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Being diagnosed with a serious illness and going through a major treatment such as transplant can be overwhelming. You may be experiencing many emotions as you or your loved one prepares for transplant. You may feel that you’ve lost opportunities or dreams for your future. Or maybe you feel a loss of your identity since your life took a turn you didn’t expect.
No matter the cause of your feelings, know that having feelings of grief and loss are normal. There is no single best way to work through these feelings. You may choose to cope in a different way than others, including your family or loved ones. An important first step is to notice and acknowledge your feelings. Then, make a plan to work through them in a healthy way that’s best for you. Not talking about your feelings can make it worse. Ignoring your feelings can affect your physical and emotional health.
Something as simple as talking to others may help you:
- Sort through your feelings
- Ease stress
- Put things in perspective
- Decide which treatments to have
“Transplant is doable, but not easy. This is more of a marathon than a sprint. Your life will be affected forever in both positive and negative ways. Throughout your journey, focus on the things you can do."
- Evelyn, transplant recipient
Talk to others who have been through transplant
You and your caregiver may find it helpful to hear about other patients’ experiences. Our Be The Match Peer Connect program can connect you with a trained volunteer who’s been there. No matter where you’re at in the process, recipients and caregivers like you are available to talk by phone or email, sharing their experience and tips. Request a connection.
It can be easy for caregivers to forget about their own needs. But one of the most important things you can do is take care of yourself. This will help you take better care of your loved one.
“It’s an up and down roller coaster ride and you need support. Whether it’s family or a friend, support is important.”
- Ramon, caregiver for his wife, Elsa
Children express their emotions in different ways. If you are concerned about your child’s emotional health, there are things you can do to help. Your strategies will likely be different depending on your child’s age.
- Give your child time to talk about how he or she feels.
- Tell stories of how you have felt in similar situations, how you handled it (good or bad) and how it turned out.
- Share feelings and solve problems together. You may want to use creative ways to express feelings like drawing pictures, writing a story, acting out a play or singing.
- Give comfort by being with your child. Hold your child, give hugs, or offer a hand massage or back rub.
- Express affection and encouragement. Say the words, “I love you,” “I am proud of you” and “I support you.”
“Early on in our journey, a friend told me, ‘No emotion is bad. All feelings are good. Just go with it.’ Through all of the emotions, I always reminded myself of this.”
- Sherri, mother of TJ, age 18 at transplant
The Be The Match® Patient Support Center provides support, information and resources for transplant patients, caregivers and families.
We are here to help you get reliable, easy-to-understand information from diagnosis through recovery. Call or email us for confidential, one-on-one support from caring experts. We'll listen and help you find answers.
CONTACT THE PATIENT SUPPORT CENTER
CALL: 1 (888) 999-6743
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Central Time
All of our programs and resources are free.
CONTACTE AL CENTRO DE APOYO AL PACIENTE
Llame al: 1 (888) 999-6743
De lunes a viernes, de 8:00 a.m. - 5 p.m. Horario central
CORREO ELECTRÓNICO: firstname.lastname@example.org