Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
Learning you have any life-threatening illness can be devastating. And coping with a diagnosis of gallbladder cancer can be especially difficult because the disease often carries a poor prognosis. Some ideas for learning to cope with gallbladder cancer include:
- Ask questions about gallbladder cancer. Write down questions you have about your cancer. Ask these questions at your next appointment. Also ask your doctor for reliable sources where you can get more information. Knowing more about your gallbladder cancer and your treatment options may make you more comfortable when it comes to making decisions about your care.
- Stay connected to friends and family. Your cancer diagnosis can be stressful for friends and family, too. Try to keep them involved in your life. Your friends and family will likely ask if there's anything they can do to help you. Think of tasks you might like help with, such as caring for your home if you have to stay in the hospital or just being there when you want to talk. You may find comfort in the support of a caring group of your friends and family.
- Find someone to talk with. Find someone you can talk to who has experience with people facing a life-threatening illness. Consult a counselor, medical social worker, clergy member or a support group for people with cancer.
- Write down your medical wishes. Take steps to ensure that your end-of-life wishes are known and respected. Ask your doctor about advance directives, which allow you to indicate what types of treatment you'd want in the event you can't communicate your wishes. Also ask about designating a medical power of attorney, which is someone you designate to make your choices for you if you can't communicate.
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- Blechacz B, et al. Tumors of the bile ducts, gallbladder and ampulla. In: Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed May 23, 2011.
- Hepatobiliary cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed May 23, 2011.