The word “cancer” invokes the sense of fear and hopelessness from the moment it is mentioned. There is absolutely nothing in the world that can prepare you from being diagnosed with cancer and you might feel like nothing is worth fighting for anymore. However, that is where you are wrong; being diagnosed with cancer does not mean you are sentenced to death, especially when it is caught early. In today’s world, there are many significant technological and medical advancements that can help you eradicate cancer. Technologies are developed to ensure cancer survivors can lead a normal life, pioneered by positivity on your new lease on life.
In saying this, it is also important to be as prepared as you can be. You’ll need to prepare yourself mentally and physically for your cancer treatment and journey ahead. Here are just a few things that you can do before undergoing your chemo or radiation treatment to help you overcome cancer once and for all.
Make a Plan
You may dismiss at the irony of making a plan; you might think that cancer was not in your life plan, and that is true. However, as soon as you get your diagnosis and consult with your cancer care team, you need to ensure you are on the same page with them as far as your cancer treatment goes. You have the right to know everything that’s going on, and you also need to make sure you understand what’s going to happen and whether you agree with it or not.
Your plan should include things such as what you can expect during your cancer treatment, the duration of your treatment, the overall goal of your treatment, and any potential side effects from your chemotherapy or radiation therapy sessions.
When you meet with your care team, especially in the first instance, you will be bombarded with information. It is often a good idea to take along someone you trust, whether it is your partner or friend and have them note things down for you, so you have an accurate record of what’s been discussed.
Second opinions are often a good idea. Getting a second opinion does not mean you do not have any trust in your existing healthcare team; reassurance is just necessary sometimes. A second opinion will also help you deal with your cancer diagnosis better and will probably help you take on board what your doctors are advising.
Plan When You Can
Planning ahead always relieves you from some of the stress, no matter what the situation is, and the same goes for your courses of cancer treatment.
Whether it is chemo or radiation you opt for, you are not going to feel 100% both mentally and physically during the recovery process. This is why it is a good idea to do some forward thinking and consider the things or help you might need.
Your Inner Circle
Your friends and family are always going to be there for you no matter what. Instead of having to make all those stressful decisions by yourself, get your loved ones to help as well. When they can, your friends and family will be more than happy to help out. They might be able to help lighten the load and take on certain jobs themselves like dropping your kids off at school in the morning or help you grocery shop while you recover. This is what your friends and family are for, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask them for help, because at the end of the day, you’d do the same for them if the tables were turned.
This might not seem like a priority now, but you’ll thank yourself for it in the future. When you finally get home from the hospital, you might need a special place, which is not necessarily your bedroom to recover.
Consider somewhere that is both practical and comfortable. Try and think about everything such as water accessibility, electric sockets, and cool areas for medicine storage to name a few.
If it is not already, make your recovery area more homely. Decorate it with things that make you feel happy and safe. This could be virtually anything from artwork to photos or plants to ornaments… The choice is yours! Try to think of it this way; after your cancer treatment, you’ll return to your home, not your house.
Get Into Some Good Habits
When we say good habits, we mean healthy habits. Before your treatment, you need to focus on getting into a healthy state. This does not mean you should go to the gym and go hardcore on the machines and weights. What it does mean is eating a healthy well-balanced diet and doing some light exercise when possible.
Try getting into the right frame of mind with some basic meditation techniques such as focused breathing activities or yoga. Alternatively, if you feel like you need to get a few things off your chest, visit a counsellor. Talking with someone always helps in lifting the world off your shoulders.
In a nutshell, the way you feel mentally will affect your treatment and recovery. It does not matter what stage of cancer you are at; it is essential to remain healthy in other ways. If need be, consult a nutritionist or a personal trainer who can advise you before and post treatment.
Be Prepared for Physical Changes
The physical changes from cancer treatment affect people in different ways. In some cases you might lose your hair, lose weight, gain weight, you might suffer from skin rashes, your skin might even change colour. There are a number of side effects from radiation and chemotherapy, none of which are pleasant. Get the lowdown from your doctors as to what to expect and chat with people who’ve been through what you are experiencing at the moment, because at the end of the day, you do not want to be blindsided, do you?
All in all, the more prepared you are, the smoother everything will go. You do not need any extra unnecessary stress, and with your support network and forward thinking, you can get through this and come out more positive than ever.