Receiving a diagnosis of cancer can be devastating news for a patient and their family. Lots of thoughts can be scrambling through a person's mind such as "Why me?" , "How did this happen?" or "Am I going to die?". Patients will be consumed with thoughts about their prognosis, type of treatments to expect, how this will effect their work and family life, sharing news with others, and overall their physical health. This type of pressure and uncertainty can be mentally draining and lead to potential depression and anxiety.
Some people when diagnosed with cancer can feel very alone and vulnerable. However,it does not have to be that way. There are people and resources who are dedicated and available to provide the emotional, spiritual, financial, and medical support for someone who dealing with cancer.
- Family and friends can be the first line of support. They love you very much and want to see you get well. Lean on them during the times you feel weak, frustrated, or sad. Don't underestimate the power of family and friends uniting to help a loved one in a time of need.
- Friends and family may be able to help run errands for you, provide meals, or watch over your kids when you are physically unable to.
- If you need someone to vent to or make you laugh, friends and family can be a phone call or car ride away.
- Lean on the guidance of your professional cancer specialist team. They are dedicated to helping you get well and answer your questions regarding your illness. Your team is highly trained and should be up to date on the latest treatments.
- Follow their treatment recommendations and ask questions about your prognosis, side effects of medications, and realistic expectations of your recovery.
- If you are unsure of your diagnosis, you can always request a second opinion.
- There are many platforms online that offer support for people living with cancer.
- You will be able to join many online communities that have a focus on the type of cancer you have, your demographics, and/or interests.
- You will be exposed to opportunities for meet ups, volunteer work, and ways to lend support to each other.
- It may be important for you to share with your human resources department about your diagnosis.
- They can inform you about the types of resources that can help you as are deal with symptoms of cancer.
- There is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which can highlight your diagnosis, prognosis, symptoms, and estimate how frequent they can expect for you to attend to your cancer needs.
- Your employer may provide accommodations to allow you to be still productive and manage your responsibilities. Some accommodations may include work from home days and/or shorter work days.
- This can create an atmosphere to protect you and set reasonable expectations from employer.
- Sharing your diagnosis with people you worship with can bring the community together to pray for you.
- You can speak with your faith community leaders about how having cancer may impact your faith.
- You may find strength in hearing testimonies of other faith members who may have went through similar experiences.
Mental Health Support
- There are mental health providers who can support you as you try to make sense of your emotions.
- You may be dealing with anxiety or have developed depression because you have cancer. Your mental health provider can provide treatment modalities such as therapy to help you cope with the new or emerging symptoms you are experiencing.
- If treatment can be enhanced with medication, your therapist or primary care provider can refer you to a psychiatrist who will be able to collaborate with you on the best pharmacological options.
If you have legal or financial concerns you can always tap into network for referrals to find the best experts to answer your questions and provide the support you need.
We at Genesis Psychiatric Solutions are here to serve you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (703) 955-0915 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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