7 tips for helping you cope with your cancer diagnosis
It happens all of the sudden. A routine doctor’s appointment turns into cancer. You’re shocked, scared, hurt and angry all at once. Nothing in life prepares you for this moment. How do you cope with this diagnosis?
- Let people help you: You feel like you have to refuse all help in an attempt to put up a strong front. It’s not weak to let people make your life easier during treatment. Helping you makes them feel like they’re contributing to your fight.
- Educate yourself on your disease: Ask questions, read articles, and take notes during meetings with your doctor. Understanding the road ahead makes patients feel more in control and confident when making treatment decisions.
- Bring a note taker: It’s impossible to absorb and retain all the information your doctor will provide. Bring a family member or friend to your appointments to take notes so you can take time later to review and better understand your visit.
- Talk to survivors: What can you expect from treatment? What helped them cope? Ask survivors for advice that can help make your journey easier.
- Join a support group: As much as they want to help, friends and family may not fully understand what you’re going through. Support groups are filled with people who understand your daily pain and challenges.
- Continue with your life: Though cancer has become a part of your life, it doesn’t have to be your life. Try to continue with as many “regular” activities as possible.
- See a cancer counselor: Not everyone needs counseling but some may benefit from seeing a mental health professional. If you notice that you’ve lost your appetite, have trouble sleeping, or other symptoms of depression, you may want to consider a counselor that could help you deal with your stress.
Photo Credit: Susan G. Komen