All WhatNexter’s have a unique diagnosis story, that “oh no” moment of shock when they find out about their cancer. The next steps of digesting a cancer prognosis can be difficult; often the process goes from shock to sadness to finding a way to fight. It may help to read inspiring ways that other WhatNexter’s have coped with their prognosis. If you have just been diagnosed with cancer, we hope these tidbits from WhatNexter’s will help you find your own ways to cope.
Get Past the Shock
One of the first reactions WhatNexter’s commonly experience when hearing their prognosis is shock. In order to process their prognosis they find they have to get past the shock of hearing they have cancer.
“A reaction of shock is normal. It took time to integrate everything that I was going through. I spoke with my team about questions and concerns. Once I had a treatment plan in place...I started to feel more in control of what was going on.” -SueRae1, Kidney Cancer, Stage IV
“Processing all the emotions and information was overwhelming. I got a notebook to write down things I learned at medical appointments and questions/concerns that came to me when I was not at the doctor's office. Things got less stressful when I had a game plan for treatment. I also found an outlet to vent my emotional responses.” -gwendolyn, Breast Cancer
“Once I really accepted that I was sick, I could decide to do everything in my power to get well.” -geekling
Gather All the Information
A helpful step in coping with your prognosis may be to gather all the information you need. You can talk to your care team, research reliable medical sites, or go to your local American Cancer Society.
“One thing that helped me was going to my local American Cancer Society and getting information...I was treated with such kindness there, and they helped me feel less alone. It also helped make me feel like I was doing something pro-active.” -GypsyJule, Uterine Cancer, Stage I
Emotional Turning Point - ‘I’m Going to Beat This’
Many WhatNexter’s say that there was an emotional turning point when they were digesting their prognosis when they said ‘I’m going to beat this’ no matter what.
“One night while giving my daughter a kiss goodnight I whispered in her ear "I'm going to beat this for you.” That was an emotional turning point for me.” -ticklingcancer, Testicular Cancer, Stage III
Find a Doctor You Can Trust
It may help you to find a doctor you feel can trust, someone who you feel you can meet the cancer with head-on.
“Finding someone (a doctor) who I could trust was important thing to me.” - Flowers55, Colorectal Cancer
Fighter Attitude - ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’
Many WhatNexter’s surprise themselves and their loved ones by finding a fighter attitude.
“My response was always..’you ain't seen nothing.’ I thought, ‘I can take this and I can take 10 times more!’ I just kept thinking that I am so much stronger than cancer.” -CAS1, Lung Cancer
View Each Day as a Gift
Some WhatNexter’s take their prognosis day-by-day and view each of those days as a gift.
“Cancer is a mystery. I am so grateful for this site and the accounts of people who continue to take each day as a gift. So many have been before me as conquerors with strength and fortitude...I continue to hope.” -carlie, Oral Cancer, Stage I
One WhatNexter, FreeBird, shares that there is unlimited perspective in his life to be found in the face of a cancer prognosis.
“I cannot do anything to change many things in my life. But I can focus my mind and what I do have. I can focus on the things to which I have to look forward to today and on the things I do have for which to be grateful. That's all any of us really have for sure. The future will take care of itself, if I focus on right now, make the most of this moment, and take one day at a time. Turn down the high beams. Turn on the low beams and grab onto today.” -Freebird
Although WhatNexter’s have found it difficult to face their cancer prognosis, many have found it was made easier by processing their shock, gathering helpful information, deciding to beat it with a fighter attitude, finding a doctor, viewing each day as a gift, and reaching perspective. We want to hear what is helping you cope with your prognosis. Please share for other WhatNexter’s to gain extra inspiration.