Know the Facts
Get the facts about your cancer diagnosis. Write down any questions you may have and bring them with you when you meet with your physician. Knowing and understanding what you’re facing gives you a sense of empowerment and helps you make appropriate decisions regarding your treatment and care.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
By maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle you can improve your energy levels and elevate your mood during treatment. Choose nutritious foods, participate in physical exercise, and get adequate rest. Talk to your cancer care team about other ways in which you can maintain your strength and combat stress and fatigue throughout your journey.
Form a Support Network
Tell family, friends, and co-workers about your diagnosis and learn to accept their help along the way. Allowing others to help gives them a sense of contribution and can ease the burden for you.
Maintain Your Normal Lifestyle
While you may need to make some modifications, maintaining your normal routine and continuing to participate in activities that you enjoy can be very therapeutic during this time. Take each day as it comes and remember to be flexible to changing your schedule if something unexpected arises or you aren’t feeling well.
Connect with Other People with Cancer
Whether it’s talking to a friend or family member who’s had cancer or attending a support group, connecting with others who are going through similar circumstances can help you feel less isolated in your diagnosis. These people can also ease your mind about what to expect during treatment, suggest ways for you to manage side effects, and direct you to valuable resources.
Consider the Financial Impact
Cancer treatment can put a large financial burden on individuals and their families. Expenses may include medications, medical devices, travel, parking, and time away from work. Contact your insurance provider to get a better understanding of your benefits. Share your concerns with the financial counselors at your clinic or hospital. In most cases, they can direct you to other resources for financial assistance in the community.
Develop Coping Strategies
Each person’s coping strategy is unique, and it’s important that you find one that works for you. Some ideas include: practicing relaxation techniques, writing in a journal, finding a source of spiritual support, sharing your feelings with a friend over coffee, and setting aside time to be alone.
Remember That Cancer Doesn’t Define You
Don’t lose sight of your hopes, dreams, and passions in the light of a cancer diagnosis. These are not only a source of hope and happiness; they remind you of who you were before you had cancer and who you are throughout your journey.