According to the Cancer Experience Map (experience timeline), the cancer patients experience journey includes the continuum of five stages from initial cancer diagnoses to preparing for the end of life: Diagnosis(Initial) - Treatment Decisions - Active Treatment - End of Active Treatment, After Treatment - Recurrence.
Patients in each stage have the common situational stressors. And I found that the moment when people were diagnosed, they suffered emotional turbulence - they felt shock, fear of incapacitation and death, feel betrayed by their bodies, and wonder how to tell others about the diagnosis.
Patients usually need to experience an “U” emotional process, “Emotionally, you don’t drop to th\e= bottom; you get thrown to the bottom. I think most people do. It’s a matter of how long some people stay there.” How long time people’s emotion back, and how do they feel will influence the following stages of treatment.
People feel stressed to be positive. There are a lot of suggest and guidance which tell those patients that they need to be positive because it is good for them. But most of time saying “be positive” doesn’t really cheer patients, on the contrary would let them feel stressed when they cannot really be positive.
According to my research, in this stage, the single most important behaviour for patients is to accept the diagnosis.
So the aim for my intervention here is to support those patients to go through the emotional turbulence and help them accept the diagnosis.
For next step
To answer these following questions -
How much the emotional turbulence would influence the patients’ life and the following treatment process. (professional) - how valuable my work will be
What are the specific emotions that patients would have (fear, guilty, angry…) and what are the factors which could result in those emotion.
Where is the most emotional support coming from?
My mission before is “looking at death teach me how to live”, is there any chance to achieve it in this project?