• What is one piece of advice you would give to someone newly diagnosed?

    Asked by CarolLHRN on Monday, November 5, 2012

    What is one piece of advice you would give to someone newly diagnosed?

    Now that I am moving on to surviorship, I want to be able to help those who are newly diagnosed. What was the best advice you received when diagnosed?

    32 Answers from the Community

    32 answers
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar
      ticklingcancer

      Stay Positive!! Attitude is everything when fighting this nasty disease.

      almost 5 years ago
    • packerbacker's Avatar
      packerbacker

      I would have to agree with ticklingcancer and say to stay positive. There are new treatments developed all the time. Good luck to you! Congrats on being a survivor, too!

      almost 5 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird

      Do not be afraid to ask for help.

      almost 5 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar
      HeidiJo

      Don't over do it, and this is going to sound crazy, because I thought so when my doctor said it to me, but; sit back and enjoy the attention you will get from your family and friends, enjoy your time with them. Make lemonade out of lemons. I found it to be good advice.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar
      Lirasgirl33

      With a new cancer diagnosis it's obviously easy to become overwhelmed. Breathe, and try your hardest to take this journey one day at a time.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar
      Peroll

      I recommend learing how to talk to your doctors, ask them questions and get them to explain in detail what is going on with both your vancer and treatment. Cnacer and treatment can be very scary but a good explanation of the desease and the treatment plan will alievate a lot of thiose fears. This will also premit you to help out and become one of people on your treatment team. It will also help you in keeping the positive attitude you need for the fight.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar
      Harry

      Use the Internet as a resource, but don't believe everything you read. Particularly don't believe survival statistics.

      almost 5 years ago
    • cancervivor's Avatar
      cancervivor

      Take each day, each treatment, each procedure one at a time. Don't think about all of the things that you are going to have to do over the next several months. It will overwhelm you. One step at a time. I can take ANYTHING for 15 minutes, or hour, whatever you want to use. Then this step is over, you have just moved one step closer to being DONE!!

      almost 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      Train for a marathon, not a sprint.

      almost 5 years ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      As I have been taught:
      1. Don't panic
      2. Don't give up

      almost 5 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar
      Carol-Charlie

      See yourself as a survivor. Never let yourself think you won't be. I turned everything over to God. I grabbed hold of his hand and we walked the path side by side (when he wasn't carrying me). My doctor and nurses kept telling me they liked my attitude and my oncologist said attitude is 90%. I planned what I was going to do after chemo... the kids helped me (the kids are in their 40's) AND then we did it. Trip to Cape Cod; Trip to Oregon to see friends... Now we've added lots of shelves to our walk in closet... I think I bought too many clothes.... I know I bought too many wigs.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar
      Carol-Charlie

      See yourself as a survivor. Never let yourself think you won't be. I turned everything over to God. I grabbed hold of his hand and we walked the path side by side (when he wasn't carrying me). My doctor and nurses kept telling me they liked my attitude and my oncologist said attitude is 90%. I planned what I was going to do after chemo... the kids helped me (the kids are in their 40's) AND then we did it. Trip to Cape Cod; Trip to Oregon to see friends... Now we've added lots of shelves to our walk in closet... I think I bought too many clothes.... I know I bought too many wigs.

      almost 5 years ago
    • diovino's Avatar
      diovino

      To see a nutritionist and an acupuncturist. Stay Positive and know people are there to support and love you, do not go through this alone. We are here for you!!!!!

      almost 5 years ago
    • SherrySwett's Avatar
      SherrySwett

      I believe it's a good idea to take a friend or family member with you when you talk to your doctor(s) and have them take notes so that if you don't remember everything that is said you will have the notes to refer back to. It will also help you make your decisions for treatment.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Jayne's Avatar
      Jayne

      One thing I learned as the process unfolded was that it's very important to let people help, no matter how small or insignficant it seems. Human nature is to want to reach out and do something, anything for those we love or care about. Having cancer takes away all of your control so for me, I tried to hold onto the things I could: making dinner when I felt well enough, cleaning the house when I felt well enough, and constantly saying "no thanks, I'm all set". What I did not realize at the time was how important those gestures are to people. I should have accepted a few more dinners, a few more rides, a few more offers for help. It would have made everyone around me feel like they were doing something. So, I guess the lesson is that your cancer affects so many people: friends, family and acquaintences, don't get so far in the trenches that you forget how important accepting a gesture is...to you and the other person. Let someone do something for you! It really will make you both feel better.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Schlegel's Avatar
      Schlegel

      Things will get better. Whatever you are feeling now is okay. If you are afraid, that's okay. If you are sad, that's okay. If you are angry, that's okay. If you are angry at God, that's okay. (I'm a former pastor.) You will laugh again.

      almost 5 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      Make an appointment with a dentist and take care of any and all problems and have your teeth cleaned.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Jake's Avatar
      Jake

      My advice is two-fold: Find the best medical specialists you can given your location and resources (cancer patients in rural America have challenges) and; Develop a plan.

      almost 5 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar
      abrub

      Never be afraid to ask any questions, no matter how seemingly insignificant or embarrassing. Your drs and nurses have seen and heard it all.

