Cancer as a word is everywhere. On your newsfeed, someone in your family or a friend perhaps. Cancer seems to be all everyone seems to be talking about, and yet for the vast majority of people who get their cancer diagnosis: it’s a huge, huge surprise.
No amount of counseling, support, or information will completely remove the shock and raw wholly. Each person who goes through a cancer journey has a right to approach it in their own way, but we here at the Surgery Group of Los Angeles humbly offer these words of support and advice from our years of experience treating cancer patients.
- Talk to someone, who it is up to you – A trusted friend or loved one? Of course. Random person at a bar? Go for it. Your cancer support team? You betcha. Other cancer survivors? Whatever you want. Who that person is is entirely up to you. Stay authentic or work on authenticity, there is no need to be faux cheery or need to discuss deep moody topics just because you have cancer. Talking with other cancer survivors might give you insight into what parts of the cancer journey are completely normal and perhaps bond with people that might understand more than others.
- Focus on the treatment options and what you can control, not statistics – There is nothing wrong with learning everything you need to know about your cancer diagnosis and treatment, we recommend it. But don’t get bogged down in the year mortality rates, or which type of cancer is worse, focus on what you can control, like making sure that your treatment plan and the team are crucial and right for your diagnosis.
- Advocate for yourself! – Just because your doctor might be a specialist of some pedigree in this diagnosis gives them no excuse to bully or talk down to you. If you feel like your doctor is not giving you a clear and informative picture of your treatment options, and isn’t discussing the complexity of your case with you in full, move on. You know your body better than anyone and you should fight for it.
- Maintain who you are – It is a fact that some things will change as your cancer journey commences. You will have times when you suddenly are unable to do things. Focus on what you can do, maintain your physical regimen, or begin a new one. Keep pursuing goals and passion, you may need to focus your energy more on what really matters but keep your life as unchanged as you can.
- Eat well and exercise – You and your body are about to go on a journey, make sure that it’s well maintained.
In essence focus on getting healthy and staying connected to the things and people that you love and trust. It’s good advice for anyone, but in a sea of misinformation and shocking articles, please consider this a healthy reminder that this is your journey, it is unique and will have its own complexities, and you don’t have to listen to anyone but knowledge and yourself.
If you or a loved one is processing a cancer diagnosis and would like to speak with someone who can help contact a medical professional today.