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You Are Not Alone A Practical Guide for Maintaining Your Quality of Life While Living with Cancer You're Not Alone

Realistic, Achievable Goals - III. Psychological And Emotional Support

Hope Coping
Attitudes That Can Help

Positive Thinking
Support Groups
Spirituality, Faith and Religion

End-of-Life Care
Leaving Instructions to Loved Ones

Whatever your health status, setting goals - and achieving them - is an important part of maintaining your quality of life. Patients frequently find that they need to reevaluate at least their short-term goals due to their disease and its treatment. By setting reasonable short-term goals - even limited ones such as getting out of bed, walking to the bathroom, or leaving the hospital and going home - you will reduce your sense of frustration and powerlessness. If you are able to achieve these goals, begin to set longer-term goals, such as going back to work or taking a vacation.

It is not uncommon for people with cancer or some other serious disease to experience a reordering of priorities. In reevaluating your long-term goals, you may decide on some new ones. Discovering something that you want to achieve or do - something that has special meaning to you-can be very empowering. As difficult as it may seem, setting your affairs in order can also help to relieve stress. Putting together financial and other records, write your legal and ethical wills, complete an advance directive, and discuss your end-of-life care with your family, medical team, and attorney.

No matter what stage your cancer is in, setting short-term, long-term, and lifetime goals will help you define and achieve your life's purposes. By doing what gives you pleasure and fulfillment, you will gain a greater sense of control over your life and add meaning to your life.

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