      Also, don't let your questions go unanswered. If you don't understand the answer, press them until you do (even if the answer is not the one you wanted to hear.)

      By asking questions, my drs learned from me, as well as me learning from them. As a result, other patients benefited.

      almost 5 years ago
    • JudyS's Avatar
      JudyS

      Do not be afraid to speak up to your Doctor(s) to tell them is you are having an issue with your treatment or concerns about a recommended treatment. You are not alone and they really do need and want to know if you are having any side effects or are concerned. Do not think that any concern or side effect is too small to mention or doesn't matter in the scheme of things - it does and so do you.

      almost 5 years ago
    • KatieL's Avatar
      KatieL

      Keep in mind that there are often lots of treatment options, new drugs being tested, and ask your doctor what internet sources are good for your kind of cancer. And find some survivors, preferably long term, through support groups, educational seminars. I have found that knowing
      as much as I can makes me a more positive patient. I have met some pretty incredible people
      so far in my journey (4 1/2 years, multiple myeloma); I am very grateful for having met them.

      almost 5 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      Put in place a great support system. Have a group of primary caregivers/advocates to help you navigate the system and go to your appointments with you. Caregivers get really stressed, so have 2-3 is the best way to keep everyone sane and mange the situation efficiently. Listen to your body, it's better to do less then too much (saith the woman who still manages over extend her physical and emotional energy at least once a week). When at appointments and/or getting your infusion, remember your medical team is stressed too. Be patient, if there's a long wait, it's probably not in the control, so just ask what's happening - so you can have a better idea on how to pace your self. Bring something that calms you - i like to listen to music, read and crochet. Eat as clean as you can and keep physically active, even if it's only 10 min a day.

      almost 5 years ago
    • LauraJo's Avatar
      LauraJo

      Once you are diagnosed, it's like you step into a river & are dragged along. Stop! Will a day or two make a difference in your treatment? Evaluate your options. Can treatments be done at this center, rather than that center? Is this test really necessary? I wish I had been a little less passive at certain times, and had asked more questions. I was blessed with a nurse at my oncologists office who said, Rather than traveling a 30 mile round trip daily for radiation, why not see if you can be treated at the local facility, even though it is in a different hospital's network?" That simple change enabled me to get my daily radiation on my way to work in the mornings, rather than requiring me to take the morning off of work. But it would not have occurred to me to ask, if she hadn't mentioned it. Thank you Rhonda! Ask questions! Beatable, treatable, manageable!

      And pray!! Open your need to your faith community, whatever it happens to be. There is power in prayer.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Beaner54's Avatar
      Beaner54

      I agree with Peroll. Establishing a good relationship with the doctors is essential. I wish I had been more assertive in this area and asked more questions - lessening fear of the unknown.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Crash's Avatar
      Crash

      Get online and look up the type of cancer, understand how it works, look up the standard treatment, and prognosis, and don't read the contraindications on the side of your chemo drugs. Know what you're facing. With the internet you can know almost as much as the doctors.

      almost 5 years ago
    • cancervivor's Avatar
      cancervivor

      I thought of another thing, after having some dental problems after my radiation. If you have head and neck cancer and will have radiation in the neck area, get your teeth fixed, and possibly pulled. My Dr.s now recommend that people going into it, just have them pulled before starting the radiation. The radiation kills the saliva glands, then restricts blood flow to the lower jaw, then the teeth start to fall apart.

      I would have pulled them ALL if I would have known this was going to happen. Now I'm having to have thousands of dollars of dental work, because the teeth can't be pulled now.

      almost 5 years ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar
      alivenwell

      Keep yourself informed and bring somebody to your oncologist's appointments. Try to rest and take it easy. Just take this one day at a time. Immunotherapy is around the corner with all the major drug companies working on it. One day our treatments will be minimal as they improve techniques to get rid of cancer cells, but retain healthy ones.

      over 4 years ago
    • Jimig's Avatar
      Jimig

      A positive attitude and being realistic and not caving in getting depressed.. God overall has been good to me so far..

      over 3 years ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar
      alivenwell

      Make sure there is decent health insurance in place.
      Take the diagnosis and treatment one day at a time.

      over 3 years ago
    • Jessrae's Avatar
      Jessrae

      It's ok to cry, as long as you don't forget to laugh. My oncologist gave me that advice the first time I had cancer.

      over 3 years ago
    • Juddmaster's Avatar
      Juddmaster

      Try to stay positive and take it one day at a time. You have plenty of support here.
      Best wishes to you.

      over 3 years ago
    • sunniescc's Avatar
      sunniescc

      My husband and I have adopted the motto: 1 second, 1 minute, 1 hour, 1 day at a time....and we will make it.

      almost 3 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy


    Read and answer more colorectal (colon) cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Colorectal (Colon) Cancer page.