Coping with a serious illness can be a life-changing experience. Attitudes change, priorities change, and many find themselves looking at life from a whole new perspective. Those who are still grappling with their illness may find it hard to feel confident about the future. Those whose illness is behind them often describe the positive influence it has had on their lives. People whose disease is very advanced have to find a way of living as best they can in the present.
Many people who consider their illness to be behind them described the positive changes it encouraged them to make in their lives. Some said they no longer dwell on the past or postpone things for the future but aim to get the most out of every day.
Stephen believes people should be as positive as possible and enjoy life and he talks about some of the things he has done since his diagnosis.
Others felt they had changed their priorities and no longer put work or material needs before people or quality of life. A great many said that they no longer allowed small problems overtake their lives.
One woman experienced a change of attitude as a result of her illness that eventually led to the breakdown of her marriage. Nonetheless she sees this change as a positive force in her life. Another woman whose illness led her to give up a career she loved explains why she thinks her life is now better than ever. A third woman whose illness is relatively recent is still struggling to feel confident about the future:
She explains how her change of attitude after having cancer brought about big changes in her life.
She explains why she feels her life is now better than ever.
She is still struggling to regain confidence in the future.
Some people have to find a way of living with cancer knowing that there is little or no chance of a cure. Several people talk about how they approached the challenge.
Describes his attitude toward living with a terminal illness.
Two years after his initial diagnosis Stephen was told his cancer was incurable. He talks about how he approached consultations.
This man describes how he approached the challenge. Another man explains how he came to terms with the prospect of dying. Even taking a philosophical approach to illness however still allows for moments of intense frustration. A woman describes the frustration of filling her life with small activities when she is still full of enthusiasm for life. A woman in her thirties with a young family describes how she thinks about the future and hopes to keep defying the odds: