These Are the 3 Things to Do Immediately After Your Cancer Diagnosis
Cancer Is No Longer the End of the Journey. While there is still not a cure, you have plenty of reasons to live, and no reason to believe you won’t accomplish everything on your bucket list with time left over for new adventures. It is also important to realize that not all cancers are the same. Some are mild when compared to others. Some skin cancers are no more difficult to treat than a hangnail, and should not burden your life much more than said hangnail.
Not all pancreatic cancers are the same. While there is no such thing as a good cancer, there are many that are more than survivable. There is no cure for diabetes. But there is also no reason that your diabetes cannot be well-controlled, allowing for a long and happy life.
The key to surviving a serious diagnosis is early detection and intervention. This is why it is important that you don’t just accept the first doctor that accepts your insurance. Do a little diligence and find a doctor that will err on the side of too much testing rather than too little. The best doctors will utilize the best cancer screening supplies and services. Those are the doctors who will be in the best position to spot issues early. When it comes to diagnosing cancer, timing is everything. So immediately after you receive your diagnosis, here is what to do next:
Review Your Options
The first thing you need to know is that when cancer is caught early, there are always options. So be sure to review your options after a cancer diagnosis. Don’t waste time with a prolonged state of denial. Skip straight to anger, bargaining, and whatever it takes to get you to acceptance. Just remember that acceptance is not the same as surrender. No one is advocating that. What is needed is timely action. Just as the timing is critical when it comes to screening, it is equally vital when it comes to treatment. If you wait too long to decide on your treatment, you could lose the advantage you gained from early detection. So be sure to follow up early detection with early treatment. You don’t have to rush. But you do have to move with purpose.
Identify Your Priorities
If you are going to live, you are going to need a reason to live. Sometimes, the best course of action is a treatment that will leave you drained and depressed and wondering if it is really worth it. You have to be able to answer that in the affirmative every time. The way you do that is to identify your priorities.
You cannot allow yourself to be wholly defined by your illness. This is true regardless of the illness. If you are not careful, your life will become all about the cancer. The only reason to have a car is to drive to treatments. The only reason to have a job is to pay for treatments. The only reason you have a family is for moral support after the treatments. These are all terrible ways to think about anything. In the same way that no one is defined by their mental illness, you are not defined by your cancer. Your life is not about cancer, or even surviving cancer. Your life is about those people you hold most dear. When they are at the center of your life and the top of your priorities, your cancer treatments will just be one part of a well-lived life.
Find Someone You Trust
Whenever you are facing a major life change, you need to find someone you can trust with your raw emotions so that you don’t have to go it alone. Not everyone in your life is capable of dealing with your inner-most thoughts. But some are. The best way to protect yourself from sinking into deep depression is to decompress with someone who can handle it. Don’t try to go it alone.
Cancer is extremely common. Many experts suggest that the only reason we don’t all die of cancer is that we don’t live long enough. Cancer is as natural as arthritis. If you get that diagnosis, face it by reviewing your options, getting your priorities in order, and confiding in the people who can help you keep it together.