirror - look deep into your own eyes and see the person inside as only you can. You needn't necessarily talk aloud but it can be done and don't be afraid to express to yourself your true thoughts... forgive anything you might perceive as "faults" - no guilt allowed. See and love the true you!

      over 4 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      I constantly remind myself that I am a survivor! I went online and bought survivor t-shirts for my work-out routine (it also helps explain to others why I am still hobbling and having physical limitations even though I have no visible signs of cancer). I have other things that are reminders to me that I kicked the beast.

      I also focus on the most important things in life that I now know that I will be around to see - my children, my husband, my friends and the things I enjoy (being outside, taking walks, the springtime, baseball). I spoil myself with things that I couldn't do while I was going through treatment and I celebrate them.

      I also don't sweat the small stuff anymore. Again, I focus on the positive and the most important. But I am a very positive person and it has come very easy for me to focus on the positive. Seek help if you can't seem to do it yourself.

      Remember, you have just fought one of the biggest battles in your life and you came out on top! Be proud of that. Your friends and family are impressed and proud of you! Soak that in!

      over 4 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      Hmmm - these are all such good answers to a tough question.

      I might add - is there some activity that you used to do that you no longer do? Something you miss dearly? If yes - pick that back up!

      Another option might be to try something new... Maybe with a close friend or partner or child or.... and just go for something new! I find that new outdoorsy experiences make me feel young and alive....

      Good luck!

      over 4 years ago
    • WVgirl2424's Avatar

      After treatment, I felt ugly and unattractive and asked my husband how he could even look at me with love, like nothing changed. He answered " because honey, no matter how you look, which I find beautiful, you are still the woman I fell in love with 30 years ago, my best friend". After I was discharged he took me to a mall, I always hated people staring at me but there I was walking through this mall, people looking, kids pointing. He took me to a wig store, he bought me a wig almost identical to my natural hair color and style. The sales lady put it on my head and turned the chair so I could see the mirror, I couldn't believe it and remember saying" there you are!". I felt more like myself with that wig, so I started using a little make up again and yes, most times I feel attractive, without the wig I most often feel unattractive even though I have hair now that is 2-3inches long.my hair is like a boy cut. But I am a survivor and walk with my head held high, I have lost hair, went through menopause, lost eye lashes and brows, then had to have all my teeth surgically removed and get dentures..... I am alive, I am a survivor. I am 45, and an RN, who might never work again, but that is my goal, but not patient care.... I cannot risk getting sick and the leukemia coming back, my brother gave me stem cells so I could go, do and be whatever I wanted and I want to make him, my husband, my kids, and grandkids proud!

      over 4 years ago
    • civilwarlady's Avatar

      WVgirl, your story sounds so very much like mine. Its great to get some support and answers from people walking the same path I am. Your suggestions, and the suggestions of all who have responded, are lifting my spirits. I know I can make it.

      over 4 years ago
    • caregiver's Avatar

      Write in a journal every day...how you feel this day, what your goals are. Set small goals that are reachable. Walk outside every day, even if it is only 10 minutes. Start taking an interest in others. I found that putting things on paper stopped me from living inside my head. Walking and breathing helped my mind and body as well.

      over 4 years ago
    • WVgirl2424's Avatar

      Civilwarlady, I am so very happy that I could help you in any way. I also write in a journal but I do not write daily I write when I get the urge to write, or if I have something on my mind that I do not want to share with the world. Lately it has been lovely weather and therefore I try to spend time outside. I walk my little dogs around our garden( we live on 60 acres), I sit and watch my husband play basketball with grand children( doctor will not allow me to run etc. yet). The feel of the sun on your face is a wonderful feeling, but only in 15 minute intervals a few times a day. That helps with depression called SAD( Seasonal Affected Disorder). Some think that their depression is over their illness but I find that I feel better after getting sun, when in the sun you absorb vitamin D, which helps. Just by moving around in the outside, even in shade or with umbrella for shade, can raise our spirits. My husband and I have already reserved a condo at Myrtle Beach in September, cheaper and less children so less illness, also a friend of a friend owns it, so we paid a special fee for a 7 day stay! I love watching the ocean, watching dolphins and sharks. It's just peaceful and I look forward to it yearly. Just find what brightens your mood and do that, I even crochet when inside and it's raining. It's whatever you enjoy, makes you smile. Praying for you. WVgirl2424

      over 4 years ago
    • akristine's Avatar

      It took almost a year to feel like myself again and regain the self-confidence I used to have. After speaking with a couple of therapists and attending some support groups, I found helping other survivors or just talking with friends who were enduring chemo/radiation was a blessing. Two weeks ago, I put on makeup for the first time in months and joined the gym so I could get rid of the last restraint: buying and wearing a new swimsuit for a warm water exercise class with others. I'm so glad to be alive! It was an honor to do the Relay for Life last Saturday and I'm looking forward to another in August. Don't get me wrong: the arthritis, lymphedema, neuropathy, epilepsy and cancer haven't taken a vacation, but every morning when I can open both eyes, stand on both feet and take care of myself, I am blessed. Contact me if you'd like and I'll be happy to talk with you offline.

      over 4 years ago
    • RuthAnne's Avatar

      Take on the identity of a cancer warrior! This goes quite well with your civil war re-enactment. You are strong! You are woman! We hear you roar!

      over 4 years ago
    • MariaM's Avatar

      Your cancer center should have a survivorship program that will help you.

      about 3 years ago

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