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Coping With a Cancer Diagnosis

Coping With a Cancer Diagnosis

Hearing the words, “you have cancer” undoubtedly comes as a shock. Suddenly you are overwhelmed with emotions and are unsure how you’re going to get through treatment. So many questions cross your mind: How will I tell my family? What’s going to happen to my job? Who will take care of my children? While it might be hard to imagine after initially hearing a cancer diagnosis, there are ways you can best manage and cope. Here are some things you can do.

Stay Informed

Keeping yourself informed is one of the best ways you can help yourself get through your treatments. Staying involved and understanding both the terminology and the different kinds of treatment options can help ease your fears. Being knowledgeable can also help you make informed decisions about your cancer treatment and recovery care.

Throughout your treatments, you are going to be given a lot of information. Don’t put more stress on yourself by expecting to grasp everything at once. If you can, take notes during your doctor’s visits and read them later on when you have some downtime. You can also ask a family member to assist you at your appointments.


There is nothing more frustrating than when you need information and can’t find it. Having all your medical information up-to-date and organized can deter further stresses. Keep your insurance paperwork and any other pertinent medical information all in one place for easy access. Knowing you have all of your medical information handy can also help you communicate effectively with your doctor — good communication with your cancer care team can have a positive impact on both the treatment and recovery process.

Seek Support

While you may be receiving a tremendous amount of support from your family and friends, there are many benefits to being part of a cancer support group. Connecting with those who are going through a similar experience offers many ways to help you cope through every step of your cancer treatment and recovery. Support groups can:

  • Diminish feelings of being alone.
  • Help you feel more hopeful.
  • Be an outlet to talk openly about your feelings in a safe environment.

Focus on Self-Care

Self-care is an essential component of your health, well-being, and recovery so make time for yourself. Try some of these methods that can reduce stress and help you feel at ease.

  • Quiet Time - Read a book or watch your favorite comedy.
  • Hobbies - Make time for the things you love to do. For example, bring crossword puzzles to an appointment or a knitting project.
  • Journaling - Writing down your thoughts can help ease your mind and reduce stress levels.
  • Light Exercising - Before starting any type of exercise, consult with your doctor, but gentle yoga can help reduce stress and keep you moving.

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, Parrish Medical Center is here to help every step of the way. From your initial screening to treatment, our Cancer Care Navigator Program can assist you through the logistics of the healthcare system so you can focus on you and your recovery. To learn more or to meet with our oncology specialists, contact the Parrish Cancer Center at 321-529-6202.