• We often hear that we should "be happy" as much as we can, it's good for our health, attitude and life in general. My question is:

    Asked by WNMyeloma on Monday, February 29, 2016

    We often hear that we should "be happy" as much as we can, it's good for our health, attitude and life in general. My question is:

    When you're going through one of the most terrible times of your life, how can you be happy? What can you do each day to remind yourself that we need to be happy about something today?

    15 Answers from the Community

    15 answers
    • HeidiJo's Avatar
      HeidiJo

      It is absolutely a terrible thing to go through. While I was going through chemo, I had good days and bad days, and really terrible days. But I did try to laugh and enjoy what I could. I was at a family party, and someone was telling me a funny story so I was laughing, my brother in law was incredulous, he said "you're laughing?" Um, yeah. My daughter would often make me laugh. Also, I would declare Cancer Free Days. Days where we were not allowed to speak the word, or about Drs or anything having to do with my Lymphoma. I mean, it wasn't going anywhere! We were able to take a "day off" such as it was.
      It is difficult to remain positive sometimes, but it would really pay off.

      almost 6 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar
      HeidiJo

      It is absolutely a terrible thing to go through. While I was going through chemo, I had good days and bad days, and really terrible days. But I did try to laugh and enjoy what I could. I was at a family party, and someone was telling me a funny story so I was laughing, my brother in law was incredulous, he said "you're laughing?" Um, yeah. My daughter would often make me laugh. Also, I would declare Cancer Free Days. Days where we were not allowed to speak the word, or about Drs or anything having to do with my Lymphoma. I mean, it wasn't going anywhere! We were able to take a "day off" such as it was.
      It is difficult to remain positive sometimes, but it would really pay off.

      almost 6 years ago
    • Maddy61's Avatar
      Maddy61

      I watched comedy shows. There is always going to be this echo in the back of my head but all I can do is realize that I've been given a gift and second chance at life. And that's what I kept telling myself during the year of treatment.

      almost 6 years ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      Ibsgree with Heidi. It's a terrible time and you go into survival mode. I cried so much. I did watch lots of old sitcoms and they helped for a little while. My son told me jokes. And I slept a lot. Once I felt better, I sat outside and enjoyed nature. I got through it all and then got happy to be part of life again.

      almost 6 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I am happy. I am rarely unhappy, though there were 2 or 3 days during the worst chemo threw at me that I wondered about whether it was worth it. But, as soon as I was not doubled up in pain and throwing up, I was happy again. My faith unless it all. I have such a strong faith. Next, I stay very, very busy and active. Exercise has so many positive effects. I personally have fought HARD to NOT adopt.a new normal ... I liked my life as far as extra curricular activities went (work, not so much) so I determined to keep my normal as best I could. I think exercise helped me a lot. I spend a lot of time with friends or advocating for awareness and funding for lung cancer. And, I laugh ... A LOT. And smile, maybe when I don't want to. I go many hours every day when I do not have a single thought about cancer. I am too busy living to think about anything else.

      Good luck!! I hope you find a happy or contented spot. It might not help you live longer to be happy and positive, but it definitely helps make.the life you have much better.

      almost 6 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I went to a LUNGevity HOPE Summit on Saturday. It is for lung cancer patients and their loved ones. I was sitting at a table with some of the best people in the world. We have become great friends. I looked around that table and said with all honesty, "I can never be sorry that I have lung cancer. If not for the cancer, I would have never met you wonderful friends." I meant it then and now. I have been blessed many times in my life since my diagnosis. Those blessings keep me happy.

      almost 6 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      I was raised in a very strict manner. I was taught that only fools laughed and only cowards cries. I really wish I had the ability to do both. My suggestion is to cry until you can't cry anymore then watch some funny TV and let yourself laugh'

      almost 6 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      I don't think that a person can force themselves to be happy. That seems sort of counter productive and adds to the stress. Please try to do things that relax you-do things that occupy your mind and time- For me, baths are part of this, funny or interesting TV shows and movies, naps to relax and keep the strength up. For me, jigsaw puzzles are really great. Some say reading, but my eyes bothered me and I couldn't focus. I don't think that head radiation helped. Many talk to their doctors and get antianxiety meds-it helps to keep the thoughts from spinning around in your head. Good luck!!

