10 Tips to Survive Cancer – What You Need to Know

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As the old saying goes, “When one door closes, another opens. But often, that new door leads to a much darker place.” When you’re dealing with the ever-changing world of cancer, there is no such saying. Instead, it can feel like one dark, endless doorway after another. The first few weeks are especially difficult because you don’t know what lies ahead and whether the oncology team will be able to deal with any complications from treatment. It can feel like every possible negative thing you can think of at any given moment. But remember: While there may be no silver lining to this particular storm, there’s always a way through it. And if we know anything about it — or anyone else who has had to survive and thrive despite cancer — then it’s that there is always light at the end of this tunnel…even if we don’t always see it just yet on the other side. Here are our tips for surviving and thriving with cancer:

Take care of yourself

The biggest thing you can do for yourself during this time is to take care of your mental and emotional health. Like physical health, there are many ways to maintain and improve mental and emotional health. You can talk to a friend, seek out a mental health professional, or even learn relaxation techniques and meditative exercises to help you cope with stress and anxiety. When you’re going through a difficult time, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only person who’s ever felt this way, or that you’re the only one who’s ever going to feel this way. Instead, remember the many others who have been though something similar before you, and who have managed to come out on the other side. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, but it’s important to talk to your loved ones or a trusted friend about your feelings, and find ways to cope.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek help

Even if you think you know everything there is to know about cancer, there is so much more to learn. And while you may feel like you know everything there is to know about melanoma, you’ll learn a lot more about your type of cancer and all of your treatment options when you’re in the hospital and undergoing chemotherapy. There are so many organizations, websites, and social media groups that can help you navigate this confusing, new world. Try researching different cancers and their treatment options, and keep an open mind when you find something that seems different from what you’ve been told so far. There’s often a reason behind everything doctors do, and it’s important to ask questions, even if you’re afraid of the answer. The more you ask questions and seek help, the more comfortable you’ll become in your new world. And the more comfortable you are, the more you’ll be able to help others who are going through the same thing as you.

Find the people who love you and keep them close

This one is a given, but it’s also incredibly important. When you’re going through something as difficult as cancer, you’re not just dealing with your own feelings of anxiety and fear. You’re also dealing with other people’s feelings of anxiety, fear, and guilt. It can be difficult to know how to navigate this new social world, but one of the first things you need to do is build a support network. There will be many people who love you and want to help, but they may not know where to start. Get in the habit of calling a friend at least once a week, and keep a journal or notes app open on your phone or computer. Make it a rule to take a break once in a while and spend some time with people who make you feel loved and cared for. It will be worth it.

Educate yourself on your disease and treatment options

The more you learn about your disease, the more comfortable you’ll be discussing it with others. You should be asking the oncology team as many questions as possible. But before you do, learn as much as you can about your disease and your treatment options. You’re likely undergoing a range of treatments, and you may be worried about the side effects and whether they’re going to help you survive. Learn as much as you can about treatment side effects, the treatments themselves, and how they may or may not interact with other drugs you’re taking. Seek out as many resources as you can to help you better understand this new world. Try reading articles, watching videos, and listening to podcasts. There are so many resources out there that can help you better understand your disease and your treatment options.

Communicate with the people around you

Communication is vital when you’re going through cancer, and it may feel like you’re constantly trying to communicate with others. Your oncologist will likely have a list of instructions for you. Make sure you follow these instructions, and keep a record of any communication you receive from them. Similarly, if you have a friend, family member, or loved one who is dealing with cancer, make sure you keep the lines of communication open. It’s easy to forget about people when you’re dealing with your own emotions, but it’s important to follow up and make sure everyone is still doing well. Communication can help you feel less alone, and it can also help you stay on track with your treatment and stay focused on what’s important.

Stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle

When you’re going through something as difficult as cancer, it can be tempting to stay inside, avoid social situations, and binge-watch Stranger Things. Instead, try to maintain a healthy lifestyle outside of treatment. Avoid smoking, alcohol, and other substances that could be damaging to your body and your health. Eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, maintain a strong network of friends and family, and keep your mind sharp with creative activities. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, whether you’re on treatment or not, can help you deal with any anxiety and fear you may be experiencing. It can also help you feel more grounded in your own body and in the world around you. And it can help you move past any confusion you may have about your diagnosis and treatment options.

Don’t let your emotions overwhelm you

Like we said at the beginning of this article, emotions can feel like one dark, endless doorway. But they don’t have to. It can be tempting to let your emotions get the best of you, but they don’t have to control you. They can be your guide, and they can be your source of strength. You don’t have to forget about your emotions, but you do have to learn how to control them and harness their power for good. There will be times when you’re feeling overwhelmed, scared, or confused. Try to remain calm and grounded. Focus on what’s important, and try to remember that even if things don’t work out exactly the way you want them to, you’ll still be okay. You’ll survive and thrive, and you’ll be okay.

Conclusion

We hope that surviving cancer is easier than surviving cancer has been. We hope that the next few years will be less challenging than the last few years have been. We hope that, even when things are challenging, they’re still better than they were. But just as we can never know what lies ahead, we can never know what the future holds. What we can do, however, is prepare for the worst. We can prepare for the future by keeping our emotional and physical health in check, by staying active, and by finding the people who love us and keeping them close. We can prepare for the future by educating ourselves about our disease and treatment options, by communicating with the people around us, and by staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We can prepare for the worst, and we can survive in the meantime. That is the beauty of living in the present moment.

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