A period of change

The words 'Period of change' written in purple over a photo of Green, orange and red leaves hanging on a string

This month we start to see the changes from Summer to Autumn. We know this happens every year but unexpected changes like a new symptom, side effect or waiting for test results, can bring a lot of uncertainty and make us feel uneasy.

We often discuss change on the Community. How we see change depends on who we are and our current situation. It may be forced upon us or something we are expecting, but either way we have to adjust.

What we see on the Community is how you respond to change matters. You may not be able to control what is happening to you, but you can control how you react. Being there to help each other can be comforting and empowering.

“People have different coping strategies. I very much wanted to know as much as possible from reliable sources so I could make informed choices.” -LindaWT, Head and Neck cancer group.

Coping with change 

Everyone is different and has their own coping strategies. It can sometimes help to speak to someone who understands what you are going through and to find out how they have dealt with a similar situation.

We see people benefiting from speaking to others day in day out, here are a few examples;

“I understand exactly how you are feeling and it’s perfectly normal.” - Tippybailey, Womb (uterus) cancer forum

“Reading all these posts has calmed me down a lot!”
- MrsBHJWomb (uterus) cancer forum

“Whatever the outcome, you are in the right place! The support available here from those who have been through the same ordeal can be invaluable. I truly hope the news you receive is good. But even if not, it is a condition that is highly treatable. There are a great many success stories here, from those who have been through the process, and are here to give their support to others. You're not alone. Even when you feel isolated and lost. Others are here and will help in any way they can!” – Stoatlord, Bowel (colon and rectum cancer forum)

“So sorry that you find yourself here, not a place any of us would choose. But you will find lots of support and shared experiences.” - HappyFeet1, Breast cancer forum

Tips to cope with change

It can be helpful to have some strategies to help manage our feelings and emotions. Here are some of the things our members do;

“I put my big girl shoes on and positive mental attitude got me through it!”  - RadioactiveRazHead and neck cancer group

“I can be cynical so have been presently surprised by this site, or rather the people on this site. Something genuine about what people have written. In reply’s but more so in about me in profiles. I don't often feel that honesty or genuine feeling {hard to find correct word} from most people in everyday life so it makes me feel good to find a bunch of you here.”
dogblokeHead and neck cancer group.

 “I just needed to go with the flow as this is something that cannot be controlled, also a little walk to get some fresh air helped me even if it was only for 10 minutes.”Just65, Womb (uterus) cancer forum

“Do try to accept all offers of help even if you’re used to coping on your own.” -HappyFeet1, Breast cancer forum

You can also try the following

  • Be patient with yourself, you are only human, it can take time to adjust.

  • Focus on the positives. It can be difficult to think positively all the time, but when we do, make sure you take a moment to focus on what is making you feel this way.

  • Keep a journal or blog. Writing can be a great escape and coping mechanism in dealing with change. This is something we see every day on the community on our blogs page here. Don’t forget our how to use blogs guide in our help section. It can guide you through the steps of creating your own blog.

  • Try not to take yourself too seriously, it is ok to not have it all figured out. It is also ok to laugh and find comfort in your sense of humor. You can join our 'Laughter is the best medicine' group here

  • Don’t forget our Support Line teams and Ask and Expert section are here to give you the information and guidance you need to make informed choices. Call the Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 7 days a week from 8am-8pm or Ask an Expert here.

 The words ‘More ideas?’ written in white over a photo of a yellow post it note with a light bulb pinned on a noticeboard

It would be great to hear the things you do that help you adjust. If you want to share your coping strategies, please comment in the box below or start your own group discussions.

Community changes 

We hope that the recent Community News blog provides some reassurance that the Community Team are working hard to resolve the upgrade issues. This may take some time, but we value your honest feedback and appreciate your patience.

Don’t forget our Help Section has some handy FAQs and step by step guides if you need some support. If you need any further assistance please do reach out to us at community@macmillan.org.uk.