      almost 6 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I've always been the "glass half full" type of person and look for anything good in whatever I think is terrible at the time. When in treatment I always could find someone who was in worse shape than me. It was easy to say, well, at least I'm not like that.

      almost 6 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Remember Greg, sometimes when we see or think of a worse situation that anchors you and me, other people become really depressed because the world is so cruel. I lost an infant son, 3 months old, Christmas 1964. My husband was in Viet Nam, attached to the Australian Navy SpecOps. He came home for the funeral. Then against regulations of the time, the USN shipped him back to 'Nam. On the days that I couldn't handle it, I thought of my maternal grandmother, who lost 3 children in 6 months to the Spanish flu in 1918. One was a newborn son, like mine, a 5 year-old son, and her only daughter at the time. My auntie was 18, and she died a week before her wedding. I thought that if she could survive that and be happy years later, that I knew that I could survive the death of my son and the deployment of my husband. Some people asked how I could survive it. I told them about my Grandmother, and they said that I was a sick puppy.

      almost 6 years ago
    • Therose's Avatar
      Therose

      When I was initially diagnosed I was devastated. I would only leave the house for doctor appt, and appts for chemotherapy. I realized I was fighting for my life but not living it. I knew I had to change I began slowly by first going to cancer support group then later walks on beach. I have to tune into nature the beach, park. Eventually a water aerobic class. These things brought me back to me.

      almost 6 years ago
    • SandiA's Avatar
      SandiA

      I found a couple great family members that I can call or text when I am having a bad day. They always seem to know what to say and allow me to say whatever I need to say. My cousins husband has a habit of sending me really funny things right before my doctor appointments or scans. My nephew does the same. One time he sent me something so funny my sister and I could not stop laughing. I know the doctor thought we were both crazy. So basically I have found surrounding myself with loving positive people really helps. It also helps that they allow me to cry and scream when I need to get it out.

      almost 6 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar
      IKickedIt

      My onco nurses joked that I was the happiest person on chemo. Don't get me wrong, I hated chemo, but I knew it was what I had to do. As the others have said, I was in survival mode. Not to say I didn't have bad moments, I did. But I knew that after the horrible side effects wore off, the sun would come out. I had a few melt-downs, but honestly, crying hurt (my mucosa linings were all raw, so it literally burned) so I didn't like the pain and stopped crying. And it didn't accomplish anything other than make me even more miserable.

      I surrounded myself with positive people and focused on the love and support of my family and friends. I distanced myself from sad sacks. I didn't need any more stress in my life. One particular Debbie-downer would call and I'd let the answering machine pick up and would later send her an email. I was fortunate to have the most amazing support network, so I focused on that love. A few friends were all going through different medical problems, so we had our gimp club. We'd get together and support each other, laugh at our misfortunes, gripe together, but then watch movies, play games, go out together.

      Like HeidiJo, we had No Cancer Talk days. My husband and I would go out on a date, we'd go someplace special with the kids. Once I knew the pattern of my cycle, we marked the dates down on our calendars and started planning so we had something to look forward to.

      And I knew that I didn't have a choice...I had to fight, I had to do whatever the doctors told me I needed to do. Not only for me, but for my husband (who had lost his sister to cancer), my children and my parents (who had buried my only other sibling).

      almost 6 years ago
    • annetteOR's Avatar
      annetteOR

      I agree with Meyati that happiness can't be forced, rather it seems to me to be an outcome of a combination of my thoughts and activities. I don't expect to ever again have all the strengths I once had, but I'm currently in remission and have side effects that are manageable. Some things that help me are faith, exercise, any creative activities such as knitting, sewing, or painting, socializing by phone, online, and in person with friends and family as energy allows, and searching out the good and positive and having gratitude. It's not easy. It doesn't work every single day, but it helps. All the best to you all.

      over 5 years ago
    • kac1224's Avatar
      kac1224

      I try to stay positive. It can always be worse but you need to look to the positive. Surround yourself with those type of people. Don't sweat the small stuff. I avoid negativity whenever possible. I think of my mom when I'm having a bad day or time of it. She had ovarian cancer and was only supposed to live no more than 2 yrs. She lived 5-1/2 and saw 3 grandchildren born. She never gave up and was always fighting, I try to do the same.

      over 5 years ago

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