Receiving a cancer diagnosis is one of the scariest things that can happen to you. Suddenly your life is filled with a flurry of doctor’s appointments and cancer treatments. You grapple with uncertainty on a daily basis. Will chemotherapy cause you to lose your hair? Will you feel too weak to work? These are all normal concerns that will cross your mind when you first receive a cancer diagnosis. As you begin your journey toward becoming cancer free, here are some tips
you should remember.
Take Time for Yourself
Just because your life is busy with cancer treatments doesn’t mean you should forget about your hobbies. According to Livebetterwith.com, “Think about what you love to do, and make time for it.” Pursuing hobbies you love relieves anxiety and makes you feel joy. Even if you merely sit and meditate, it will do wonders for your well-being.
Spend Time with Loved Ones
Getting a cancer diagnosis is terrifying. There are countless doctor’s appointments and treatments that drain you emotionally and physically, so this is the time when you should lean on your loved ones. Spend time with them, so you can feel their support and affection. When we’re healthy, we often forget the importance of spending time with those we love. It’s important that you continue to go out to dinner with your sister or watch a movie with a friend.
Cancer patients often experience fatigue because of chemotherapy, radiation treatment and medications prescribed by their oncologist. But exercise is an important component of the healing process. American Cancer Society reports that exercising can improve your quality of life during cancer treatment. Gentle forms of exercise like walking and yoga are perfect for people who are fighting cancer.
As you undergo cancer treatment, you may feel nauseous or just lack an appetite, but you will need to eat nutritiously. Guide2chemo.com states that eating healthy during cancer treatment allows you to maintain your weight, and consume enough protein to aid in rejuvenating your damaged tissues. Eating the right types of foods also provides you with enough nutrients to defend against infections.
When faced with a serious illness like cancer, people who believe in a higher power typically turn to their faith to help them deal with the challenges of the disease. If you’re a religious person diagnosed with cancer, seek support from your clergyman and members of your religious group. This is also the time when you can re-evaluate your purpose in life. Have you always wanted to write a novel? Make time to pen that future bestseller. Maybe you always wanted to learn to play the piano. Sign up for piano lessons or find an online tutorial. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things.
Avoiding Opioid Addiction
The American Society of Clinical Oncology states that opioid therapy is the leading treatment for pain relating to cancer. Most cancer patients require opioids throughout the various stages of cancer treatment-
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center reports that many cancer patients are reluctant to request pain medication because they’re afraid they may become addicted. But cancer patients normally don’t become addicted to opioids if they carefully follow their doctor’s instructions on how to safely take pain medications.
If you have a history of substance abuse, you may require additional doctor’s visits as well as assistance from social workers, drug rehab centers and psychiatrists. This additional support can prevent you from relapsing into drug addiction. If you have cancer, take time for yourself. Enjoy quiet times reading a book or pursuing other hobbies. Spend time with your loved ones. Eat nutritious food and incorporate gentle exercise into your daily life. Follow your doctor’s instructions when taking pain medications so you can avoid opioid addiction. These simple methods will help you focus on self-care and nurture your spiritual health as you progress through cancer treatment.