Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
A diagnosis of cancer, whether yours or your child's, presents big challenges. Remember that no matter what your concerns or the prognosis, there are resources and strategies that may make dealing with cancer easier. Here are some suggestions for coping:
- Learn enough to make decisions about your treatment. Find out more about bone cancer so that you can feel more comfortable as you make decisions about your treatment. Ask your doctor to write down the type and stage of your cancer, as well as the names of the treatments being recommended. Ask your health care team to recommend reliable sources of information. The National Cancer Institute answers questions from the public over the phone at 800-4-CANCER (800-422-6237). Or contact the American Cancer Society at 800-ACS-2345 (800-227-2345).
- Connect with other people in your situation. The concern and understanding of a formal support group or of others coping with their own cancer or that of their child can be helpful. Support groups can be good sources for practical information. You may also develop deep and lasting bonds with people who are going through the same things you are. Ask your doctor about support groups in your area. Or try online message boards, such as those run by the American Cancer Society's Cancer Survivors Network or the National Childhood Cancer Foundation.
- Take time for yourself. Eating well, relaxing and getting enough rest can help you manage the stress and fatigue of cancer. Also, plan ahead for the times when you may need to rest more or limit what you do. If your child has cancer, one of the most important things you can do is take care of yourself. As a caregiver, you need to have the strength and emotional reserves to meet your child's needs.
- Stay active. Having cancer doesn't mean you have to stop doing the things you enjoy or normally do. For the most part, if you feel well enough to do something, go ahead and do it. It's important to stay involved as much as you can. If your child has cancer, try to keep his or her life as normal as possible.
- Look for a connection to something beyond yourself. Having a strong faith or a sense of something greater than yourself may help you successfully cope with cancer.
- Gebhardt MC, et al. Sarcomas of bone. In: Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008:1945.
- Bone cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed June 29, 2011.
- Bone cancer: Questions and answers. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Sites-Types/bone. Accessed June 29, 2011.