7 tips for helping you cope with your cancer diagnosis

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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 frontIt’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

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