• We have received several emails lately from people wanting to know what do you do to keep your mind off of cancer all the time?

    Asked by CancerNews on Thursday, January 10, 2019

    We have received several emails lately from people wanting to know what do you do to keep your mind off of cancer all the time?

    Does cancer stay on your mind all the time?
    Are you a worrier?
    Do you have hobbies that you do to keep your mind and body active?
    What tips can you share with someone newly diagnosed to keep their mind clean of those dark thoughts?

    Thanks for your input and support to others who are just getting started.

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • IKickedIt's Avatar
      IKickedIt

      While I was going through treatment, I had a wonderful group of friends and we would get together regularly and watch movies, play games, just sit around and talk. We were all good friends and teaching colleagues for many years, but that summer we called ourselves the gimp club because one other person had a severe leg wound that required a wound vac and another had a broken ankle. We just laughed at the situation and hobbled through the summer helping each other out as best as we could. It really helped since I looked forward to our get-togethers.

      And I made an early promise to myself and my family that cancer wasn't going to affect me or my loved ones any more than absolutely necessary. Towards the end of my chemo cycle when I was feeling pretty good, we had No Talk Cancer Days. It took some practice, but we looked forward to those days and tried to maintain a level of normalcy as best as possible (my kids were teenagers at that time). My husband would take a day off from work and we'd go out on a date, lunch and a movie or whatever I was capable of doing. After every treatment, we started planning our date.

      I also didn't allow negative people in my life, I kept them at a distance. I didn't need their negativity. I am an extremely positive person, and was able to maintain that positivity. It was a conscious effort on my part, I could milk being miserable or I could get up, brush myself off and keep moving forward. Sure, I had horrible nights spent in the bathroom, but I'd read get well cards that were sent to me, listened to upbeat music, read inspirational stories.

      Not easy, but necessary. I'm going to go out of this world singing and dancing (or more likely jumping out of an airplane or hang-gliding).

      2 months ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      Keep busy with life! It has not stopped - it is only changed. Do things! Everything that you love and are able to do. IFinish a project. Start a new one. To avoid dwelling on being sick, I worked through the first two months of treatment, but then had to stay home when even the undertaker winced upon seeing me walk by,

      I was an emergency first responder and I used my bald head to re-set the perspective of a few who were having pity parties. After listening to their tales of woe, I would remove my ball cap and tell them, "See this? I'm in chemotherapy. I don't know if I'm going to survive. I sure wish I had your problems."

      Blank stares.

      2 months ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      I worked my regular hours during chemo. I know I wasn't a pretty sight, but I needed to get up and have a normal life as much as possible. Now, I don't think about cancer all the time, but it pops up every so often. If I have a new ache or pain, I give it 2 weeks to go away. If it doesn't, I go see my doctor. So far, I have been lucky. The one thing that remains hard for me to do is to make plans for more than 6 months away. Even though it has been 5 years since being diagnosed, I just can't do it.

      2 months ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      Knitting and my granddaughters both help me to enjoy life and forget about cancer.

      At first ever little thing would make me think that cancer is calling upon me again. But now, as a six year survivor, I hardly think of it at all. I do try to exercise 3-4 Times a week, eat healthy-ish and just enjoy my life. Cancer is definitely on the way back burner. I just am too busy with projects and taking care of my little granddaughters that cancer is pushed away from my thoughts, unless it's time for a check up. I worry for a couple of days before the mammogram and follow-up doctor appointments and then after hearing the words, all clear, I continue with my busy life.

      2 months ago
    • Gumpus61's Avatar
      Gumpus61

      Live, Live, Live.......a good book, a walk, volunteer, just go to your community center and sit around. Most of all....Just decide not to be afraid of anything, I mean, what's the worst thing that could happen once you have Cancer ? Dying from it of course.....so just decide to LIVE WITH IT !

      Once you find a new familiar set of people, It doesn't take ling at all for them to not see your Cancer anymore.....which is what you want. When they stop seeing it.....so do you.

      2 months ago
    • SandiA's Avatar
      SandiA

      Keep busy! I also allow myself to make future plans. Buying the baseball tickets and renting the beach house gives me something to look forward to. Make plans with good positive people that can make you laugh. I have a group of friends that come over and take over my kitchen. I just have to open the door and make sangria. Most nights we just make our own pizzas sit laugh and eat. When I couldn’t do much at all I took up adult coloring. To some people it sounds silly but It really helped. I enjoyed it and one year I colored special sayings and framed them for Christmas presents. They actually came out pretty nice.

      2 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I barely ever think about MY cancer. Cancer as a topic is on my mind a lot, but not my cancer specifically.

      I am anything but a worrier. I think worry is a waste of time. Every minute spent worrying about cancer is a minute thrown away. Worry changes nothing (except potentially making stress worse and then causing cancer to proliferate).

      I stay very busy. I love to take pictures, hike, watch movies on Netflix, play with my dogs, learn new things, paint rocks, attend church activities, write, go to the gym, talk to friends, go to activities at Cancer Support Communities, play on online sites like WhatNext, read...

      When I learned I had lung cancer I had one question for my oncologist. "Can I keep playing agility with my dogs?" Translation: "Can I keep living my life?" It wouldn't have mattered what his response was. I won't let cancer steal my life before it takes my last breath.

      2 months ago

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