Explaining the Steps of Your Journey Towards a Cancer-Free Life

Explaining the Steps of Your Journey Towards a Cancer-Free Life

Being diagnosed with cancer is a shock that no one ever fully expects to happen to them. We all know that cancer exists and comes in a multitude of shapes and forms, but unless it is a genetic probability in their family, it isn’t usually in the forefront of most people’s minds.

Recovering from the shock of the diagnosis requires time and care itself, but your doctor will probably recommend that you quickly begin the steps to stopping cancer in its tracks before it metastasizes, or spreads.

Depending on the type of cancer you have been diagnosed with and how far along it was when it was caught, you may have a variety of treatment options. These choices are great to have, but they can also be overwhelming at a time when you are already stressed.

Instead of seeking out all of the possible ways to cure cancer yourself and simply overloading an already full plate, take a few minutes to read this guide to your journey towards a cancer-free life.

The Steps That Will Take You to Your Cancer-Free Body

Your life has been derailed and all of your hopes, dreams, and goals have been put on hold while you deal with this invasion of your body. But it doesn’t have to be a permanent detour. Follow these steps after your cancer diagnosis to give your body the best chance at recovery possible.

1. Take control of your emotions and your journey.

Shock is perfectly normal after being told you have cancer. However, this shock phase needs to be taken control of quickly so you can start becoming aggressive with your treatment.

While cancer itself is out of your control and you may feel helpless, there are many factors in your treatment that you can take control of, and you need to focus on those.

2. Turn to someone close to you for companionship.

Going through any difficult time alone makes it harder, but fighting cancer by yourself can make your body extra stressed and even more unhealthy. If you can find a partner to be by your side and you set guidelines ahead of time, this will help you get through the lowest points.

Decide ahead of time how you want your partner to respond if you become emotional. Should they attempt to help you out of your depression or anger? Should they simply listen? Do you want them to snap you out of it? Knowing ahead of time how they are supposed to help you aid them in not feeling helpless, too.

3. Take some time to organize yourself.

During this time, you are going to likely have multiple appointments, be told dozens of different lifestyle changes to make, and prescribed medication, vitamins, or supplements to take at differing times of the day.

If you don’t have a system in place to record all of this information, you may forget important steps or spin your wheels trying to remember or get ahold of the person who was instructing you. This notebook or other organizer is also a great place to store any questions that you may have before your next appointments.

4. Learn how to weed out your sources as you become informed.

As soon as word gets out that you have cancer, you are going to have many well-wishers and naysayers attempting to give you advice. Try to find a tactful way to respond while still shrugging negativity and suggestions that you don’t feel comfortable with off of your shoulders.

As you begin to naturally put out feelers and research your options yourself, you will also have to learn to recognize the valid sources of treatment, like Poseida and chemotherapy, versus other non-scientifically based or researched forms. From there, you can decide what you feel will work for you.

5. Speak to your doctor about your choices.

Your cancer diagnosis brings with it its own set of treatment options, but you need to be informed about all of them. If you have a knowledgeable doctor, they should be able to tell you about any researched clinical treatments you may be eligible for.

There is such a thing as information overload, though. Once you decide on a course of treatment, stick with it. If you feel overwhelmed with too many options, tell your doctor that and stop your external research yourself. Sometimes what your body needs is a course of action and the rest to let that treatment do its thing.

6. Get a second opinion if you need one.

Remember that you don’t have to accept the medical opinions of your doctor if you are not satisfied with them. There are other specialists who treat your individual form of cancer. Each doctor has a unique approach to treatment and prefers one therapy over another.

If your philosophy of treatment doesn’t match that of the physician you were referred to, don’t hesitate to look around and find another oncologist or specialist whose philosophy matches yours more closely.

7. Determine your financial standing.

Sadly, many people can’t treat their cancer diagnosis as aggressively as they want to because they simply can’t afford to. If cancer was not even on the horizon for you, you probably were not planning and budgeting ahead for the enormous treatment costs it entails.

Even if you have medical insurance, it may not cover cancer at all or treatments that you are interested in receiving in particular. Check over your plan’s fine print carefully or have an expert do this for you and let you know what is covered. Your doctor’s office should be able to help you with this, too, when you and your physician make a tentative decision as to a plan of care.

8. Become active in your healing.

Many cancer patients take a passive approach to their treatment. They do the bare minimum that their doctor tells them to do in the process, relying on science and medicine to work their miracles. But eliminating cancer requires changes to your whole life, not just medication and therapies.

Look into clinical trials if your progress isn’t going as you would like. Take a hands-on approach to find other people who are going through or have already recovered from the diagnosis that you have. Ask them what worked for them and what did not, and then pick and choose from what you hear to compile your own lifestyle plan.

9. Don’t become a recluse.

It can be easy during your treatment to internalize your pain and stress and prefer to isolate yourself rather than put on a happy face when you feel anything but. However, forcing yourself to interact with your friends and family is often the best treatment that you can receive.

Talk to your friends, family, and especially your children about your diagnosis and what it means. Let them know, within reason, how you plan on tackling your treatment and what you need from them. If someone offers to help, even if you don’t want to “burden” them, let them take on minor tasks that just add unnecessary stress to your plate if they are willing to do so.

Create a chain of communication early. There will likely be many people who will want to be apprised of your progress. Sometimes, this will be exciting for you as you hear good news, feel better, and are thrilled to share your health stages with the entire world.

But other times, you may not want to repeat what you know to everyone who asks and is entitled to know about your health. These are the times that it helps to have a form of a “phone tree,” where those closest to you can inform others as you direct them to about your setbacks or progress. When you try to do this yourself, you are adding extra work and stress at a time where you need a little of this as possible.

Put Yourself First

If you’ve always been an overachiever, filling your schedule with to-do tasks and helping everyone, this is going to be a difficult time for you. You will have to learn how to say no and focus on your healing, while at the same time trying to retain the basics of your normal life.

As people understand your current season of life, they will be more understanding than you’d likely expect. And allowing others to step in and step up gives them the chance to rise to the occasion and feel helpful themselves.

Let yourself take this time to heal both physically and mentally. Try to exercise gently or as needed, do the things you enjoy, and keep a positive outlook in general. It won’t always be easy, but when you are able to force yourself out of a negative mood, it helps your healing process.

Look into mental health options, including professionals to speak to, support groups, and other ways to learn techniques to pull yourself out of anxiety or depression. You need a safe place and way to release your fears and stresses.

Through these steps, combined with your doctor’s expertise and your strong mental outlook, you are now on your journey towards a cancer-free life.

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