What Should I Do if I’m Diagnosed with Cancer?
Developing coping strategies can help reduce your stress and make you feel more empowered – more in control. The following are some mechanisms that you may find beneficial in dealing with your cancer diagnosis.
LEARN THE FACTS
Knowledge is power. Be an active participant in your treatment plan by asking questions and staying informed.
Getting as much useful information about your cancer diagnosis and treatments available will help you understand the diagnosis and help you make informed decisions about your care, so you stay in control of your body.
Be good to yourself. Take time each and every day to do something nice for yourself – something you enjoy doing – like taking a bath, going for a walk, reading a good book, visiting a loved one, meditating, or seeing a good movie.
Do what relaxes you and makes you feel good. Nurturing your mental and spiritual well-being goes a long way in helping to heal your body.
This can be an emotionally draining time. You probably have a million thoughts and fears running through your mind.
Many people find that expressing themselves creatively is a great way to cope with the stress of a cancer diagnosis. Journaling, painting, creating music, and drawing are all excellent ways to do that.
When you’re diagnosed with cancer, you’re going to be bombarded with information – paperwork, pamphlets, insurance documents, forms to fill out, phone numbers, appointment dates and times, addresses, business cards of physicians and therapists, etc. It can get very overwhelming.
It helps to keep all of the information together in a single folder or binder. Having all of this information in one place can help alleviate unnecessary stress.
Even if the papers aren’t organized inside the binder or the folder, at least you know it won’t take too long to sift through it and find what you want. Make sure your own copies of multi-page paperwork are always stapled together so documents stay organized.
PRACTICE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can give your body the advantage it needs to heal more quickly. Follow a healthy diet that consists of fresh foods. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and rest.
If you’re up for it and your doctor says it’s OK, try to incorporate some exercise into your routine. Even just walking your dog outside is good exercise.
ACCEPT HELP FROM OTHERS
As strong, independent people, many of us find it difficult to admit we need help. However, now more than ever, try to open yourself up to accepting assistance from others.
Friends, family, and members of your community can run errands, provide transportation, prepare meals, and help you with household chores. Helping you allows the people who care about you to know they are contributing – so let them help you!
FIND A SUPPORT SYSTEM
Confide in friends, relatives, members of your church or temple, a therapist, or a support group so that you can express your feelings. It’s unhealthy to keep your emotions bottled up.
Talking through your feelings can be quite cathartic and a good method of emotional healing. Others can help you share your fears, hopes, and victories throughout your cancer journey.
TALK TO OTHER CANCER PATIENTS AND SURVIVORS
Even if you have a great support system, you may find it difficult to talk to someone who hasn’t experienced a cancer diagnosis, since they may not be able to fully grasp what you’re going through. It may be very helpful to talk to others who are in your situation or who have been in your situation in the past.
Reach out to friends or family members who have had cancer. You can also connect with other cancer survivors online or through local support groups. Your doctor or the American Cancer Society can help connect you to other cancer survivors.
FIND THE COPING STRATEGY THAT IS BEST FOR YOU
Every person is different and therefore deals with challenging situations differently. When it comes to a cancer diagnosis, you have to figure out which coping strategy works best for you.
Take a deep breath and relax. You can do this. You are not alone!
Cancer Treatment Center in Miami
We at the CyberKnife Center of Miami know that a cancer diagnosis can be scary. Allow us to help you by answering any questions you may have and helping you come up with a personalized treatment plan.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, reach out to our caring and experienced physicians and nurses at our Miami office at (800) 204-0455 or (305) 279-2900. You can also contact us here and we’ll get back to you. We are here to help you enjoy life to the fullest.