Your feelings about diabetes and cancer

When you are told you have cancer, it is common to feel overwhelmed by different feelings. It can be especially difficult if you are already coping with another condition, such as diabetes. There may be times when you struggle to manage your diabetes, particularly if you are feeling ill because of the cancer treatment.

Being diagnosed with cancer is a life-changing experience for most people. It can have a huge effect on your emotions, as well as on the practical parts of your life. You may be frightened, or feel angry, sad or depressed. You may have these feelings when you are diagnosed, during treatment, or when you’re recovering and adjusting to life after treatment.

These feelings can be very difficult to cope with and sometimes people need more help. This happens to lots of people and doesn’t mean you are not coping.

If you feel anxious, panicky or sad a lot of the time, or think you may be depressed, talk to your doctor or nurse. They can refer you to a doctor or counsellor who can help. They may also prescribe medicine to help with anxiety or an anti-depressant drug.

We have more information about feeling lots of different emotions and suggest ways of coping with them.

Feeling alone

Some people feel alone because they don’t have enough support. Family and friends may live far away, have other commitments or feel uncomfortable because of their own fears about cancer. Try to let your family and friends know how you feel and how they could support you more.

If you need more support, you can call the Macmillan Support Line for free on 0808 808 00 00 and talk to one of our cancer support specialists. You can also join a local support group, or chat to people on our Online Community and share experiences.

You can also call the Diabetes UK Helpline and talk to trained counsellors. Or you can join a Diabetes UK local group.

It’s normal to have times when you want to be left alone to sort out your feelings. But if you find you are avoiding people a lot of the time, try to talk to your doctor or nurse.

The support group has been a bit of a lifesaver for me. It’s good to talk things through with them.