Depression among cancer patients is a well known phenomenon. Carcinoid cancer patients are no different. In fact, there is some evidence that they have depression to a greater degree. Studies have shown that cancer patients will usually survive longer with reduced depression.
I bet that each of us who have gone through the process of finding carcinoid cancer in our bodies have had bouts of depression. Many of us have struggled for years to actually get a proper diagnosis. Along with the tumors and the pain and diahrrea and flushing comes fatigue. Maybe we find that we cannot rid ourselves of this depression. Then the cancer diagnosis brings fear. After a while it seems that your friends and loved ones are not as attentive as you need.
What can we do? Many times, oncologists won’t ask about or treat depression or recommend treatment. If you are severely depressed you may need to see a psychologist. If you are mildly depressed or deep into fear, your solution could include exercise and meditation and perhaps spiritual counseling.
If you have a religion, you should definitely seek guidance from a spiritual counselor that you trust.
Exercise can help your body fight your cancer and also reduce stress and depression. This was a major part of my program for recovery. I walk 2 to 3 miles nearly every day. I also go to a gym a couple of times a week when I can.
Mediation has been a major part of my health regime. As luck would have it, I had started a meditation program with Shambhala Meditation about 9 months before my diagnosis. There are many Shambhala Meditation Centers all over the world. There are certainly other places that teach meditation and other forms of mindfulness. Once I was diagnosed with Carcinoid Cancer, I put a lot of time into meditation and I continue to meditate. Meditation helped me to deal with the fear of having cancer, with the sickness and pain of the treatments as well. To me, meditation has helped me keep a positive attitude and live with the sickness and pain with compassion for myself. It gives me the tools to offer that compassion to other sufferers.
I encourage all cancer patients to actively seek psychological, spiritual, emotional help. Doing things for yourself like exercise and meditation should be part of your life every day.
May we all have the best possible outcomes,