There is no right way to deal with a cancer diagnosis.
Everyone’s journey with the disease is unique, but sometimes advice from those who also went through it can help. Here are tips from cancer patients and survivors:
- “Bring someone with you to every appointment. It helps to have another set of ears to receive information and to have someone to support you. You will be going through a lot of life-changing experiences, but you'll get through it and be stronger!”
- “Attitude is everything. You will have good days and bad. It may not seem like it at times, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
- “Ask questions, keep a positive attitude, be grateful that you have a chance and can fight. I had a great friend with me during chemo. We laughed a lot. They even sent us to a different floor. Most of all, TRUST your doctor and your nurses.”
- “Record every visit so you are clear on what the doctor is telling you. Be kind to yourself; you will have bad days, but make sure to enjoy the good days. Accept help.”
- "Always have a positive attitude. Worrying will not change the outcome of the situation. Educate yourself and your family on what you're going through. And always bring someone with you to your appointments — another set of ears helps you if you missed something. God bless."
- “Breathe. Sometimes it is the only thing you can do to relieve the anxiety. Give the doctors the time necessary to work out a good plan for you, and breathe while they are doing it.”
- Brett says, "Stay calm, hum when you get needle pokes, and just keep dancing!" Brett's mom says, “I carry a notepad every time I meet with doctors, every time a new med or blood/platelets are given; if you have a reaction or people question what happened when, you have detailed information. Get in the best physical shape you can before transplant; it will only help you get up and do your laps that are required from the PT team. There may be times you can't even walk, like Brett, but now he continues to dance.”
- “My tip when I was diagnosed with cancer was not to read everything on the Internet; it was full of very depressing studies, and because I was in the medical field, I read too much. Keep yourself busy. I got back to work when I could, keeping my nausea meds with me. When in the hospital, I told my visitors, 'I might fall asleep on you, and it's not that I don't enjoy your company; I just need my rest.' My visitors knew I wasn't there to entertain them and would sit quietly at my bedside.”
- “Staying positive is the most important thing you can do. There will be days where it seems like things will never get better, but they do. As you go through each chemo treatment and procedure, try to think about how in six months to a year, the pain you're experiencing now will be a thing of the past. Lastly, keep your loved ones close, because nothing's worse than spending endless days and nights alone in the hospital while in immense pain.”
Thank you to everyone who shared their advice. Read more tips on our Facebook page.
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