You just visited your family doctor for a visit because you noticed something odd about the way your body was functioning. You scheduled the visit to make sure everything was okay, only for your doctor to refer you to a specialist because of abnormal behavior he noticed. While impatiently anticipating your visit to the specialist, you begin to think of all the things wrong with your body that could possibly happen.
Finally, the day comes where you are able to visit the specialist that your primary care doctor referred you to. After talking with the doctor, he advises that he will need to do a full body scan. The anticipation rises, and you become uneasy thinking of all the thoughts you once considered. It’s a long process, and its hard to fathom what might be the end result.
A few weeks later, you receive the results from your doctor, and they aren’t good. He advises you that there is a tumor on you kidney, and it would need to be treated right away. He tries to reassure you everything will be okay however it’s hard to rationalize how this might be okay. He then schedules you for chemotherapy treatments beginning the next week. After speaking with him, he ensures that you are well aware treatments need to begin as soon as possible.
This is the common scenario that most individuals are thrown into, when dealing with a new cancer diagnosis. Everything seems new, and unfamiliar. It’s hard to believe the results of your doctor’s visit, despite being a healthy, active individual. Learning the first steps to take, and the system you need to set up can make a world of a difference when dealing with your cancer diagnosis.
Step One- Consult Your Doctor
Though it may be hard to bring yourself to discuss the results with the bearer of bad news, your doctor should be your primary source for information about your diagnosis. Be sure you are consulting with him or her to ask as many questions as possible. Do not be afraid to ask questions, and don’t feel intimidated or silly when you ask questions that may seem like common sense. Besides, you should feel comfortable asking your doctor questions about your diagnosis.
Step Two- Conduct Personal Research
The internet can be a great source for additional information that your doctor may not relay to you. In fact, you may be able to find blogs or personal stories of individuals dealing with a cancer diagnosis, and the steps that they took to get there. This could be a great source of motivation through your journey with your diagnosis.
Furthermore, the internet may expose you to information that may not be readily available or provided by your doctors. Current recalls, or medical side effects from medicine used in chemotherapy might be discovered. Furthermore, you might benefit from personal research when learning about how foods and special dietary needs that will positively benefit your body during your treatment.
Step Three- Develop Your Support System
Step three should be your last step, because it’s important to research and accumulate the information necessary in regards to your diagnosis and treatment options. Once you gather all the information you can possibly find, you should develop a support system and backbone for yourself. These may be family members, or close friends and neighbors who will be willing to support you throughout the entire duration of your journey. Who knows, you may even have older friends who reach back out to you, who may be able to relate to the journey you are going to be experiencing. These can be some of the greatest influencers.
Ensure you will have the support and assistance to meet regularly with doctors, and travel to facilities to receive chemotherapy treatments. This is not a task that can be completed alone, so it’s important to reach out to those closest to you for help and assistance during a time of need.
There are many other steps that could be carried out to ensure your journey with cancer goes smoothly, and is successful. Ensuring you are equipped with the most up-to-date information from your doctor, conducting personal research, and developing a support system are three key areas that cancer patients should focus on, early on. What are some key areas you think are important for cancer patients to follow through with?