The fear factor, and the surprise of distress in cancer were themes explored by Juliet Ireland, National Clinical Lead, Cancer psychological & social support initiative at the Auckland Support Group meeting. Juliet pointed out that any talk of cancer has a perception of "bad" news. This perception can be overwhelming and shocking. It has a multi dimensional effect of each person in a different way. A cancer diagnosis affects the patient's family, friends and work place.
The "unknowns" of cancer create uncertainty which can increase distress. The distress overload can occur at anytime on the treatment journey. Juliet explained it it normal to feel distress. The feeling of distress increased during times of change. Everything become harder when we are distressed.
The "good" news is that social support can give emotional, practical and educational support. Juliet recommends seeking support from the Cancer Society, or alternatively speak to your specialist, cancer care nurse or general practitioner.
Juliet's presentation is included below.
Juliet provided some tips for distraction exercises.