Every crisis has a winner. During the initial stages of a Cancer Diagnosis, barely feeling like a winner is acceptable, as being diagnosed with cancer can be a strenuous situation. One goes through what psychologists call the ‘stages of grief’, and we must understand that reaching the final stage, that is-acceptance can be difficult. Reading this blog would convey a fair message on how to cope with days ahead after a cancer diagnosis.
In order to begin a coping strategy, First and foremost, one must Get the Facts and Details About their Cancer Diagnosis and Get Organized. The details could range from the very basic- “what kind of cancer do I have”? Or to a more thought-provoking question of- “what are my treatment opinions and how it would benefit me”? Once this step is accomplished with a set of answers as well, organizing ALL the files, reports and any information collected along the way must be kept together. These could include- breast imaging reports, lab results, pathology reports, and even a journal to keep ‘track of thoughts’, as a cancer diagnosis can take a massive toll on one’s mental health.
Second, Approach the Situation with Open Arms and Have a Support Group. It is essential to be in touch with loved ones, doctors, and even members of a support group like Canfem’s Peer Support Group after a cancer diagnosis. Not only would it boost morale but also provide a more proactive approach to face the situation. During the process of building confidence, it is also essential to ‘know your facts’. Being aware is an important key to boost your self-confidence. One can become more aware by the awareness programs and webinars conducted by CANFEM itself on various essential topics like early symptoms, diagnosis, treatments or COVID-19 and cancer, etc.
Third, Predict Possible Changes in the Body and Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle. Instantly after a cancer diagnosis, begin to prepare for the changes a body would undergo. Changes could appear anytime during the treatment as well as even after the diagnosis itself. It is always better to construct a fair idea beforehand to be able to cope later. While bodily changes are unavoidable, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is possible. A healthy body avoids the inevitable to the maximum and helps you recover faster. Performing yoga or any other exercise which is convenient and maintaining a balanced diet would come a long way in aiding a cancer recovery.
Finally, Get a Second Opinion and Develop your Own Coping Strategy. Once the diagnosis is final, and decisions are definitive, find your coping strategy, as every one of us is different and has contrasting needs and priorities. Figuring out what’s best for you would help you in the long run.
Emerging a winner after finding the perfect balance of the methods of coping is ideal. In order to curb this challenging situation, a positive mindset and a strong fighting spirit would ensure a speedy recovery. By bringing the ‘inner strength’ is the best medicine to fight this situation. Stay Strong and find a path that paves the way to the best possible outcomes.
Author-Shreya Saxena, Jahnavi Ahuja