A cancer diagnosis always comes as a shock for many and can be overwhelming and confusing. Patients take and deal with the diagnosis differently. It is no secret that cancer will change all perceptions of your life. However, how you deal with the diagnosis and the disease will affect your life significantly going forward. Below are some tips that will help you through as you cope with your cancer diagnosis.
Understand all facts surrounding your Diagnosis
It is impossible to deal with the unknown. The first step to cope with a cancer diagnosis is by understanding it. Ask all the questions you feel you need answers to. There is never a wrong question to ask when it comes to cancer. Some patients want to know the basics, while others wish for all details laid on the table. Whichever type you are, make sure that your oncologist explains to you everything you need to know. Understanding your cancer diagnosis will help you to plan for your future. However, ensure that you get your answers from a reliable source to avoid being misled.
Accept your new Reality
It is okay to be in denial, but do not be for long. A cancer diagnosis can come as a huge blow. It is okay to be confused and wonder why you, but do not be stuck there. It is essential to accept that you are sick so that you may be able to look for treatment and solutions. Staying in your denial phase for so long will only delay the treatment allowing cancer to grow and spread even more. Denial might help you not to be overwhelmed, but it will slow your psychological adjustment.
Communicate with your loved ones
You do not have to deal with cancer alone. It may be hard and uncomfortable to tell your family and friends, but you should tell them when you are ready. Take your time to convey the message to them and choose the right time. Know that cancer will not only affect your life alone but extendedly of those close to you too. Family and friends can offer a great support system as a cancer diagnosis can result in anxiety and depression.
Ask for Help
It is essential to ask for help whenever you feel overwhelmed. Remember that you do not have to deal with this alone. Learn to accept help as early as possible so that cancer will not drain you. Friends and family can help you with chores around the house and even drive you to the hospital. Accepting help from caregivers makes them feel useful and needed during this challenging time. If your neighbors want to help, allow them too as you will need all the help you can get.
Try out an Alternative Therapy
There are several types of cancer treatment. However, the type of cancer and how advanced it is will determine the kind of treatment you receive. When it comes to cancer treatment, you will need to learn and do your research. Patients are either subjected to only one type of treatment or a combination of treatments. If your treatment is not working for you, it is okay to seek a more practical alternative, such as cesium therapy. Make sure you consult, and you are under the guidance of an oncologist as you seek an alternative option.
Maintain your Self-Esteem and Deal with Stigma
There are so many myths and misconceptions that are still surrounding cancer; hence you can experience stigma. Some people still believe that cancer is contagious. Thus, they may distance themselves from you. Surround yourselves with people who love you and understand you.
Know that you are still you despite cancer, and you can continue doing what made you happy. Acknowledge that cancer treatment can lead to changes in your appearance, attributes, and personal abilities. Be positive when these changes occur, and remember that it is just a phase, and you can be okay with treatment.
Find a Support Group
Understanding that you are not the only one battling cancer will help you physiologically. Talking about how you feel will help you overcome depression. Find a support group of other cancer survivors who have experienced what you are going through. These groups not only offer emotional support. They will also give you some insights on what to expect as you undergo treatment. If you are a spiritual person, you can look for a faith-based support group that will offer prayers and spiritual support. You can search for an online support group or find one in your community.
Take Care of Yourself
After the diagnosis, every day will have different emotions as you try to cope. You must change your lifestyle to a healthy one and take good care of yourself. Start by changing the simple things gradually. Eating a healthy diet will help to keep your energy in check and boost your immunity. Try doing some exercise regularly to boost your mood. Exercise according to how you feel. Get enough rest as treatment may result in fatigue. Do not stay in pain. If you are in pain, consult with your oncologist.
Do Not Give In
It is okay to set your family and financial matters in place, but that does not mean you should surrender to cancer. Maintaining a positive attitude and keeping hope will be important as you try to cope with the diagnosis. Optimistic patients who are hopeful about the future adjustment cope better with their illness than pessimistic patients. It may be impossible to be hopeful, especially after getting the diagnosis but never lose sight that cancer is treatable.
A cancer diagnosis may be one of the hard truths to face and cope up with. You may need some time to accept that it is part of your reality. However, with time you will be able to come to terms with it. We hope that the tips above will help you as you try to process the facts.