Every individual has a different way of reacting and dealing with things. Put this way, there is no such thing as right and wrong when it comes to coping mechanisms. Still, finding and adapting healthy ways to cope can be helpful in your cancer journey.
No wonder a cancer diagnosis can alter every aspect of your life. You might feel a flood of emotions and uncertainties and undergo different physical changes you weren’t prepared for. But, no matter what, you must learn to deal with and live with it.
In this article below, we discuss the six practical tips for how to cope with this unwelcome news:
- Research and understand your medical condition
After overcoming the initial shock, your mind may have a lot of confusion, concerns, and questions about your medical condition. Cancer, no matter the stage or type, is a complex disease. So consult the right healthcare professional, research authentic web pages, and read relevant books to gather the correct information.
Even if you have deadly cancer, such as mesothelioma, fully understanding your condition can give you control. You can manage your symptoms and improve your everyday quality of life. It will provide you with a solid understanding of your condition so you can clearly understand what to expect. Besides your doctor, resources like Mesothelioma Hope can give you the most accurate information, from the basics of mesothelioma to treatment options and financial assistance.
Simply put, the more authentic information you have about your cancer, the more well-informed decisions you can make to improve your well-being.
- Determine how the diagnosis will affect your life
After cancer diagnosis, prepare yourself for possible physical and financial changes.
Many cancer patients lose their self-esteem when they learn they have to undergo a noticeable change in their physical appearance. Some common changes in physical appearance due to cancer can include hair loss, weight loss, skin changes, tired looks, etc.
Moreover, a cancer diagnosis can affect your financial stability. Besides high medical bills and insurance costs, cancer treatment can also affect your career.
- Accept your thoughts and emotions
After learning the reality, you might feel many different emotions. For example, you might have a fear of death. You might feel stressed and anxious about the present and future. Or you might even have anger and frustration. Feeling these and other emotions are normal. Instead of ignoring or shutting them down, acknowledge and accept them.
Acknowledgment is the first step to managing your thoughts and feelings. Once acknowledged, try different ways to process and accept your emotions. For example, practicing meditation, listening to soothing music, journaling, taking a walk, etc., are just a few ways to manage your feelings positively.
- Be expressive
Once you receive the distressing news, you might think of putting a strong front and saving your friends and family from heartbreak. However, the harsh reality is that the cancer journey is no easy feat. Yet, luckily, you don’t have to be alone in this challenging journey.
So meet your loved ones in a calm and quiet place and tell them about your medical condition diagnosis. Be sure to share this devastating news with only people you trust.
However, many questions will be raised when you disclose your cancer diagnosis to others. So be prepared. Draw a line about what you want to share. You don’t necessarily have to share every minute detail with others.
- Find support
Don’t just limit your support network to your close friends and family members. Instead, take a step further and join a support group. The best part about joining a support group is connecting with other cancer patients. You can find support groups through hospitals or clinics, online platforms, and local communities.
People in support groups share their experiences, feelings, and valuable information about their medical condition. In this way, you can comfortably talk about your feelings and experiences with people who have been or are in a similar situation.
- Live a Healthy lifestyle
There is no denying that a cancer diagnosis will affect your life significantly. However, a better way to cope with it is by living a life full of joy.
So think about the activities that bring you a sense of happiness and contentment. It could be reading, drawing, playing piano, etc. Once you do what you love, you will significantly improve your mental and emotional well-being.
Gentle exercises and yoga can also help decrease the possibility of new cancer cells forming in you and help you cope with the side effects of the treatments.
Let’s face it, one of the most challenging moments of your life may be learning that you have cancer. And while there exist many coping strategies, the sad reality is cancer journey will be different for each patient. Some might give in to their emotions and rely on drugs and alcohol. In contrast, others may seek the right professional help from the start. However, learning healthy coping strategies can give you more control and is essential to your recovery process. So take help from these tips and stay strong!