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Any cancer diagnosis is stressful; because of its ‘unknown’ characteristic, a CUP diagnosis is particularly stressful for patients, and their loved ones. However, we have to find a way to continue to function effectively and be as resilient as possible to the stresses of CUP.
In his 1979 book, Health, Stress and Coping, followed by his 1987 work, Unravelling the Mystery of Health the Israeli- US sociologist Aaron Antonovsky (1923 – 1994) wrote about the relationship between stress and health. A key concept in Antonovsky’s theory concerns how specific personal dispositions serve to make individuals more resilient to the stressors they encounter in daily life. Researching survivors of Nazi concentration camps, Antonovsky identified the characteristics which he claimed helped a person cope better (and remain healthy), by providing that person with a “sense of coherence” about life and its challenges. Antonovsky argues that to avoid chronic stress we need to try and create a social and physical environment that is: Comprehensible, Manageable and Meaningful.
For some people, creating a meaningful environment can be helped by interacting with others facing similar circumstances. We have a closed group linked to our FaceBook (FB) page where patients and carers can interact. If you wish to join this group search on FB for ‘CUP patients and carers’ and ask to join the group.
You can read threads from previous years in a different type of forum (which we had to abandon because of spamming). Please note that the shared experiences are good and bad – they do not all make for comfortable reading.