One of the things I often hear is that after a cancer diagnosis, many peoples first reaction is to totally quit their job, and/or other projects. Saying “I’ll need to rest, and take it easy” But that can be counter productive. If you really can’t work while under going treatment, it is important to find some other purpose for your every day.

Working and projects give us purpose. I believe if we don’t feel we have purpose, and have other hardships, we are pre-programed to die!

Whether you come to it from a religious point of view you might consciously or unconsciously think something like “I’m done and have nothing more to contribute on this plane, and I ready to return.”

From a biological evolutionary point of view, it might be something like you think “I’m just a drain on those around me.”

But even harder to combat, it is likely that your biological processes have a trigger set in them that says if you are ill or injured (say by a very difficult surgery), you aren’t taking in food well, and you have little to no physical activity. You are a drain on your tribe and they would be better off if you die.

So fight the urge and the advice to take it easy. Some days you will need rest and that is great, but push yourself to find things you can do to feel a sense of purpose. For me, some days, it’s just cleaning, or working a little on a project. They seem small but allow me to look back on even a bad day, and say “I did something of worth today.”

The study: Purpose in Life as a Predictor of Mortality across Adulthood

The article: Science Explains How a Sense of Purpose Adds Years to Your Life