Being diagnosed with colorectal cancer can leaving you feeling uncertain and overwhelmed. You’re in and out of doctors’ offices, undergoing regular—and sometimes uncomfortable—treatments, all while learning about the disease and its effects.
When it comes to treating not just the cancer, but the uncomfortable or painful symptoms and byproducts of the disease, there’s hope. Below, we’ll share five tips for anyone wondering how to cope with colorectal cancer.
Tip 1: Understand The Disease and Your Treatment
Though learning the ins and outs of your colorectal cancer can seem downright exhausting, it’s one of the best ways to cope with your disease. You will likely have been referred to colorectal cancer specialists who will with work you to develop the best treatment plan for your unique needs.
They will share details about your cancer, such as where it originated, whether or not it has spread, and, finally, how they plan to combat your cancer. But it’s also important for you to ask questions and learn as much as you can about your diagnosis and the way your colorectal specialists plan to handle your treatment.
Surgery is the most common and usually the most effective treatment for colorectal cancer, especially if the cancer has not spread.
Tip 2: Understand the Side Effects of Your Treatment
Cancer treatment isn’t without side effects. Understanding the side effects that will accompany your treatment methods is the first line of defense in addressing them.
Tip 3: Communicate with Your Team
As we mentioned, this can be a trying time for both you and your family. It’s vital to have open communication lines with not only your family and support team, but also your colorectal specialists. Colorectal cancer is a complicated disease with many different options for treatment and you can easily feel as if your brain is going to explode.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and prepare for your appointments by keeping track of your concerns or questions ahead of time. You’ll likely have a full team of doctors and nurses working together during the course of your treatment, so opening the lines of communication early will set you at ease throughout the process.
Tip 4: Find an Emotional Support Outlet
Chances are your family and friends will be more than happy to give you the support you need during this time, but sometimes you want to share your experience with another person who has gone through the same ordeal. Support groups can connect you with other cancer patients looking to talk to others and share their experience. You can also find counseling opportunities specific to people with cancer.
Tip 5: Find time to Relax
Stress is a big part of a cancer diagnosis. Be sure to find time to practice relaxation in whatever ways work for you. Some people enjoy yoga or meditation, while others would love a warm bubble bath or a nice book. Find what soothes your soul then carve out time for it!
A cancer diagnosis is never easy, but there are ways to make it seem less grim. It’s important to remember you’re never alone. Seek out the support you need to make it through this trying time.