Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
A cancer diagnosis can change your life forever. Each person finds his or her own way of coping with the emotional and physical changes cancer brings. But when you're first diagnosed with cancer, sometimes it's difficult to know what to do next. Here are some ideas to help you cope:
- Find out all you can about your cancer. Write down all the questions you have about your cancer so that you can ask them at your next appointment. Ask your health care team for reliable resources for further information about your diagnosis. The more you know about your cancer and your treatment options, the more confident you're likely to feel when it comes time to make decisions about your treatment.
- Find someone to talk to. Find a trusted person you can talk with about how you're feeling. Perhaps that person is a close friend or family member who is a good listener. Other people who can help include clergy members and counselors. Other people with cancer can offer unique insight. Contact the American Cancer Society for information about cancer support groups in your community. Internet message boards can also work as virtual support groups. Start with the message boards on the American Cancer Society's website.
- Stay connected to family and friends. Your family and friends provide an important support network for you during cancer treatment. Often family and friends want to help, but they aren't sure how. Think of ways you might like assistance, even if it's just being there to listen when you have a bad day. Offer these as suggestions when family and friends ask if there's anything they can do to help.
- Take care of yourself. Do what you can to take care of yourself during cancer treatment. Eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. Get enough sleep so that you wake feeling rested. Find time for activities that can reduce stress, such as relaxation exercises, listening to music and writing your thoughts in a journal.
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