Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Emotional Support when Facing A Cancer or Other Nasty Diagnosis


Repeat after me:

"You are not the only one with this diagnosis"
"You are not the only one with this diagnosis"
"You are not the only one with this diagnosis"
"You are not the only one with this diagnosis"
"You are not the only one with this diagnosis"
"You are not the only one with this diagnosis"

And again.

You could have a rare disease, such as being one of only 8 people world wide with the same diagnosis. But I bet there are other people with a similar disease from a non-medical type of view. You are not the only person with a cancer or a genetic disease or whatever you have. Unfortunately there are other people out there who are dealing with their medical diagnosis.

At my second cancer diagnosis, I didn't sit back. I took action. Within 24 hours of my diagnosis, I started my blog to keep people posted on my health. Before my first surgery, I joined a support group. Somewhere in there I started tweeting and joining several online communities for additional support. At the end of active treatment, when many people fall apart because your medical team says 'see you in six months', I found a therapist. I was determined not to let cancer suck away years of my life again.

I cannot say enough about the benefits of support groups. When I joined, I was told that it was proven about the benefits of them. People who actively seek out emotional support do better with their treatment. They have been shown to  handle treatment better and have improved outcomes. Check out all these articles referenced here to show studies demonstrating this.

If you are emotionally miserable with your medical issues, find support. These days it can be available in online communities but also in person. I recommend you make the effort to get to an in person group at least  periodically and make new friends with those who are there. You will feel better.

I have numerous cancer friends. These are friends who I would not have met if I didn't have cancer. We help each other with the bumps in the road. You can do this too.

Yes every cancer diagnosis is different even if you basically have the same disease. But the medical roller coaster is pretty much the same for all.

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