It's the elephant in the room - cancer - a diagnosis that no one wants to hear! Whether or not anyone wants to believe it, you and the rest of your whole family is affected - and so are your family friends.
This past Saturday, some of us from AACY did the walk to support breast cancer. We walked and made donations in honor of our family members and friends who have or who have had cancer, actually cancer of any type, and also on behalf of you, CYP participants, whose family member has this disease.
When you first hear the cancer diagnosis, it is easy to let your mind wander, think that death is around the corner, and then wonder, "What is going to happen to me? To our family?"
These are very normal thoughts, ones that we all have. Once you acknowledge that these thoughts are normal, then it is time to take charge of your mind. When you take charge of your mind, you can run interference and reduce the frequency of negative thoughts so you can build up your courage and keep a positive perspective.
However, no matter what illness the person you care for is dealing with, while we cannot change the illness, what we can change is how we handle it. Famed Winston Churchill said, "Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference."
How do you encourage someone else when you may feel discouraged yourself? Here are five ways that you can share with your family member(s) and build hope together:
- Practice being thankful for each day about someone or something
- Use humor - even play a practical joke such as what people do on April Fool's Day
- Be inspirational - talk about your future and what you want to achieve
- Do a fun activity as often as possible
- Grow your spiritual strength - it is there for you 24/7
This may seem like a lot to do. The good news is that you don't have to do it all at once - just little by little. The important thing is to begin, take small steps and keep stepping!
If you would like to discuss your options with a CYP team member or other trusted adult, feel free to call the CYP office (561.391.7401). We at CYP want to work together with you and with your family to help you make this your best personal and school year ever!