A cancer diagnosis is something no one ever expects to hear. Hearing it can send you into a state of shock and denial. We here at Tammy Steinbecker Memorial Foundation have experienced that. Some in the role as caregivers and some being diagnosed with cancer themselves.
We have put together a list of recommendations to take action.
- Talk to friends and family.
- We feel that being open and discussing a diagnosis is a way to bring it to reality. Keeping it to yourself may turn out to be to heavy of a burden for you to carry and it could effect your attitude and sprite to fight.
- Get Organized.
- We recommend making sure you have a list of all current medications, previous surgeries, and any other medical complexities you may have. This can direct or even dictate your treatment paths. A good idea is to keep these list saved in at least two places. Places could include your smart phone or written/typed list kept in a folder you take with you for your appointments.
- Educate Yourself
- It is important that you learn as much as you possibly can about your cancer. With the sources available online we caution you to read and research using verifiable sources. Sources can include places like MD Anderson, Mayo Clinic, Baylor Scott & White to just name a few. If you need help researching you can even reach out to us here at TSMF. We feel educating yourself is most important.
- Have a friend or family member attend appointments
- A first appointment can be about as overwhelming as the diagnosis itself. You may be told something that your friend or family member may have heard and you didn’t. We even think it would be a good idea for them to bring their questions to appointments as well. They may have had a similar experience or fought themselves. Four ears and eyes are better than two!
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
- We think we all tend to get into this state of mind that the doctors are there to cure us and we are just going to “nod our heads and agree.” We say if you don’t understand something even being a simple term… Stop, Drop, and ASK! This is about YOU. This is about you beating this disease and you need to understand everything. You should be in full understanding about the time you will spend in certain treatments, the type of treatment themselves, and other treatment options. Will you be able to work while undergoing treatment? Will you have side affects? If I do experience side effects what are some ways I could cope with them? What are the survival rates and odds for my particular cancer? Are there any long term side effects from my treatments?
- Get A Second Opinion.
- We here at TSMF believe in the rule of thumb that getting a second opinion could literally mean longer life expectancy. A second opinion could even offer you treatments that aren’t as difficult to undergo. Talking with a different health care team could mean a surgery and minimal treatments. Remember this is your fight. Do what is best for you. But, do not be afraid to seek a second opinion.
- Stay Strong
- It is important to keep time for yourself. If that is simply reading a book or having a dinner date with friends. You have to feed the soul. It is very easy to let a cancer diagnosis consume you, but by staying strong and knowing that you have organized yourself, began to educate yourself, and have made sure you fully understand what lies ahead; you are on the right track. Take time for yourself. Take time to spend with family and friends. If you need to talk to anyone who has experienced this, we are happy to talk with you. We can even help you find other sources of support. Do what makes you smile and do what keeps you STRONG!
We know that somethings are easier said than done. But, remember that Tammy Steinbecker Memorial Foundation is here to help in any way we can. If you need help finding information, we can help. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and check our website to stay informed.