Dealing with cancer – advice for people with cancer as well as friends and family members of people with cancer
Dealing with cancer is a hard thing to do – after all, how does one deal with something that says, “my life is over?” That kind of thinking is why cancer is as powerful as it is. While it is a serious problem, one can succeed better in dealing with cancer if they approach it with a more optimistic tone and nip it in the bud in the best way possible.
Dealing with a cancer diagnosis
Dealing with a cancer diagnosis, regardless of what the specific diagnosis may be, is a stressful thing. While the tests are being performed, many thoughts run through your head – mostly ones focusing on doom and gloom. After all, cancer can put a huge dampening on your future endeavours and goals, so it makes sense why you may dread it.
Some say that the wait is the worst for certain things, but with cancer, the discovery is just as bad if not worse than the wait. All you can do is try to work with your family, your friends, and a trusted medical physician to hopefully kill cancer in your body.
How to deal with breast cancer
Dealing with breast cancer can be a trying situation for people who have received a breast cancer diagnosis and people trying to support a person with breast cancer. Where cancer was ignored by people who didn’t want to talk about quote-unquote “awkward” subjects, breast cancer was even more taboo because people ignorantly decided that any discussion of breasts was inappropriate, even if the discussion was about a fatal disease that can infect the breasts.
Breast cancer awareness rapidly increased thanks to former First Lady Betty Ford, who came out about her breast cancer treatment. Since then, dealing with breast cancer has been a big priority for groups, especially women’s groups. Many celebrities have come out in support of breast cancer awareness, including actress Angelina Jolie, who was at high risk for breast cancer and thus went to efforts to have a mastectomy performed to keep it from worsening.
Dealing with terminal cancer
Cancer begins to outpace the treatment and survival efforts in certain cancers. Cancer becomes terminal and becomes less of an “if” and more of a “when.” At this stage, it is important to accept your fate. You can be unhappy about it, but don’t let it define how you spend the rest of your days.
Your terminal cancer can improve to an extent with positive values and a “drive” to keep your momentum up. Perhaps spend time with friends and family, go to places you’ve always wanted to visit and make sure that your affairs are in order.
How to deal with cancer in the family or with friends
There are several bad ways that friends and family can try to cope with dealing with cancer in the family. Some examples of these bad coping strategies include:
- Trying too hard to ignore the illness is a careful balance of ignorance and attention that a person can have to a cancer patient’s illness. While you should not smother them, taking an interest in their survival is nice to them and shows them that you care. It’s never a good idea to flat-out ignore the elephant.
- Trying too hard to call attention to it – There is not much worse than having someone treat you like a patient (or worse, a corpse). Sure, suppose you want to involve yourself in their treatment personally and emotionally. In that case, you can give it a shot – but if the person does not want you involved, or becomes bothered by the involvement eventually, be respectful of their reaction.
- Growing detached from the afflicted family member or friend – If you tend to drift off from interacting with the afflicted family member or friend, it can cause that person to become less social and become more depressed about their status. While you should not shove the support straight down their throat, being there to support a loved one can do a lot to help them stay strong in a trying time.
Dealing with cancer patients
Being diagnosed with cancer is a hard thing, and for a doctor, diagnosing it is important to be sensitive and to the point at the same time. Here is some specific advice for any physicians wondering how they should best interact with people before, during, and after a cancer diagnosis.
- Do not dance around the issues – If you do too much “dancing” about it, it can make your patient nervous, anxious, and apprehensive. The best way is to be firm, to the point, and to help them feel at ease.
- Yet, do not let yourself be insensitive about it – If you talk about it too much as a technical thing or come off as though you are not considering the patient’s feelings, this can harm the patient’s ability to cope with their cancer. Striking a fine balance between professional and personal is the best way to help extend your patient’s life the best that you possibly can.
- Provide consistent, lasting support for your patient – You can’t leave your patient lost and confused, so helping them deal with cancer as they try coping with it will make it a lot better for them.
- Providing assistance and support for family and caregivers – While not quite as stressful as it must be for people dealing with cancer personally, many people ask how to deal with cancer in the family. If you provide knowledge and support to them, they can better support themselves and the cancer patient.
Cancer support groups
There is a lot more than you need than just a simple article, of course – there are a lot of groups that exist to help people who are dealing with cancer, no matter if they are dealing with cancer patients or dealing with cancer themselves. Here are some examples of these support groups:
- Breast Cancer Patient Support Group – A support group for people dealing with breast cancer.
- Post-Treatment Survivorship Support Group – A support group for people who need help coping after their treatment has taken effect.
- Blood Cancers Patient Support Group – A support group for people dealing with blood cancers.
- Brain Tumor Patient Support Group – A support group for people dealing with brain tumours.
- LGBT Caregiver Patient Support Group – A support group for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people who serve as caregivers for cancer patients.
- Lung Cancer Caregiver Support Group – A support group for caregivers caring for lung cancer patients.
- Teens Who Have a Loved One With Cancer Support Group – A support group for teenagers who have difficulties coping with a loved one’s cancer diagnosis.
- Young Adult Caregiver Support Group – A support group for young adult caregivers taking care of cancer patients.
Hopefully, after reading this, you will have gained a better understanding of dealing with cancer from many different perspectives. Everyone has their general methods for coping, and we hope that you can find a healthy coping method that works for everyone. The best way for you to be dealing with cancer is to make sure it never happens. Getting regular checkups might be a burden, but cancer is even worse.