My Tips To Deal With A Blood Cancer Diagnosis
Last updated: September 2023
Sadly, I recently received a call from a cousin who was distraught over a new cancer diagnosis. She was upset and totally overwhelmed. It brought back memories of my own blood cancer diagnosis twelve years ago.
Sharing my coping stategies
I decided to share what I have learned and strategies that have helped me deal with my diagnosis. I listened to her concerns and worries and carefully tried to guide her in the following strategies to deal with a new cancer diagnosis.
The importance of talking with your oncologist
I stressed that she must feel comfortable asking questions and seeking clarification if something is unclear. Consider taking notes and having a friend or family member accompany you to the physician visit. Be sure to bring recent diagnostic test results and biopsy results. I found that making a list of questions for my physician would ensure that in my anxious state, I might not forget.
Discuss ways to stop worrying
Talk with someone and express your feelings. I was glad that I could encourage my cousin to recognize her feelings of anger, fear, and frustration and not keep them inside. It may not be easy, but try to look for reasons to have hope. I emphasized that her physician was optimistic about the stage and prognosis.
Find ways to relax
Stay busy with activities that you enjoy. We discussed fun activities with her young daughter, walking in the park, and reading. I shared that during my initial cancer diagnosis, yoga, meditation, and journaling helped me relax and deal with feeling overwhelmed.
Schedule self-help rituals for yourself
I suggested a massage, a manicure, and a haircut. Each of these activities is a distraction and provides comfort and fun.
Consider a cancer diagnosis a “wake-up call”
I shared that my cancer diagnosis helped me focus on what is important in life. Very often we are so busy that we lose sight of the little things in life that are important. I suggested that she go places, do things that bring joy, and appreciate her faith, family, and friends.
Adjusting to emotions takes time
It is important to seek support and turn to loved ones. There is life as a cancer survivor. Appreciate every moment. Try to live with hope. Relationships are important. Try to surround yourself with positive people. Each day is a gift. Look at the “big picture” and try to “not sweat the small stuff.”
My cousin found the above conversation and suggestions helpful and I pray that she does well with her cancer journey.
What blood cancer were you diagnosed with?