A cancer diagnosis has the power to change your life like nothing else in this world. Though it is an extremely difficult diagnosis to cope with, you can still fight it and win. Cancer treatment has come a long way in the past few decades, and research is yielding encouraging results on a regular basis.
Even though your life has changed immeasurably, you still have to show up for it every day. You have crucial decisions to make like choosing a treatment plan and managing new medical expenses. Cancer may have caught you off guard, but here’s a little advice to help you going forward.
Learn All You Can About Your Diagnosis
A cancer diagnosis is devastating and unbelievable the first time you hear it come from a doctor’s mouth. Though you may be in shock, educate yourself about your condition as much as possible so you can make informed decisions about how to proceed with cancer treatment.
Ask your primary care physician to let you know about trusted oncologists in the area who can take a second look at you before deciding on a treatment plan. Another full body MRI scan may show you something about your cancer that was missed the first time around. A different oncologist may give you a different diagnosis or prognosis. He or she may say the same thing as the doctor who found your cancer but offers different treatment options. The point is, don’t stop looking for answers after your initial diagnosis.
Once you’re satisfied that you’ve gotten the correct diagnosis, do some research to learn more about what to expect with your type of cancer. Get familiar with the symptoms you can expect as well as your treatment options and their side effects. You may know that radiation causes hair loss and chemotherapy causes fatigue, but speak with people that you know who’ve experienced cancer treatment before. They can give you a more vivid picture of what to expect. The more you know, the more active role you’ll be able to play in your recovery.
Managing Your Finances
One of the underestimated effects of a cancer diagnosis is the financial strain that it puts on families. There’s the burden of paying for care as well as time that will be missed from work in order to receive treatment and recover. With all of that pressure combined, the financial strain can be almost as stressful as your illness itself.
Cancer treatment is expensive, and for most people, their group or private health insurance isn’t enough to cover their medical expenses. Even with Medicaid or Medicare, you may still find yourself looking for ways to cover the costs that come with your care.
A great way to cover the medical bills that your insurance or health benefits won’t cover is to sell your life insurance plan. Viatical settlement companies buy life insurance policies from people who need significant funds for health reasons. Getting a viatical settlement to cover your medical bills could save your life as well as save you from financial ruin.
Get Support From Loved Ones And Other Cancer Patients
Cancer will likely be the scariest challenge you will ever face — you’ll literally be fighting for your life. The good news is that you don’t have to fight it alone, and you shouldn’t try to either.
Many cancer patients find encouragement in the other patients they meet when they go to treatment and in cancer support groups. The bonds you form with other people who are fighting the same battle as you will give you strength in your most painful and scary moments.
It’s also important that you allow yourself the luxury of the love of your family and friends. There will be times where all you’ll want to do is be alone and rest, but you also need to balance that by spending quality time with your loved ones. Having a great support group around you is the best treatment for cancer.