6 Tips for Dealing with Cancer in the Early Stages

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Finding out you have cancer for the first time can be a shock. As a result, you may go through a range of emotions when trying to come to terms with your new reality. However, after all of the emotions of fear, sadness, and anxiety settle, you may then be faced with the other side of things.

This is often related to how to deal with your illness as well as what the treatment process will entail. There are many ways that you can deal with this phase of your life, and several require you to embrace self-care, look after yourself, and welcome the support of your loved ones. On that note, in this article, you’re going to find six tips for dealing with the initial stages of cancer.

Find a Support Group

The initial shock of finding out that you have cancer can be hard to process, so it’s important that one of the first things you do is look for a support system. This should consist of people that can help you through the lows, give you hope, and encourage you. When looking for support groups, think about choosing people you feel comfortable expressing yourself to as well as those you feel comfortable around. Consider asking around to see if you can find a group of people going through similar challenges as you are. You should also feel free to utilize family and friends as at times, they offer the support you need. Some benefits of support groups include feeling less isolated or judged, gaining a sense of empowerment and control, talking openly and honestly about your feelings, as well as getting practical advice about treatment options. Whatever you do, try not to keep all of your emotions bottled up inside.

Learn as Much about Your Condition as Possible 

Another key step in dealing with the initial stages of cancer is learning as much about your condition as possible. By having an in-depth understanding of the type of cancer that you have, it may help you better able to deal with the illness. When trying to get information regarding your condition, one of the first people that you should speak with is your doctor. Ask them to explain your condition in a way that you understand and also find out if they can get more information that you can read later. Some other places that you should look for information on cancer include the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Cancer Society, and the National Cancer Institute. You may need to do more in-depth research to find out more about your specific types of cancer if you happen to have breast cancer, lung cancer, or prostate cancer, for instance.

Stick to a Routine 

When suffering from any terminal illness, sticking to a routine is also key. Depending on the type of cancer that you have, the treatment processes may differ. Some treatment types of treatment include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy, stem cell transplant, and precision medicine. No matter what treatment type you have, it’s imperative that you take your treatment in a timely manner and follow the recovery instructions as closely as possible.  Some other things you can do to help you stick to a routine include writing down the things you have to do every day, setting daily reminders, and leaving post-it-notes around.

Know What Physical Changes to Anticipate 

Similarly to carrying out research, you should know what physical changes to anticipate as a result of your illness. By doing so, you can prepare both mentally, physically and emotionally for what is coming in the following months. If, for instance, you’re likely to experience hair loss due to certain drugs you take, then you may want to begin embracing yourself with no hair or thin about getting a wig. You may even find that insurance helps you pay for some of the wigs as well as adaptive devices. Additionally, think about how treatment may impact your daily activities as you may end up having regular doctor’s appointments, requiring you to take time off work.

Ensure You Plan Financially 

When unexpected illnesses like cancer arise, it can take a blow on your finances. This could be because hospital bills and treatments are expensive, especially if you don’t have insurance to cover it. Another reason that an illness like cancer could affect you financially is that it often means that you have to take time off of work to go through treatments as well as the process of recovery. On these premises, you should definitely ask your healthcare provider whether there are any resources available to you both before and after recovery. Some other things to consider when weighing out the financial implications of your illness include whether your insurance will cover treatment and medication, whether you qualify for a disability benefit, and how your diagnosis could potentially affect your life insurance.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle 

Although a diagnosis of cancer can make you feel hopeless, you should always remember that things can still get better. It is also key that you continue to look after yourself during the process of treatment. One of the ways to do this is by maintaining a healthy diet and not allowing your health to deteriorate. Some tips for a healthy diet if you have cancer include choosing wholegrain breads and cereals, drinking 100% fruit or vegetable juices, limiting sugary foods, having a leafy green salad with your dinner, and trying to eat even when you don’t have an appetite. There are also certain ways to help ease the common discomforts of cancer such as drinking water when constipated, getting rid of diarrhea by eating bland foods, and protecting mouth sores and managing dry mouth by grinding foods so that they’re easier to swallow.

Dealing with a terminal illness can be extremely difficult. However, looking for ways to deal with it that works for you is essential. Doing so should help you get through the difficult times and hopefully, make dealing with the recovery process easier.

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