Recently diagnosed with cancer? Here are some tips besides “just keep swimming.”
Posted: December 7, 2021
Your entire world was rocked after hearing the words “you have cancer,” and not like your first Springsteen concert. The world now hangs in a balance. The time that follows can feel difficult, lonely, and flat-out impossible.
Bud, you are more resilient than you think. You have made it here. Now it’s time to take it one step at a time. You’ve heard them all: “Put one foot in front of the other.” “Just keep swimming.” It may be hard to know what comes next, but you can know that you’re not alone.
There are 17 million people living in the U.S. post-cancer diagnosis; the special club we never wanted access to. But we’re here to welcome you with open arms and help you navigate through it.
The buddhi community knows that receiving a cancer diagnosis is nothing short of devastating. Here are some tips to make that “one step” more bearable.
Take time to digest.
The news is a doozie, we know. You may feel in shock or unsure of how to react. Or maybe you’re straight-up POed. Don’t keep it to yourself. Use the time after your diagnosis to talk with those who are closest to you.
What are you feeling? What are your fears? How can they help you get through the day-to-day?
Social media and get-ahold-of-me-anytime apps make it hard to just be. That’s why boundaries, for your own technology and with others, are so important during this time. Don’t feel like you have to reply to every single outreach you receive. There’s no shame or rudeness in reacting with a “heart” or “thumbs up” emoji.
Stay away from Dr. Google.
Knowledge is power, but reading a list of symptoms from DragonFireBoy302 on a Quora board at 3 a.m. isn’t going to help anyone. And don’t get us started on WebMD…
Did you know there’s a term for this?
Hypochondriasis is the condition of excessive health anxiety, whereas "cyberchondria” means you’re adding stress by looking up your medical issues online. Doing so can result in either scaring yourself for no reason or incorrectly assuming the urgency of a problem.
Here's the rule of thumb with medical hardships and self-diagnosing: when the information is doing more harm than empowerment, it’s time to close the browser and pick up the phone.
Check with the actual doc. Instead of fear-scrolling, bring a list of questions you have to your appointments and take notes. We love this cancer-specific FIVE DOT POST planner to track symptoms (with stickers!) and process mentally and emotionally.
Be an advocate for yourself. If your spidey senses don’t feel right about how you feel vs. how you expect to feel, get a second opinion. You know you best.
Find the right support system and embrace community.
Your support system is everything. Whether you have a spouse, a close sibling, or fur bud by your side, these are the ones to lean on.