A hospital room gets pretty lonely, and there is usually only one parent or family member staying with you. The nurses come in once in a while, but there is no one else there. You may spend weeks, sometimes even months, in the hospital. The long days of being cooped up in a small room can take their toll. Many times you may be too sick and can’t stay awake, so you spend your time sleeping.
When you do feel well enough to stay awake and do something, whether it be at home or in the hospital you should try doing activities that you think are fun, activities that take your mind off everything going on, activities that make you happy. Whether it is visiting the playroom, facebooking with your friends, or watching your favorite TV show, there are plenty of ways to keep your mind going so you don’t focus on all the “yucky” stuff going on.
Visiting the playroom or the teen room is great because you can always find something there to do. If you are inpatient or outpatient, the Child Life specialists can actually bring the crafts or games to your room, like room service only with games, movies, and crafts instead of food!
During cancer treatment, it’s really hard to stay in touch with your friends because either your counts are too low or you just don’t have the energy. That’s where technology comes in handy. Connecting with friends via Facebook, Myspace, email, texts, phone calls, or video chats are great ways to keep in touch with them. Keeping in touch with your friends will help you feel less alone and you can find out from them what’s going on at your school or on your sports team, which will help you feel more connected to the “normal” life you used to live. Staying connected with your friends is really important for when you go back to school too because they are the ones who can help you get from class to class and get used to being in school again.
Being stuck in the hospital is rough and sometimes being stuck at home is not that much better. Sure, there are the comforts of everything you know, but being stuck in bed or stuck at home in general can sometimes feel like a prison. Finding something that you can put your entire mind into, like arts and crafts is a really good strategy. Finding a funny movie or TV show can help too. My personal happy place was whenever I would watch my favorite TV show, “Friends.” For all you teenagers, I highly recommend that show because it makes you laugh sooooooooo hard and laughter really is the best medicine! “Friends” has 10 seasons, so I could watch the episodes over and over again and really become friends with the characters. For me, it pulled me out of my discomfort and into this other funny, happy world.
To me, finding your happy place means just doing things that help to feel less alone and much happier. Try to find you happy place because it will help you beat your cancer.