According to https://www.cancer.gov, an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will have been diagnosed in the United States in 2018. Coming to know that you have cancer is a life-shattering event. After the initial shock is over, it is important that you pick up the pieces as quickly as possible and equip yourself with the knowledge and skills that can help you to cope with the stresses. Some practical tips from a cancer survivor for coping:
Know More about Your Cancer Diagnosis
After you have been told that you have cancer, it is important to obtain the maximum possible information about the kind of cancer you have. Typical questions that you should seek answers include the type and location of cancer, how far has it spread, how treatable is it, and whether there is any chance of it being cured. You should also inquire about how the cancer is expected to affect your life. It is generally helpful to bring along a family member or a close friend to the initial consultation sessions with the doctor. If you would rather not be bogged down with the details, you can inform your doctor who will take care to address only the basic issues.
Maintain Open Lines of Communication
It is important to maintain open lines of communication with your caregivers as well as your family after you have been diagnosed with cancer. If those around you try to protect you by not sharing the news of your treatment or you pretend not to care, you can end up feeling isolated. Handling emotions can be easier when you and others around you are transparent with each other regarding your cancer.
Expect Physical Changes
Depending on the kind of cancer you have and the course of the treatment that might include suicide gene therapy, it is quite natural for your body to experience physical changes. It is important to ask your doctor about the changes that can be expected so that you are not taken by surprise. You can even buy wigs and other adaptive devices that will make you more comfortable and will not distract people around you. Joining a cancer support group can be very helpful in obtaining advice on various issues. Plan to take leave of absence from your workplace if you need extended hospitalization.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
It is important that you keep your fitness to the peak, as that will help you to fight cancer better. If it is physically possible, continue with light exercises and stick to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Do not let stress and fatigue to get on top of you; always ensure you get adequate rest and sleep. Try to maintain a lifestyle and activity schedule that is as close to normal as possible.
While you focus on getting better, it is also a good time to review your goals and objectives, especially if you are expecting a curtailed duration of your existence. Try to find time for all the things that you want to do and make your family and friends a part of the support group. Do not hesitate to accept help from others; remember they are also under stress from having to deal with cancer of a loved one.