When Hard Times Hit - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

When Hard Times Hit

We live in a world today that is full of joy but can also be full of pain.  There are so many events that can hit us out of nowhere and shake up our world.  While we always hope for the best and easiest path in life, unfortunately, that can’t always be the case.  One example is when a loved one is diagnosed with a life-changing disease like cancer. In 2016, cancer affected just over 1.5 million Americans.

If you are someone who is dealing with this personally or through a close family member or friend, you are not alone.  Take steps to make sure you are finding the best care and coping in the healthiest way. Fighting this battle should not be something you deal with on your own, and there are so many resources out there to help you win.

The Unexpected

No one expects cancer to happen to them or to their loved ones.  Until it does, the story feels foreign, almost like an event you watch happen to someone else on a soap opera or in the latest Academy Award-winning drama.  You never expect it. And what makes it harder is, in most cases, the absence of someone to blame. If you are injured at work, you can call up the Morristown, NJ Personal Injury Attorneys and start up a lawsuit against a specific company.  If you are rear-ended at a stop sign, you have the opportunity to charge that other driver for the damages.  If you are diagnosed with cancer, there often isn’t a specific enemy to blame. You can be angry, but there is no place to direct that anger.  Understandably, that can make the diagnosis extremely hard to digest.

When something unexpected occurs, it takes time to adjust.  Cancer can change your whole life, whether you are the one fighting it or walking alongside your loved one.  It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the changes your body is going through and all the new questions you have to start asking yourself.  It is okay to take a deep breath before launching into this new situation. There are ways to cope and people who can help you get through this.

Coping Methods

Experts have put together some helpful tips on how to initially respond to a diagnosis.  One of the first pieces of advice is to do your research.  Figure out as much information about your diagnosis as possible, so you can as informed questions.  Find a place where you feel comfortable with the staff and the facilities. You want to go somewhere with care like New Jersey state-of-the-art treatments and cancer care services in your area.  Prioritize yourself and your care.  Your comfort and treatment are of the utmost importance, so stay informed about what you are receiving.  

Once you have begun your journey, work to keep a good community around you.  Find the people who matter most and enlist them in your army. Fighting cancer requires energy and positivity from those closest to you to keep your spirits lifted as well.  During this process, there will be a lot of things that are up in the air, so take advantage of finding the right people and the right headspace to get through this journey.

Another coping method professionals recommend is to remember the things you can control instead of focusing on what you cannot.  While you may not be able to control how you are feeling, you can choose to share your emotions.  Sharing your concerns with others can take some of the burdens off of yourself. Stay in charge and in control of how you want to handle your fight.  

Other Things That May Arise

Unfortunately, this is not a simple disease.  Occasionally a diagnosis of cancer can come with a plethora of side effects and other medical issues.  And sometimes these come as a result of the treatments you’re taking to try to make yourself better. You may also find yourself looking for medicines for diarrhea or treatment for essential tremors.  While you may not have been prepared for your diagnosis, it is good to be prepared for anything else that may come your way.

Staying healthy in other ways is essential when battling cancer.  And sometimes this means breaking or cutting back on previous bad habits.  If you were a big smoker before, maybe cut back to e-cigarettes with eliquid.  If you enjoyed sunbathing or tanning beds, maybe look into some tanning lotions or sprays.  Make healthier choices for yourself, because the main focus is bringing your body back to its 100% strength.

There are other factors to consider adjusting as far as diet and exercise.  Certain foods may make you feel better or worse, and it is always good to consult your doctor on what you should or shouldn’t be eating.  Also, as for anyone, getting some daily amount of exercise will continue to keep your body as strong as it can be.

You Are Not Alone

Overall, a diagnosis of cancer is a difficult thing to go through, whether it is your diagnosis or the diagnosis of a loved one.  Remember that your psychological health is as important to take care of as your mental health. It is okay to reach out and acknowledge that this is a trying journey.  So many aspects of your day to day life may be affected, and it is crucial to remember to ask for help when you need it.  

Every person’s journey will be different, so how you cope should be in your own unique way.  Each doctor and nurse you encounter works hard to make sure you are receiving excellent care.  Plus, they are there to care for your individualized needs. Reach out and take advantage of exactly what you need from treatment.  No one should have to go through this battle alone, so be sure to surround yourself with a team dedicated to pulling you through. Whether that be family and friends or doctors and nurses, you’re all in it together.  You are never alone.


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