Many cancer survivors wonder why they got cancer and why they survived when others did not. As they try to make sense of their experience and find new meaning in life, some survivors may find themselves re-examining long-held views or beliefs. Other cancer survivors have stated that they have found answers to some of their questions, despite the fact that everyone makes meaning from their experiences in their own unique way, other cancer survivors have stated that they were able to find answers to some of these perplexing questions by:
- Re-evaluating old patterns and priorities: Some cancer survivors may experience a “wakeup call” and begin to ask questions like: Are my current roles in my family or as a friend fulfilling? Is my work making me happy, or am I simply doing what others expect of me? What are the most crucial aspects of my life right now?
- Reaching out for spiritual support: Spirituality and faith can provide comfort and guidance for some people. Local cancer organizations may also be able to help you find religious or spiritual leaders in your community who have experience helping cancer survivors.
- Keeping a journal or blogging: Allowing yourself to think every day or every week about your feelings is a way to get to know yourself better and to understand what gives meaning to your life now.
- Finding new ways to support emotional well-being: Support groups are available as well as other support services for patients and survivors such as art therapy, journaling, meditation or yoga classes, etc.