If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, a lot of uncertainties are ahead. You know you’re in for months or even years of treatment, but you don’t always know the outcome. Learning all you can in this situation will help you cope.
- Knowledge is power
The more you can learn about your cancer, the easier your experience will be. If you have lung cancer, for example, you’ll want to research all available facts about lung cancer, particularly your specific strain. You may come across invaluable information about self-care to alleviate pain or at-home treatments that can help.
The knowledge you gain through personal research can teach you about treatment, but it will also help you to develop realistic expectations. It’s hard to come to grips with reality, but it’s often easier to handle the pain and suffering if you’re expecting it. It’s the same if your prognosis does not pan out in the way you had hoped.
It also helps to talk it over with someone who’s been through it all before. Even if they experienced a different kind of cancer, their insights on the entire process, from chemo treatments to handling bad news to their recovery can be invaluable in helping you cope in the coming months. If you don’t know anyone who has been through cancer before, reach out to a local support group.
In your research, you may also come across exploratory treatments that your oncologist hasn’t mentioned. It never hurts to bring up ideas and get second opinions if you think your oncologist isn’t taking you in the right direction. It’s not personal. It’s about you getting the standard of treatment you deserve, and learning all you can about your illness can take you to that point.
- You’ll find many at-home treatment options
Nobody likes to live in the hospital while they’re going through treatment of cancer. Sometimes, you have no choice but to stay there if your condition is particularly bad, but often, you can do a lot of cancer treatments at home. This allows you to experience more of a life rather than being relegated to a 10-foot-by-10-foot hospital room.
If you’re going to do treatments at home, you’ll probably need a certified nurse who will either live with you or make frequent visits, depending on the situation. This means you’ll need a good in-home health care service.
Always look for services near you. For example, you might Google “in-home health care services in Fairless Hill, PA.” This will help you reduce the cost because the in-home nurse won’t have to travel long distances to reach you.
Additionally, only go with services that have a good reputation. You can find online reviews during your initial search or ask around in a Facebook community. There are many Facebook communities for those being treated for cancer, and you should be able to get strong recommendations in your area. If you know someone who has been through it all before, it helps to ask for their recommendation as well.
- Your loved ones suffer, too
It’s hard to look outside yourself when you’re suffering from a potentially terminal illness, but it’s better if you do. When you take a look around, you’ll realize that the pain and suffering you feel affects more than just you. In some ways, it can affect your loved ones even more deeply.
When asked about how loved ones are affected by someone’s cancer journey, Dr. Thoraiya Kanafani, clinical director at the Human Relations Institute and Clinics told Friday Magazine, “They feel completely helpless in stopping the cancer from progressing. Not only are they dealing with their own grieving process of accepting what is happening, but they also must manage the emotions of the individual suffering with…cancer and their acceptance of their journey.”
Loved ones can also learn valuable information from others in the same position. Knowledge is power for them, too.
You need each other, so don’t take that time together for granted. You can all get through this process if you work together, no matter the outcome.