One of the hardest parts of cancer is psychologically dealing with the illness. People know that cancer causes pain, suffering and potentially death. Death. A traumatizing circumstance when faced with prematurely. Patients with this life-threatening disease can easily fall into unhealthy lifestyle due to lack of emotional support, making cancer twice as difficult to try to overcome. Religion and spirituality provide patients with coping mechanisms, support groups and a view of eternal life that gives patients hope for better times to come. Religion and spirituality are proven psychologically components that show positive results when coping with cancer.
When diagnosed with a life-threatening disease like cancer, emotions run high. Fear, vulnerability, hopelessness, despair and the loss of the meaning of life all flood the patient’s mind. “The initial diagnosis is an existential crisis” (Spiegel par 7). This life-threatening disease is attacking the body, while these emotions erode the mind. The need for comfort and support is necessary to sort out the monstrous psychological conflict that accompanies cancer. Is death really a possibly? Facing death alone is a difficult task, but support-groups have been put together and strategies have been created to help patients sift through emotions, ultimately finding meaning to life when suddenly time has been limited.
When faced with death, managing emotions, as well as the negative effects and suffering is critical to the healing process. Researchers in this field agree that comfort and support are needed to try to start the healing process and successfully overcome the fear of death. A patient of Professor David Spiegel, M.D., a...
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...t was through this comment that Williams finally understood that her support was essential to her mother coping with the present. Her Mormon believe helped her to understand that standing by her mother during these difficult times, even when they were difficult for her, was were duty and service not only to her mother, but to God.
Williams weaves her Mormon believe into her experiences she describes in Refuge. Her Mormon faith is expressed through the sense of family and community that provided support for her mother. Faith also provides hope. Williams’ mother states, “It (faith) is a belief in a wisdom superior to our own. Faith becomes a teacher in the absence of fact” (Williams 198). Both faith and hope give her mother the ability to cope with death because her Mormon religion believes death is just a transition between human life and eternal life with God.
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