Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
Acute myelogenous leukemia is an aggressive form of cancer that typically demands quick decision making. That leaves people with a new diagnosis faced with important decisions about a disease they may not yet understand. Here are some tips for coping:
Learn enough to make decisions about your care. The term "leukemia" can be confusing because it refers to a group of cancers that aren't all that similar except for the fact that they affect the bone marrow and blood. You can waste a lot of time researching information that doesn't apply to your kind of leukemia. To avoid that, ask your doctor to write down as much information about your specific disease as possible. Then narrow your search for information accordingly.
Write down questions for your doctor before each appointment, and look for information in your local library and on the Internet. Good sources include the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
- Lean on family and friends. It can be tough to talk about your diagnosis, and you'll likely get a range of reactions when you share the news. But talking about your diagnosis can be helpful. So can the outpouring of practical help that often results.
- Take care of yourself. It's easy to get caught up in the tests, treatments and procedures of therapy. But it's important to take care of yourself, not just the cancer. Try to make time for yoga, gardening, cooking or other favorite diversions.
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- Hoffman R, et al. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06715-0..X5001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-443-06715-0&uniqId=230100505-56. Accessed July 31, 2012.
- Adult acute myeloid leukemia treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/adultAML/patient. Accessed July 31, 2012.
- Leukemia — acute myeloid — AML. Cancer.Net. http://www.cancer.net/patient/Cancer+Types/Leukemia+-+Acute+Myeloid+-+AML. Accessed July 31, 2012.
- Integrative medicine & complementary and alternative therapies as part of blood cancer care. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. http://www.lls.org/#/resourcecenter/freeeducationmaterials/treatment/integrativemedandcam. Accessed July 31, 2012.