The Word You Never Wanted to Hear

Most people who has ever been diagnosed with cancer will tell you that they didn’t hear a single thing the doctor said after the word ‘Cancer.’ Among the many things you might feel the first one is probably shock. Even if you know something is wrong, even if you suspected it might be serious, you still might not have expected to hear the word cancer

1.     Shock is a completely natural response to this kind of news. Allow yourself a little time to let it sink in. It’s important that recognize this as part of the experience.

2.      Give yourself a little time before you try to make treatment decisions. Although there are rare cases that this is not true, most patients can afford to spend a few days considering their options or even getting a second opinion. It’s natural to feel a sense of urgency but you need time to absorb the information you’ve received and consult loved ones about your choices. (Note that this isn’t a medical opinion, be sure to consult your doctor first.)

3.     Avoid focusing on What Ifs and disastrous scenarios. Cancer treatment has improved exponentially in the past decade. In addition to understanding existing medicines better, new forms of treatment are showing positive results. People are living with some forms of cancer which used to be considered terminal.

4.     Stay in the present. In a study conducted by Cadence Research healthcare professionals consistently cited patient’s concern about future treatments and outcomes as cause of increased anxiety.  

As the shock of your diagnosis begins to wear off you’ll find yourself needing to make many decisions. These are just a few of the ways that you can help to reduce the natural anxiety and fear of living with a cancer diagnosis.