Coping with Cancer in Everyday Life

Nothing is fair about cancer and no one deserves it.

After the initial shock and disbelief of your diagnosis wears off, what do you do? How are you supposed to cope and go on living? We understand you may feel anxious, afraid or even overwhelmed, but it’s important to remember that you are not cancer. Though you will have to make adjustments to your life, you are still the same person you were before your diagnosis.

Here are some things you can do to help you cope with your new reality:

  • Learn as much as you can about your type of cancer so you can make informed decisions about your care.
  • Prepare for physical changes and confirm what your benefits are with your insurance company. Many insurance companies cover wigs, makeup, and even clothing to help you feel better.
  • Prepare yourself for changes in your routine. Treatments, medical appointments and/or hospital stays may disrupt your normal schedule, so plan ahead and prepare for your new routine.
  • Prepare yourself for the possible financial impact of treatment and care. Many clinics have resources to help you financially throughout your treatment, ask your health care team for details.
  • Stay active and get enough rest. Recent studies suggest that people who are physically active during treatment cope better and may also live longer.
  • Say yes to help, in fact, ask for it. Your friends and family want to help and feel useful anyway, and they will be happy when you reach out to them.
  • Keep your communication open and honest with your friends and loved ones, and join a support group. No matter what you are going through, it helps to know you are not alone.

Think back to times in your past when you were coping with something difficult. What techniques or activities did you practice? Whether you’re journaling, enjoying a favorite hobby, turning to a close friend or family member, or joining a philanthropic endeavor, the things that have comforted you in the past will likely help ease your worries as your journey moves forward.

If you’d like to discuss your cancer diagnosis and treatment options with a compassionate, dedicated team of cancer doctors, or to learn more about our clinical trial programs, please contact a START Center cancer physician at (210) 745-6841 or request an appointment.