We are sharing our hard-earned thoughts on what to do if you have just received a new cancer diagnosis.
1. Take a Breath and Don't Freak Out.
This is not a death sentence, no matter what it feels like.
This is overwhelming, feels like drinking from a firehose, and like you can't go fast enough.
The best thing you can do is breath, respond don't react, and process what is happening.
That little pause can make the difference between you making choices or life just happening to and around you.
2. Find someone to help you think through your next few steps.
Your mind is reeling and it is going to be difficult to focus and make decisions for the next few days at least.
Surrounding yourself with level headed people (perhaps a close friend, family member or a trusted doctor) to go with you to doctors appointments to take notes and help you think through your options.
Keep in mind that those closest to you may also be processing the affect of this diagnosis in their life too…so have grace if they are overwhelmed.
They are on a different but still impactful path.
3. Schedule at least 3 consults with different oncologists (including at least one naturopath).
You must be your own best advocate and that starts with having the right team of experts.
If you know anyone that has had cancer, ask them for references!
Look for doctors who specialize in your type of cancer! Even if you can't go with them for your primary treatment due to insurance restrictions, it can still be worth getting ideas from them and eve asking your primary oncologist in the future to discuss with this expert on your case.
Next week's video will focus on 10 questions for your oncologist, so you can get the most from these consults!
See here if you're watching after the fact :)
4. Make a list of your life habits in the area of: diet, sleep, supplements, exercise, stress, and spirituality.
Sit down and fairly evaluate your habits that brought you to this place.
Make two columns, on the left is your current state. On the right, brainstorm what you could change to improve your general health.
If you don't have an answer…that is a perfect thing to discuss with your doctors!
It is critical to consider what reasonable changes you can make to kick start your own recovery. This starts with being honest with yourself about your baseline.
5. Get excited to make changes in your life to shift the tide of your health.
Your cancer developed through a million little moments and decisions that allowed it to grow.
This means you have a million moments ahead of you to change that environment.
That is EXCITING!
Your health ties closely with your mental outlook and attitude for the future.
Kelly Turner, in her book "radical Remission", identified 9 key common factors she found across many diverse individuals who overcame the odds with their diagnosis.
7 of the 9 factors relate to mental, emotional, and spiritual health.