Emotional Mind Matters 2018-02-27T11:56:00+02:00

Emotional Mind Matters

“Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.” – Ziad K. Abdelnour

There is an ocean of emotions that you need to process as a result of a cancer diagnosis, some of which may feel completely overwhelming and confusing. Understanding what you are feeling and why is extremely beneficial in maintaining a positive, healthy mind-set when coping with cancer. We need to take “me time” to figure out “our stuff” but also acknowledge when we need help figuring it all out and getting answers and support from the pros.


Cancer can definitely be a badass emotional rollercoaster ride. Be scared, sad, desperate, numb, it doesn’t matter what you feel as long as you just go there and don’t bottle up your emotions. It is important to give yourself time to process the diagnosis and let it all sink in. Get the help of a psychologist, social worker or counselor who speciailses in treating cancer patients and supporting their families and friends in the process. P.S This isn’t a sprint it’s a marathon.

Children and Cancer

When I was diagnosed with cancer, one of the first questions that raced through my mind was “How do I tell my child? What do/don’t I tell him?” As parents, we naturally want to shield our children from pain and anxiety but there are certain things that they need to know and be prepared for.

I hope that this collection of articles will give you guidance and support.

Advanced Cancer and Palliative Care

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is the active, total care of patients whose disease is no longer responsive to curative treatments. Palliative care focuses on achieving the best quality of life for patients and their families. Palliative care-givers are the comforting, support structure during this uncertain time and should ideally be involved in the process as early as possible so that every day can be as good as it can be. The focus is home based as most patients want to be in the comfort of their own homes and familiar surroundings.

What are the principles of Palliative Care?

A core principal of Palliative care is that the dying process is natural and can be a truly beautiful process. It’s a natural slowing down of life. It’s the journey there that is an enormous challenge for the family. Palliative care aims to help terminal patients live actively until their death and do what they can until they can’t in order to surrender to their experience and hand over their struggle and to “Let go and let God”.


  • Promotes pain control and relief

  • Dying is a normal process

  • It neither hastens nor postpones death

  • Integrates the psychological, social and spiritual aspects of patient care

  • Assists to realistically manage a patients hope during this time

  • Offers support systems to help patients to live the best quality of life until their death

  • Offers a team, support system to help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in their bereavement

  • Is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies and investigations

  • Focuses on home based care

What is quality of Life?

By removing or managing the uncomfortable and painful physical symptoms a patient’s quality of life automatically improves. Hope plays a significant role in a dying patient and “realistic hope” is essential in achieving quality of life. Patients are often in denial about their dis-ease and are determined that they are going to get better.  Hopes & wishes are so far removed from the reality of the situation that they don’t actually benefit from the gifts that come in the journey of knowing.

What are the factors that negatively affect quality of life?

  • Pain

  • Symptoms like nausea and anxiety

  • Fear of the illness and treatment e.g. chemotherapy

  • Fear of death

  • Loss of independence – nappies/ wet beds

  • Altered body image

  • Separation from loved ones

  • Role change – when the partner/children become the nurse they miss out on being who they are for the patient and themselves

  • A sense of failure

  • Loss of dignity and control

  • Unrealistic expectation/hope to get better and “fighting” the process

By Sr Beverley King – Palliative Sister – Homecare

There is usually so much fear and anxiety surrounding the process of dying, accompanied with an immense amount of pressure to do the right thing from patients to family members. Please contact Hospice Wits as soon in the palliative process as possible so that they can shower you with their unconditional love, support and guidance.

Contact Info

Mobile: 082 349 8173
Landline: 011 483 9100
Email: patients@hospicewits.co.za
Website: www.hospicewits.co.za

You matter because you are you

You matter to the last moment of your life and

We will do all we can do not only to help you die peacefully,

But to live until you die

Dame Cicely Saunders – Originator of Hospice

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