The doctor just dropped the cancer bomb. Your mind is grasping at straws trying to figure out your new reality, one that could likely involve chemo, losing hair, possible surgeries, and a myriad of other frightening things. So what are the next steps?
Although you may be feeling overwhelmed and alone in this diagnosis, there are in fact so many people and resources that are here to help you make it through and beat cancer. Here are five things that you can do to help put your mind at ease after you find out you have cancer.
Understand there is a whole team behind you
Behind every cancer diagnosis is a whole team of people to help you get through it emotionally, physically, and mentally.
You have your team of doctors, oncologists, nurses, and many other medical professionals to get you through the actual fight against cancer.
There are places like The Teton Cancer Institute that are there to answer your questions and concerns and help to map out treatment options.
You will have many family members and friends who are there to support you. Reach out for help with whatever you need throughout the process.
There are also support groups and online forums to help you connect with others who are going through the same situation and can help you understand how to cope.
Let yourself have a range of feelings
This is an extremely overwhelming time, and you will probably be feeling so many different emotions from anger to deep sadness.
Some may feel they need to be strong and not let their emotions get the better of them. But in the end, it will help to allow yourself to sort through the things you are feeling and process them as they come.
Whatever you are feeling, do not be afraid to let it out. Cry if you need to. Yell if you need to. Don’t be afraid to express your emotions to those around you.
Allow for personal care
After receiving a cancer diagnosis, it is a good idea to remember to do the things that you enjoy.
Allow yourself to take a day or two to process everything. Then, go eat your favorite foods, watch your favorite movies, or spend time with friends and family. Enjoy whatever else brings you a little more peace and happiness.
Get as much information as possible
When you are ready for it, whatever stage of diagnosis and treatment you are at, ask your doctor for all the information available on your diagnosis.
Not all cancers are the same, and even cases with the same type of cancer differ from person to person.
That is also why it is beneficial to be a part of places that are filled with doctors and caregivers who are specialized to help with whatever prognosis you have.
Having all the information possible and understanding the plan the doctor has mapped out for you could help you to feel a tiny sense of control in an otherwise uncontrollable situation.
Let go of the control
One of the best things that you can do is to become understanding. There will be some things that you can control and others that you simply can’t.
Learning to let go, although difficult, will ease the anxiety associated with everything new that you will have to go through.
Trust that your doctors are experienced professionals. They will do everything in their power to help you fight through this. You don’t need to worry about things they will take care of.
Let your loved ones take care of you and lean on them for help and support.