The essentials to navigating and surviving cancer
Whether you are worried about getting cancer, have recently been diagnosed or are caring for a loved one, it is normal to feel a range of emotions – including grief, stress, anxiety, fear, depression, anger and hopelessness, to name a few. You will often hear cancer described as “the battle”. It instantly conjures up the visual of a dreaded enemy you must “beat” or “defeat”. You are told to be brave. Be positive. Win the war. While receiving a cancer diagnosis is never easy, it is important to seek out the emotional, practical and social support you need to cope and navigate the journey of care.
Don’t fight cancer blindfolded! Whether you or a loved one have just been diagnosed, or you’ve been undergoing treatment for some time, it is important to arm yourself with knowledge to understand cancer better. The most critical step in your cancer journey is to empower yourself with knowledge. Make a personal effort to educate yourself about your cancer diagnosis, treatment, the role of your multidisciplinary team and how to work on your overall well-being.
As you start learning more about cancer, you will soon learn to acknowledge it as a disease where some cells start behaving and growing abnormally, and slowly realize that cancer is not always dreadful. Get all the help and support required to make the best treatment decisions. Forming a strong relationship with your cancer care team is an important part of effectively managing your journey. Focus on self-care – physical, mental, and emotional.
Some days cancer may have the upper hand and on other days, you will. You may win some battles and lose some. However, work on ensuring you are empowered with the right information to stay in control of your life and your treatment decisions. Above all, try to live in the present and enjoy every moment to the best of your ability.
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