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Addressing my mental health was a key factor in how I dealt with my disease. I recognized that I didn’t know how to manage the thoughts in my head that came along with my diagnosis.

Through a community support program at Wellspring, a registered charity that offers programs and services that meet the emotional, social, and restorative needs of people living with cancer, (in Canada), I was fortunate to be connected with an incredible psychotherapist.

Psychotherapy is a form of talk therapy that helps patients deal with their illness. Cancer erodes our sense of being safe, healthy and in control of our lives. Severe emotional distress is a real and difficult side effect of the disease. As many as 25% of patients report depression. Feelings of depression and anxiety are normal, but in my experience, I needed help to learn how to cope effectively.

Guided meditations with my psychotherapist were integral to me learning how to develop positive emotional responses. The meditations gave me a sense of feeling in control and taught me how to live in the present moment and find gratitude for the simple things in life.

The bond I felt with my therapist gave me the sense that I was strongly supported and had someone to turn to who I felt safe sharing my darkest moments.

These sessions gave me the skills to develop my own visualization process that I practiced daily. I believe that my daily mind work is responsible in large part for my recovery and cure. I will go into detail about my meditative process and my specific visualization routine in another post.

If you are feeling emotionally challenged, I encourage you to seek help from someone who specializes in cancer support. You have nothing to lose in reaching out and finding resources to support your mental health during this insanely challenging time in your life.

All these little pieces of the puzzle can make you feel whole again.

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