Receiving a diagnosis of cancer can be devastating news for a patient and their family. Many thoughts can be scrambling through a person’s mind such as “Why me?” “How did this happen?” and/or “Am I going to die?” Patients will be consumed with thoughts about their prognosis, type of treatments to expect, how this will effect their work and family life, sharing news with others, and overall their physical health. This type of pressure and uncertainty can be mentally draining and lead to potential depression and anxiety.
Some people when diagnosed with cancer can feel very alone and vulnerable. However, it does not have to be that way. There are people and resources dedicated to provide emotional, spiritual, financial, and medical support for someone dealing with cancer.
Family and friends can be the first line of support. They love you and want to see you get well. Lean on them during times of feeling weak, frustrated, or sad. Don’t underestimate the power of family and friends.
Friends and family may help run errands for you, provide meals, or watch over your kids.
If you need someone to vent to or make you laugh, friends and family can be there for you.
Professional cancer specialist teams are dedicated to your health improvement and answer your questions. They are highly trained and should be up to date on the latest treatments.
Follow treatment recommendations and ask questions about your prognosis, medication side effects, and expectations.
If you are unsure of your diagnosis, you can always request a second opinion.
Many online platforms offer support for people living with cancer.
Many online communities have focuses on the type of cancer you have, your demographics, and/or interests.
You can find opportunities for meet ups, volunteer work, and ways to support to each other.
It may be important to share diagnosis with your human resources department.
HR can share types of resources that can help cancer symptoms.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can highlight your diagnosis, prognosis, symptoms, and estimate how frequent it is expected to attend to your cancer needs.
Your employer may provide accommodations such as working from home and/or shorter workdays.
Can create an atmosphere to protect you and set reasonable expectations.
Sharing your diagnosis with fellow worshippers can bring the community together for prayer.
Speaking to community leaders about how cancer may impact your faith.
You may find strength with other faith members with similar experiences.
Mental Health Support
Mental health providers can support you in making sense of your emotions.
Cancer may lead to depression and anxiety. Mental health providers can provide treatment modalities.
If treatment requires medication, your mental health provider can refer a psychiatrist that offers the best pharmacological options.
Please, follow up with your health care provider if you have further questions or concerns.