Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
No one can be prepared for a cancer diagnosis. You can, however, try to manage the shock and fear you're feeling by taking steps to control what you can about your situation. Every woman deals with a cervical cancer diagnosis in her own way. With time you'll discover what helps you cope. Until then, you can start to take control by attempting to:
- Learn enough about cervical cancer to make decisions about your care. Write down your questions and ask them at the next appointment with your doctor. Get a friend or family member to come to appointments with you to take notes. Ask your health care team for further sources of information. Learn enough about your cervical cancer so that you feel confident in making decisions about your treatment. Contact the National Cancer Institute at 800-4-CANCER (800-422-6237) or go online for information. The American Cancer Society also offers support and information on its website and by telephone at 800-ACS-2345 (800-227-2345).
- Create a support network. Don't face your diagnosis alone. Friends and family are likely feeling helpless and afraid, too. They want to help, so take them up on their offers. Ask loved ones to take over daily tasks such as cooking, household chores or child care. Talk with close friends and family when you're feeling overwhelmed. Other people with cancer can offer unique emotional support during your diagnosis and treatment. Connect with cancer survivors through support groups - in your community and on the Web. Ask your health care team about support groups in your community or contact your local chapter of the American Cancer Society.
- Take time for yourself. Take care of yourself during cancer treatment. It's OK to tell friends and family that you need some time for yourself. Writing in a journal, listening to music or going for walks can all be beneficial ways to reduce stress and cope with your emotions.
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