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Understanding and Managing a Cancer Diagnosis

Understanding and Managing a Cancer Diagnosis

A cancer diagnosis divides life into ‘before’ and ‘after.’ Suddenly, you have to deal with being sick and all the different feelings that come with it. You might have to take medicine, go to the hospital, or change your routine. It can feel like a roller coaster of emotions. However, as difficult as things can be, there is also an opportunity to find inspiration and strength.

In this article, we’ll help you understand the path that many go down when discovering they have cancer and show you ways to make it a bit easier. Remember, everyone has the ability to get through these tough times, no matter how dark they seem.

Coping with Cancer

Taking Charge of Your Emotional State

Cancer is no less an emotional challenge than it is a physical one, with people experiencing many different emotions from one moment to the next. You might be shocked at first, feel alone, and experience anxiety when facing treatments or waiting for test results. It’s normal to feel sad, angry, depressed, or even guilty.

Remember, you’re not alone. Lots of people with cancer feel overwhelmed. Being aware of these feelings is an important part of dealing with the disease. If you find it hard to cope, it is often helpful to reach out to friends and family. Talking to others who know what you’re going through can make you feel understood. They can share helpful advice or just listen when you need to talk. In particular, support groups often provide both a professional counselor and a safe environment to share with people in a similar situation.

Mental health professionals, especially those experienced in oncology, can also provide good advice and a safe place to talk about how you feel. Writing down your thoughts, and putting emotions into words, can be another way to cope with stress and anxiety.

The most important thing is to be honest about your feelings. Holding them in can make things harder in the long run. Remember, it’s okay to need help: Dealing with your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness and is an important part of getting better.

Managing Daily Life

Dealing with cancer can make everyday life tricky, but routines help ease the strain. First, try to keep a daily schedule like the one you had before finding out about the cancer. Engaging in regular activities, like morning walks or Sunday brunches, can be comforting and help you maintain a sense of normalcy.

Next, it’s crucial to stay on top of your treatment regimen. You can use a digital calendar or a planner to keep track of medical appointments, medicines, and rest times. Setting reminders can also help you stay organized and manage your treatments with less stress. Preparedness will make you feel less anxious about your treatment, which will give you a feeling of control.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help with things like shopping, cleaning, or errands.

The goal is to balance staying independent, getting help when you need it, and resting when you feel exhausted.

Making Meaningful Connections

When you find out you have cancer, many things in your life change, including friendships. Some friends and family might become closer to support you, but others might not know how to act and stay away.

It’s really important to keep strong and healthy relationships during this time. This means talking regularly, not just about medical issues, but also about normal everyday happenings, funny things that happened to you, an unexpected visitor, or even gossip. This helps you and them remember life outside of the hospital. On the other hand, if you need space or are feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to let others know.

In addition to maintaining existing relationships, the treatment process can serve as an opportunity to meet people in a similar situation, creating strong friendships based on shared experience. These new friends can offer comfort and understanding long after your treatment has ended.

Balancing Work and Self-Care

Balancing work while dealing with cancer treatment is tricky, but with good planning and clear communication, you can make it work.

Firstly, know your limits and work within them: avoid taking on too much. It’s okay to slow down, and important to communicate openly with your boss and HR team. Many companies can offer flexible hours or remote work, so discussing your needs helps all sides adjust to the situation.

Secondly, don’t hesitate to ask for help, whether from a coworker or a counselor. Getting support is not a sign of weakness, but of strength.

Actively thinking about and managing a balance of work duties and medical requirements, will help avoid stress and tension while ensuring both your continued workplace contribution and health.

Sheba Cancer Center

Treating nearly two million patients every year, Sheba is a global leader in healthcare, recognized by Newsweek as one of the world’s best hospital for the last five years. At Sheba’s Jusidman Oncology Hospital, the latest treatments and technologies are used to help treat clinical aspects, while a special emphasis is also given to the emotional and social needs of patients and their families. Sheba puts patients and their families first, focusing on their overall well-being.

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