Living with cancer’s uncertainty before, during, and after treatment is tough. Because everyone’s journey is unique, there is no road map to guide you through. You have to discover what works best for you and create your own path. Here are four tips for living with the uncertainty of cancer.
1. Managing Scanxiety
Scanxiety, the time leading up to a scan and the span between the scan and results, can be unnerving. To manage your scanxiety, try clustering your care to minimize the time between the scan and the follow up. Plan something fun in advance, such as dinner with friends, to keep your mind on something positive. Meditate. Remind yourself that being nervous is natural, but you need to stay productive while waiting for your scan results.
2. Talking with Loved Ones
In many cases, your loved ones may mean well but not know what to say to you. Help them out by initiating conversation. Share a funny story. Check in to see how your loved one is doing. Listen to what they have to say. Let your loved ones share their frustrations and feelings in a nonjudgmental way. Make plans with them. Suggest a place to go for lunch, exercise, or see a movie. Let your loved ones know it’s OK to say that cancer sucks. It does.
3. Making Future Plans
Although it may be stressful, plan for the future as a cancer patient and survivor. Set daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. Stay flexible to allow for changes, especially when you feel tired from treatment. Focus on why you want to live and how you can work toward it.
4. Being Your Best as a Cancer Survivor
Be your best self as a cancer survivor. Know that you are enough. Avoid comparing yourself to others. The only person you need to be better than is who you were yesterday. Identify as yourself rather than a cancer patient. The disease is part of your experience, not all of you. Give back when you are able. Pay it forward when can because you want to. Celebrate your big and small victories. They all add up to success.
If you or someone you know is fighting cancer, get in touch with Chix 4 a Cause. Learn more about our Gifts of Love program at chix4acause.org today.