A cancer diagnosis can prove to be a difficult time even to the strongest of all. A life that one time seemed to move according to your goals and aspirations can suddenly feel like it’s all ending. Thinking about a new normal comes with mixed feelings; anxiety, overwhelmed, and many more reactions.
Here are some of the tips to cope after a cancer diagnosis.
- Understand the diagnosis
The first action immediately after the cancer diagnosis is to obtain facts. Understand cancer you have, its level of advancement, and treatment options. Learn where the cancer is located, the size, and its growth pace.
Having all the facts about cancer helps choose the next steps. You get to decide on the best treatment options. Understand all the available medication and the benefits. Know what to expect during treatment and the possible side effects.
With the information, you can also understand when you need to call a specialist. You will also establish the right lifestyle to avoid recurrent cancer and how to protect your loved ones.
Processing all this information all at once might be quite overwhelming. Consider coming along with a friend or family to help you unpack the information while noting the important aspects. Understand if you need all the detailed information or prefer only a bit depending on your emotional state.
- Take time to cope
Cancer is a surprise to most people. You might angry, scared, shocked, among other varying emotions. It is the normal human reaction, and its part of the post-diagnosis journey.
Some people tend to hide away from family and friends may be for fear of hurting them or stigma. However, this is not the time to be by yourself. At this point, you need as much support as you can to help you come to terms with the condition.
Reach out to family and trusted friends for emotional support to help you adjust. Opt for professional advice through counselling and reach out to various support groups for those who already have the condition. If possible you can ask your doctor for prescriptions to help you relax sleep during the daunting earlier days.
Also, don’t neglect self-care. This is the time to keep enjoy your favorite pastime as you look for ways to cheer up. Engage in your hobbies like cooking, painting and other activities. Best of all, look into the positives.
- It is okay to seek a second opinion
It is not all the time when a cancer diagnosis is correct. You might find varying results when you visit a different professional. The difference might be on the level of cancer, type, or even treatment possibilities.
You might be familiar with the phrase, “denial is the first step towards acceptance.” The same way happens after a cancer diagnosis. It might take some time before you accept the status. If this denial period lasts for an extended period, you delay medication. In the meantime, cancer will be increasing hence lessening your chances of cure.
If you feel that you need a second opinion, it’s alright. Go for it as soon as possible. Look for a professional NPC cancer blood test Hong Kong that has the best of facilities for accurate results.
Remember to keep the second opinion options realistic. It’s okay to look for a second or third opinion. However, it really would make no sense to look for a sixth, seventh or more options to establish facts.
- Find the treatment options
Once you have established all the facts, it is time to talk to your doctor about the treatment options.
Take time to learn about your disease and the various available medication options. The cancers respond differently to the various treatment options. For example, while one condition might need chemotherapy, another one may only require hormonal treatments or radiation. There are also cases where you will use a combination of the various treatment options. Find Talk2 Health for a guide on the options to use for your cancer.
The cancers also vary in how they manifest in the body. While some are aggressive, others stay dormant without any symptoms for long. The treatment option should be all about improving your quality of life.
With various research and studies on cancer, the cancer treatment options keep on changing. Ensure you use the most progressive of the options. Most of the updated medications come with fewer savior effects.
Lastly, look into the possible side effects of the available medication and solutions. Only go for the treatment option if you can endure all the possible side effects. There are times when you can let go of a medication option if the side effects are not worth it. For example, you might not be willing to endure the pain of chemotherapy at an old age to treat an incurable disease.
- Prepare for expenses
Cancer treatment costs a lot of money. You might run out of medical insurance which comes with unexpected costs. Ensure you plan beforehand for the expenses you will incur. Some of the common costs involve office and clinic visits, drugs, rehab, and procedures.
Do not forget about the indirect expenses that are not directly related to treatment. These include child and elder care, counseling, legal procedures, and help with household tasks like cooking and cleaning.
Look into the various factors surrounding the treatment to understand how much money you need. Understand the length of the treatment period and location of the office for transportation costs. Know the cost of the treatment plan and how much the insurance plan is covering.
Talk to an oncology financial counselor to help you understand the actual costs involved in the whole process. Most health facilities also have finance departments that will help you understand everything about the expenses.
As much as a cancer diagnosis might be devastating, the quality of life you lead thereafter depends on your actions. The faster you take to embrace the outcome and look for solutions the better you can manage the condition.
Look for a second opinion if necessary then find the treatment options and have your finances in order. Importantly, always for a support system whether from family and friends, or a support group. You dint have to face everything by yourself.