Read books/educate yourself: The Cancer Revolution Book
Family support, connect with people with similar journeys/join Facebook groups. (whatever else you think here)
When you or a loved one are diagnosed with cancer, there are always a lot of questions and uncertainties that come along with the event. Diagnosis can be a deeply disorienting and scary time, and it is completely natural to seek information that will help you navigate it. And even if your first instinct isn’t to seek information, it is still usually a good idea to have a good sense of the personal journey you are about to embark upon. Here are a few ways you can take charge of and plan for your future cancer care.
The thing about cancer—for better or worse—is that you aren’t the first person to have experienced it. It can be a very difficult experience, but you are not alone in going through it. As such, in order to help people through their highs and lows, there are many support groups and organizations that seek to connect cancer patients with each other and with resources that can help them better navigate their disease. While in the midst of this experience, it can be extremely beneficial to seek out others who can give you advice after having been in your position first. After all, generally speaking, the known is less scary than the unknown.
Read Books and Articles
Similar to the above, books and articles can often give you the benefit of context and prior experience from people who have previously gone through the same experience you are about to embark upon. If you are not a particularly extroverted person, ingesting prior experience in written form may allow you to get important information without the exertion of joining new communities you may not have the energy to dedicate yourself to in the midst of such an already difficult time. And even if you do feel motivated to join cancer survivor communities, books and articles can be a good supplement to that to ingest in your own time. In addition, books and articles written by medical professionals—such as “The Cancer Revolution” by Dr. Leigh Connealy—can provide additional information about possible treatment plans and approaches that can help you best chart your path forward.
Establish Family Support
Regardless of if your family is born, married into, or made, cancer is a time in which you should focus on bringing your loved ones as close to you as possible. During your treatment, you are likely to need support both physical and mental. Your loved ones will generally be happy to fit into that mold, but you will also need to communicate clearly with them the kind of journey you will soon be going through.
Educate Yourself On the Science
For many people, the most centering thing they can do to plan for cancer is to spend time on fully understanding their disease, and to the best of their ability, projecting the details of their treatment. While cancer treatment certainly involves a lot of uncertainties, and it is impossible to predict everything exactly, having at least a general idea of what is going to happen can certainly help you in prioritizing what to spend your time and energy on. Particularly if your cancer might impede your quality of life significantly, this kind of planning can help you decide how you want to best spend your time while undergoing treatment.
Overall, cancer is an unpredictable, sometimes painful experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan for it. Although everyone’s cancer is unique, certain approaches can consistently help you navigate the experience regardless of your condition’s specifics. The important things are to understand others’ journeys as a way to gauge your own, as well as to chart what your specific experience might be according to your doctor’s advice and your medical specifics. If you can do that, planning for your cancer journey can be demystified a great deal