Being diagnosed with cancer is nothing short of terrifying. It’s something that we all know is a very real possibility, but we hope that it never becomes reality. So, when it does, you can find yourself reeling. You might struggle to figure out how to move forward with work and with your personal life as you despair over your prognosis. As easy as it can be to slip into hopelessness, you need to know that you can take matters into your own hands by following these steps after a cancer diagnosis:
- Choose the treatment that is right for you: Depending on the stage of your cancer and how you want to live your life, there may be a variety of treatment options available to you. Make sure you educate yourself so that you know which option suits your needs.
- Come to terms with your emotions: A cancer diagnosis can flood you with emotions. You might be angry at what you think caused the condition, worried about how successful treatment will be, concerned about how medical care will affect your finances, and stress over whether the cancer will come back after treatment. These feelings are normal. You can’t simply will them away. So, accept them and don’t beat yourself up for feeling down. There’s a lot of pressure to be positive, which can be beneficial, but don’t force it. Doing so will only lead to unhappiness.
- Get comfortable with uncertainty: Life is unsettled after a cancer diagnosis. It’s not always clear how your condition will affect your day-to-day life, your relationships, and your financial stability. The length of ongoing treatment and the success of that treatment can be up in the air, too. To deal with these uncertainties, consider expressing your fears to your loved ones and practice mindfulness and letting go of things that you can’t control. Live in the moment. Find ways to relax. Focus your energy on things that are important to you.
- Seek out support: Support can come in many forms. Your family and friends can provide you with physical and emotional support, while counselors and medical professionals can help you cope and treat physical and mental health matters. For some people, spiritual or religious support is important. By surrounding yourself with these supports, you allow yourself to be open and honest while moving toward a healthier lifestyle. Many find that this support lifts a burden from their shoulders.
Another type of support that many cancer sufferers need is financial in nature. This may be especially true for those who develop lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases that are directly linked to their line of work. These individuals often need a way to may their medical expenses and offset the wages they have lost by being knocked out of work. They often worry about their family’s financial stability in the event that the cancer worsens to the point of no return.
These are legitimate concerns that can leave you up at night. But options may be available to you. If you’re cancer was caused by your work, such as exposure to asbestos while working in a shipyard, then you might be entitled to compensation. If you’d like to learn more about how to pursue this compensation, then you might want to think about contacting an attorney who is experienced in this area of the law.