I’ve Been Diagnosed With Cancer, What Do I Do Now?
Diagnosed With Cancer. Hearing your doctor say the word “cancer” is probably one of the most difficult moments in life and it’s normal to be scared, sad, angry, anxious, and confused. You don’t know what the future holds and you’re starting to slowly panic, terrified for your life and what this diagnosis means for your loved ones.
Although it’s easy to say: take a moment to breathe, it’s exactly what you need to do. Take a second, close your eyes, deepen your breath, and give yourself the opportunity to figure out your next action steps. Here are some tips you can follow to help you navigate through this difficult period.
1. Don’t Panic
Although it’s easier said than done, panicking won’t get your anywhere. If anything, it will make you even more scared and anxious, sending you into a downward spiral you’ll have a hard time getting out of. It’s time to change the narrative and look at the cancer diagnosis as an invitation to change your life rather than a death sentence. Whether you choose to take the medical route or your own healing path, this is a sign you need to make some drastic shifts and changes in your life, and this is the time to do it.
2. Get Multiple Expert Opinions
Before you make your next move, interview at least three-five oncologists with a specialty in your cancer type, hearing their opinions and getting a better grasp of your current situation. Prepare specific questions you want answers to that will help you understand your current situation, possible treatments, as well as their side effects.
Every doctor will have their own way of treating and looking at things, and it’s important to get the whole picture before starting the first option presented to you. Every person is different, responds to therapy in a different way, and may have a completely different environment during healing. This all influences how the therapy will progress and whether or not the treatment that’s great for most people will be the best for you.
If you don’t know where to start, download my ebook “10 Questions all cancer patients must ask their oncologist,” and get the answers you need to begin crafting your healing journey.
3. Set up a Support System
Having a strong and powerful support system is extremely important in your healing, the rate of success, as well as the long-term outcome. Now is the time to surround yourself with people who will truly support you, be there for you, stand by your side every step of the way, and won’t judge you or question your decisions.
When you’re going through something like this that challenges you every step of the way, it’s crucial to have someone to lean on. Especially on days when you feel like you can’t fight anymore. You’ll have days when you’ll feel mentally strong and capable to tackle anything that comes your way, but you’ll also have days when you’ll feel beaten, broken, and hopeless. That’s where surrounding yourself with loving friends and family will mean absolutely everything and give you the energy to fight.
If the people closest to you can’t be in your support circle, there are plenty of other avenues to explore and feel hopeful. Search for cancer support groups in your area, go to your local church or an area of gathering, and find like-minded individuals who are either fighting the same fight or helping those who are diagnosed cope and go through the process.
4. Implement Lifestyle Changes
It goes without saying that fighting cancer requires many drastic lifestyle changes. From cleaning up your diet and eating more nutrient-rich superfoods that will boost your immune system and promote its optimal function to finding a supplement regimen that will support and strengthen your efforts.
Self-care and stress management are also crucial lifestyle factors that will help you in your healing journey. Find routines and habits that make you feel relaxed, try meditation and breathwork, focus on improving your sleep quality, schedule regular exercise, and implement activities that bring you joy. This will have a massive impact on both, your physical and mental health, helping you discover a better and healthier way to live.
When I said you should treat this disease as an invitation to change your life, this is what I was referring to. Change the aspects of your life that aren’t supporting your health, avoid those habits that might be detrimental and toxic, learn to take each day as a gift, and truly understand the meaning of living in the present moment every single day.
5. Think Positive
There’s so much power in positive thoughts and emotions, sending them out in the Universe and shielding yourself from negativity and fear. When you’re diagnosed with cancer, there’s no space for negativity. You might feel depressed and hopeless at certain times, but it’s your mission to turn it around and focus on the positives. Only then will you be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and truly believe in healing yourself from this awful disease.
Having a positive mindset will take you far, how in every other aspect of your life, so in your healing journey. Trust the power of affirmations, prayer, hope, and optimism, and wake up every morning with a determination that you’ll beat this thing.
6. Pray Pray
I am a strong believer in prayer and prayers change things, prayers will outlive you. Whether you’re a believer like me or have another core system of belief, it’s time to turn inwards and start connecting to the grand divine. There’s never been a better time than to find yourself, know yourself, and trust that there’s something greater than you that will help you push through this.
In my experience, prayer has always given me peace and a sense of hope. It is very easy to fall in the trap of hopelessness but through prayer, I have learned to grow in intimacy with my creator and surrender things that I don’t have an answer for. Prayer is healing to our spirit, souls and bodies. I also like to speak specific bible verses out loud when praying. I believe that the word of God is medicine to our bodies and it is a powerful spiritual sword that cuts through the root of darkness. If you have not tried it yet, I really want to encourage you to do so. I have a specific section in my blog dedicated to share with you specific healing prayers that have helped me greatly.
Remember, it is not our job to worry about tomorrow but to only stay present and surrender what we can’t control. We all have an expiration date but not all of us choose to live to the fullest, that will always be a daily choice and it is up to you! Check out healing prayers here.
7. Don’t Give Up
No matter what happens and no matter how hard it gets, don’t give up. There will be hard days, but they are here to test you, teach you, and help you become a better version of yourself. Believe, hope, pray, and do whatever you need to keep living. I say to you get up!
Cancer is scary, hard, confusing, and still very unknown. The only way to really walk through it is by staying true to yourself. Please please listen to your inner voice and follow your intuition, trust yourself, find a support system, and focus on changing your lifestyle. It is hard to heal in the same environment that made you sick. Every step you take is a step forward to your healing. Be patient and compassionate with yourself and take it one day at a time.