Sometimes, you just never know how to react to the news that you have a terminal diagnosis- HIV, cancer or diabetes. But some specialist, psychologist and religious leader say it is possible to have hope. This is what they shared with Mwereti Kanjo.
Sometimes what keeps a person going is the hope that someday they will realise their dreams and achieve their goals. The satisfaction that comes with achievement has to be among the best feelings.
But, certain circumstances such as a terminal diagnosis can kill your spirits and stop you from working hard. The thought of having to take drugs every morning or evening for the rest of your life can be disheartening; the thought that you will never be able to do anything else and have to change your lifestyle can be overwhelming.
A terminal diagnosis might spell doom but this should not be the case.
How then do you rise from such disturbing news?
Professor in psychology Chiwoza Bandawe said the response to news of a terminal diagnosis will be characterised with different stages of emotions. One will first go into shock, then a state of anger, start bargaining with God/faith, then depression and finally acceptance.
According to Bandawe, the most important thing in this situation is to allow oneself to feel all the emotions and not fight them. He also advises you to talk a lot about your condition to friends and family.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“One must talk about their fear and anxiety because their world has changed. It is never easy to talk about such things but it must come out. It is also important that the patient ask the doctor a lot of questions that they have a clear understanding of their condition. You must be fluent in the knowledge of your diagnosis.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“While it is an individual that has been diagnosed the situation will affect everyone around them, thus family, friends and colleagues. The family must support the sick person and be there for them but they too must not forget their own health. They have to be strong for each other. They must not make the other person feel like a burden,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Bandawe.
The Reverend Zacc Kawalala advises that one must not lose hope because each life has a purpose. He says, the important thing is for one to know is that everyone shall someday die only that death comes in different ways.
But most importantly, you must take comfort in the Word of God. Further, Kawalala said that learning from people who have lived with similar diagnosis will bring peace, and courage to the patient.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Different people will respond to news differently depending on what sort of situation they are in. It is then difficult to say how best they must respond. But the bottom line is that they must have hope for tomorrow. They must wake up each day with the spirit to fight for that day and look forward to tomorrow.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Just because you have been told you are sick does not mean you are sick. Healthier people have at times died before those with a terminal diagnosis. So life must be looked at with hope,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Kawalala.