Your thinking, emotions, and mental state can have a profound influence on your body, your immune system, and quality of life as you cope with your disease. Cultivating “mind skills” will help you at any stage of pancreatic cancer.
Techniques that can settle the mind and help a patient cope with their illness include meditation, music listening, art therapy, and spiritual/devotional practices.
There are many different methods of meditation and meditation classes are widely available. Studies of brainwave patterns have shown that meditation soothes stress and fear, and helps people to become calmer and happier.
Support System during Cancer
It is also important to have a strong support system of friends and family both for practical assistance and emotional sustenance. Connecting with other cancer patients can also be very helpful. Support groups can be found through the American Cancer Society or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
A medical social worker, therapist, or clergyperson can offer additional emotional support.
Patients should also be sure to get as much information as they can about their illness, so that (together with their doctor and family) they can make the best, most informed decisions about their care and treatment. Again, the National Cancer Institute and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network are excellent sources of information.
Mayo Clinic Staff. 2010. “Pancreatic Cancer: Alternative Medicine.” (Online) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pancreatic-cancer/DS00357/DSECTION=alternative-medicine
Mayo Clinic Staff. 2010. “Pancreatic Cancer: Coping and Support.” (Online) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pancreatic-cancer/DS00357/DSECTION=coping-and-support
Psychology Today. 2003. Allen, Colin. “The Benefits of Meditation.” (Online) http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200304/the-benefits-meditation
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