Dealing with cancer is a hard thing to do – after all, how does one deal with something that basically says “my life is over?” That kind of thinking is a part of 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 the best way that they can.
Dealing with 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, a lot of thoughts run through your head – mostly ones focusing on doom and gloom. After all, cancer can put a huge dampening on your future endeavors and goals, so it makes sense why you may dread tomorrow. 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 the cancer in your body.
How to Deal with Breast Cancer
Dealing with breast cancer can be a tyring situation for people who have received a breast cancer diagnosis and people who are trying to support a person with breast cancer. Where cancer was ignored to an extent 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 in large part to former First Lady Betty Ford, who came out about her breast cancer treatment. Since then, dealing with breast cancer has been a large priority for groups, including women’s groups especially. Many celebrities have come out in support of breast cancer awareness, including actress Angelina Jolie who herself was at high-risk for breast cancer, and thus went to efforts to have a mastectomy performed in order to keep it from worsening.
Dealing with Terminal Cancer
At some point in certain cancers, the cancer just begins to outpace the treatment and survival efforts. When this happens, the cancer becomes terminal, and it 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. In fact, your terminal cancer can actually 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 all of your affairs are in order.
How to Deal with Cancer in the Family or with Friends
There are a number of bad ways that friends and family can try for coping with respect to dealing with cancer in the family. Some examples of these bad coping strategies include:
• Trying too hard to ignore the illness – There is a careful balance of ignorance and attention that a person can have for 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 in the room.
• 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, if you want to involve yourself in their treatment personally and emotionally, 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 as well as to-the-point at the exact same time. Here is some specific advice for any physicians who are wondering how they should best interact with people before, during, and after the diagnosis of the cancer.
• Do not dance around the issues – If you do too much “dancing” around it, it can make your patient nervous, anxious, and apprehensive. The best way 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 actually have an adverse effect on the patient’s ability to cope with their cancer. Striking a fine balance between professional and personal is the best way to help extend the life of your patient 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 with dealing with cancer as they try coping with it is going to 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 who are dealing with cancer personally, a lot of people end up asking 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.
Dealing with Cancer Quotes
There are a lot of inspirational quotes relating to cancer, and here are a couple that we think are particularly inspiring to people who are coping with cancer (on all ends of this disease).
“The most important thing in life is good health! And that I have!
That is the medical side. Cancer also produces fear — and much of that fear cots from ignorance about the progress already made and ignorance of the need for preventive medicine for men and women alike.
Cancer wherever it strikes the body, also strikes the spirit, and the best doctors in the world cannot cure the spirit. Only love and understanding can accomplish this important role.” – Former First Lady and breast cancer survivor Betty Ford
“My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman.
. . .
Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventative double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex.” – Actress Angelina Jolie
Cancer Support Groups
There is a lot more that 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.
Hopefully after reading this, you will have gained a better understanding of dealing with cancer from many different perspectives. Everyone has their own 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 an even worse one.