If you or someone you care about is going through cancer treatment, it’s possible that between doctor visits and treatment appointments there will be times when having someone with a fresh perspective to talk to might help. Life and wellness coaches as support system members are, perhaps, a choice that hasn’t been considered by most folks. Guest blogger Emily Walsh tells us more…
Life Coaching Helps Cancer Patients Keep Their Eyes On The Prize
“Keep your eye on the prize” is a popular catch phrase. People apply the phrase to many different life situations. It is particularly appropriate for those affected by cancer. Cancer patients typically have only one focus: to fight the battle and win. Cancer survivors have a new priority: preventing the recurrence of cancer. Ultimately, cancer victims want an improved quality of life.
Cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery are life-changing events, and they are hard to deal with alone. Cancer support systems are essential, and life coaching is an important piece of the system.
A New Type Of Cancer Support System
Life coaching is a relatively new intervention for cancer treatment and recovery, and it is more common in Europe than the United States. As more cancer patients integrate holistic, alternative therapies with standard medical treatment, life coaching will grow in popularity.
According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), life coaching for cancer support is known by different names: health coaching, wellness coaching, and cancer coaching. These integrative health services look at the mind-body connection and its importance to the healing process. Many doctors now recommend life coaching and other alternative therapies, as they realize their patients’ need for an enhanced quality of life.
How Life Coaching Helps Cancer Patients
As cancer patients keep their eye on the prize, they know what lies ahead: a battery of medical tests, aggressive surgery and chemotherapy, never-ending doctor’s appointments, and medical insurance hassles. Surviving cancer and keeping it from returning are their ultimate goals.
People with a mesothelioma prognosis or other terminal cancer have the additional stress of accepting death as the final outcome. Keeping their eye on the prize means learning to live well, for as long as they can. Life coaching can help any cancer patient, whatever the ultimate goal.
Life coaching for cancer support addresses emotional issues, such as stress, depression, guilt, and fear. Patients with rare aggressive cancers like mesothelioma with short life expectancies, benefit most from coaching that addresses their emotional problems. Releasing their negative emotions and focusing on their goals can help these patients cope with the stress of their disease.
An Integrative Wellness Service
Life coaching integrates the physical, mental, and emotional parts of a person’s life. The mind-body connection plays an important role in a patient’s ability to focus, cope, and recover. Coaching helps cancer patients focus on their unique cancer experience: their current situation, their goals for the future, and how they can reach those goals.
An integral part of the cancer support system, life coaching offers support, encouragement, motivation, confidence, and hope. Most coaches work with patients beyond the initial coaching sessions, so the benefits are long-term. Whatever the cancer type or prognosis, life coaching is a valuable tool for keeping a patient’s eye on the prize.
Emily Walsh is a blogger and cancer advocate who as her own personal blog and contributes to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance blog as a community outreach liaison.