When you learn that you have cancer, you are likely to experience an overwhelming range of emotions that can mimic the emotions of the grieving process. It’s natural and even beneficial to let yourself experience this form of grief so that you can then move forward with your treatment. Then, prepare yourself for living with cancer and dealing with the treatment process by becoming an informed patient. For example, learn as much as you can about your specific type of cancer, the treatment options, and where the nearest emergency care facility is, just in case you need prompt medical help.
Become a Self-Advocate
Becoming an advocate for your own health means talking to your cancer care team about your diagnosis, asking in-depth questions about your treatment options, and learning what you might expect from the side effects. Being a self-advocate may help you develop positive thinking patterns because it places you in control of your healthcare. However, you don’t have to do this alone. Oncologists often recommend that cancer patients bring along a trusted family member to appointments. Your family member can help you by taking notes, asking questions, and helping you coordinate care.
Maintain Your Physical Health
Talk to your oncologist about maintaining your physical health during cancer treatment. You may find that you can cope better with the physical and emotional aspects of treatment by adhering to a mild exercise program, such as yoga or walking. You might also consider working with a nutritionist to help you maintain weight during treatment.
Prepare for Life Changes
Before you begin cancer treatment, talk to your oncology team about what you can expect. Depending on your specific treatment and your body’s response to it, you may need more assistance around the home, help with transportation to and from medical appointments, and mobility assistance via devices such as a walker or cane.
The oncology team at Fawcett Memorial Hospital is dedicated to providing a continuum of care for patients and their loved ones. From diagnosis through remission, we’ll be there to offer emotional support, patient education, support groups, and compassionate care. Residents in the Punta Gorda, North Port, and Port Charlotte areas can call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (888) 685-1599 to learn more about cancer care or our other healthcare services, including emergency care, senior care, and cardiac care.