Stiff upper lip

It’s been a while and since it’s the end of March, I thought that I’d better post again so that it doesn’t look as if I’ve forgotten.

I attended another joint Leukaemia Care and Lymphoma Association conference yesterday. They held one in Liverpool last October and yesterday it was in London. As always, these conferences are very good, but yesterday’s got me thinking – maybe a little bit too much. If you have been reading this blog from the start nearly five years ago, you will know that I have been to several similar events, but this is the first time that a particular subject has been on the agenda.

The last speaker was “Counsellor and Cognitive Behaviour Psychotherapist” at a London teaching hospital and he was talking about the psychological affects of living with a cancer such as NHL and how one needs to “adjust” to the new situation you find yourself in. That adjustment has no end point. You are constantly having to re-assess your situation, how you feel about life and how the cancer is affecting that. He claimed that it is always stressful and often distressing and the events can be described as “traumatic”. He even stated that some people display “Post Traumatic Stress Symptoms” which can take months or even years to come out.

Well, I don’t think I am anywhere near to that situation, but I confess to having a bit of a down day today. Probably because I’ve been thinking about what he said. I let my stiff upper lip drop.

Feeling down is perfectly natural but what is most important is to not let these negative thoughts get a hold. “Thinking and behaviour have the greatest impact on mood” and “This means that if you change your thoughts or behaviour you can change the way you feel”, he says (I should really just post the photos I took of his slides… it would be quicker!) The summary slide is below.

Image

Like a lot of this psychology stuff, this is all pretty obvious really. Stop thinking negative thoughts and you will feel happier. (I want to say “Der” here, but I am sure that it’s not that easy)

But that’s what I am going to do. Now, I wonder where that half full glass is…