A cancer diagnosis can upend your life not only physically and emotionally but also spiritually. It disturbs the rhythms of your life, altering everything from what you eat daily to how you travel. It presents you with a new set of practical concerns regarding managing symptoms and treatment, financial issues, emotional turmoil, and a lot more. Thus, a cancer diagnosis, in a split second, can push your entire life into a free fall. So, how does one deal with such a terrifying illness? The answer lies in fighting back!
Rather than giving in to despair and hopelessness, an increasing number of cancer patients are empowering themselves by knowing more about their chronic illness and how to manage the treatment process. If you’re clueless in a similar situation, listed below are few tips that can help you manage your treatment and thus, improve the quality of your remaining life.
Overcome financial hurdles
Having medical insurance can’t save you from the never-ending expenses of cancer treatment. Before starting any treatment or consulting a physician, you need to consider your financial status. Fortunately, some organizations help patients in need by providing information on cancer drug assistance programs and offering discounts on medication/treatments that may cost you a fortune. Also, if you are a veteran or your cancer developed because of your employer’s negligence, you can get financial compensation by filing a lawsuit. Mesothelioma is a typical example of cancer caused by workplace hazards. You can click here to find help on how to receive legal assistance. Compensation from these lawsuits can help you cover medical expenses entirely while keeping your family financially stable.
Know about your illness
The key to managing your cancer treatment is having enough knowledge about it. Do not be cowed by your doctor as to say. It would be best if you were well-informed about your illness’s stage, symptoms, risk factors, treatment options, and prognosis. This knowledge would help you fare better and navigate the side effects properly. You can also seek online help through websites like WebMD, Mayo Clinic, etc. However, online reading is not a substitute for professional opinions.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Chemotherapy and radiation can take a significant toll on your overall health. Still, a healthy diet, good sleep, and a little exercise daily can help you shore up physical and emotional side effects during your treatment. You can consult nutrition services for cancer patients to maintain a healthy diet plan and menu. Side effects like nausea, constipation, etc., may make you lose your appetite. Still, nutritious food containing enough energy and essential minerals is vital for keeping such feelings at bay.
Also, you must stay active every day. You might not feel like exercising sometimes, but physical movement is a significant contributor to your overall health. Consult your doctor and create an exercise routine to help you stay active.
Last but not least, getting enough sleep is essential to maintaining a healthy schedule. A good night’s rest of 7 to 8 hours can help improve your health, memory, attention, mood, and coping ability. Thus, try to maintain a normal lifestyle that suits you and stay open to new experiences.
Accept emotional support
Asking for a listening ear is not only beneficial for your health but also your emotional wellbeing. If you let your emotions pile up till the end, you will feel suffocated. Thus, having a network of supportive people like your significant other or close friends may help you in emotional catharsis. You can build a support system by asking for help to complete routine tasks and joining a support group to share your problems with others having the same experiences. It is an excellent way to keep yourself from isolation. This practice will help you cope better with the illness.
Follow your medical schedule
In order for your treatment to be successful, stick to your medication schedule. Always stay in touch with your medical team and try to keep up with the regular checkups. You need to remain aware of your physical changes and anticipated symptoms and follow up on the necessary screening tests. So, never miss an appointment with your oncologist, even if you’re too tired. You can even book an online appointment if being physically present is not necessary.
Seek psychological aid
If you are too anxious or feel like you’re moving downhill into a valley of depression, seek psychological help before it’s too late. Depression can interfere with the prognosis and treatment of your illness. You may also become vulnerable to mood disorders that can affect how you react with others trying to help you out. Thus, it is advisable to seek psychological aid to tackle consistent distress and hopelessness.
Combat the stigmatization
After accepting your cancer diagnosis, you would need to come to grips with cancer-associated stigma. Public stigmatization may put a barrier to your treatment and may lead you to social isolation. For example, your peers might ask if your cancer is contagious, and your loved ones might not interact with you for fear of hurting you unintentionally. So, you need to make the people around you comfortable and ensure that they shouldn’t be afraid of your illness.
Discover your coping technique
Since your cancer treatment is individualized, you need to face this challenge head-on and develop a coping strategy that suits you well. Find and turn to what comforted you before diagnosis, whether that’s a favorite activity, close friend, or a hobby. You can also try keeping a journal, consulting a counselor, practicing relaxation techniques, or adopting new habits like gardening.
A cancer diagnosis may leave you flabbergasted, but you need to adapt positively to the sudden change in your life. The world is full of brave cancer survivors who fought cancer by managing their treatment effectively. These people can be a source of motivation, admiration, and guidance for you. This article mentions a few tips that you may find helpful in managing your chronic illnesses treatment. A synergy of motivation, willpower, and the right coping mechanism will help you navigate your illness and live your life to its fullest.