Being diagnosed with cancer is inarguably a life-changing experience. The fear, worry, anxiety, dread, distresses, and in some cases, depression can make the diagnosis even more frightening.
You had absolutely no control over your diagnosis, but you have the opportunity to decide what happens to the quality of your life at this stage. What is most important is accepting the fact that you need to take charge of your health and doing so begins with getting the best care.
Getting the best care is, without doubt, your best chance at winning the fight against cancer. It is primarily the right combination of personalized treatment which is a function of your present health status, the type of cancer, its location, stage of development, and of course, your treatment goals.
Here are five practical steps to help you get the best care you need:
- Seek and accept the support of family and friends
Family, friends, cancer patients, survivors, teams of doctors. The first step to getting the best care is to seek and accept the support you can get. Bear in mind that you have complete control over how much information you’ll share with these people; the last thing you should do is to hide your diagnosis. Truth be told, cancer treatment and recovery are consuming time-wise, physically, and financially. So, don’t hesitate in sharing your journey with them. Delegate tasks you know you wouldn’t be able to handle anymore. Stay emotionally connected with them and try not to get offended when people act insensitively.
- Get properly informed
With the questions running through your mind, simply knowing that you have cancer is never enough. You need to get very proactive about learning about your diagnosis, its treatment, and your role in ensuring that you keep thriving. Thankfully, a good number of reports on cancer research is easily accessible online. You can use Oncopadi to seek expert opinion from doctors. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to listen to the experiences of other cancer patients or survivors. They might just have the right advice for helping you thrive during this period.
- Have a budget for your treatment
Truthfully, no cancer treatment is known to be inexpensive. Whether you decide to go for surgery, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, the cost is usually on the high side. Therefore, it is best you have a clear estimate of the cost of your treatment. A budget significantly reduces the stress of your diagnosis. The budget will give you a head start on getting funding, especially if you don’t have a health insurance plan.
- Embrace lifestyle changes
Your cancer diagnosis effectively changes ‘life as you know it.’ You are better off embracing these changes that come with it. You must understand that you are not less of who you were before the diagnosis.
The basic difference between now and then; lies in the fact that you’ll need to be more intentional about certain things. These include your diet, exercise, communication, medical checkups, and mental health. There is really no shame in letting other people care for you or asking your cancer support group for a list of things you’d be needing to cushion the side effects of your treatment.
- Stay positive
There is no evidence to support the claim that positive thoughts alone can cure cancer. However, staying positive during this period increases your chances of having a better quality of life. A positive attitude, coupled with the right treatment and support gives you a better grip on your diagnosis and places you on the path to recovery and health.
Still, got questions or need further clarification? Please drop it in the comment box or chat with our oncologists and psychologists directly. We would love to hear from you.
Until the next episode. Remember: “The quality of care you receive during this period is a function of your choices”. Cancer is a difficult disease to treat, but it isn’t impossible. #Choose wisely.
Loads of Love