Staying Healthy and Positive After a Cancer Diagnosis
A cancer diagnosis will result in changes to almost every aspect of your daily life. This is why all patients that have recently been diagnosed with cancer must get proactive about changing their lifestyle to make themselves as comfortable and healthy as possible.
Give Yourself Time to Process the Information
Many patients that have recently been diagnosed with cancer do not realize that it will take days or even weeks to fully process their emotions. Instead of immediately telling everyone that you know about your diagnosis, you might want to give yourself some time to process the information yourself. Most patients will go through a series of overwhelming emotions ranging from disbelief to anger. Keeping just a handful of loved ones nearby will help you cope with the news and then make a plan to move forward.
Most doctors will tell the patient to seek out a second opinion or to run additional tests. After the cancer diagnosis has been confirmed a second time, you will then want to start researching your particular type of cancer and the treatments that will be available to you. Many patients struggle with family and friends giving them a huge amount of advice, but not all of this advice is going to be accurate. All of your information should come from credible medical sources.
Diet and Exercise
Even if a healthy diet and exercise will not directly affect the cancerous cells, they will have some other important benefits. First, they will help reduce the stress that many people feel after being diagnosed with a serious disease. Making yourself as healthy as possible will also limit the side effects of your disease and any treatments that you choose. Staying hydrated and maintaining a good sleep schedule are vital to your mental and physical health as well.
Plan for Your Future
Depending on the type of cancer that you have been diagnosed with, you should begin the process of planning for your future and the future of your family. This is especially important for those that have financial dependents. Patients will need to consider their options for long-term care and who will have the power to make medical decisions for them. Finalizing these legal and medical choices early will make the coming months as stress-free as possible.
Surround Yourself With Support
Finally, patients should make every effort to surround themselves with as many supportive people as possible. Having friends, family members, other cancer patients, and empathetic medical professionals around you at all times will keep you positive and determined. Without this support, it will be all too easy to give up hope or slip into a depression that could actually cause physical changes in your body and affect the treatment process.