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Coping with Cancer

A cancer diagnosis can feel overwhelming. You may feel shock and disbelief when you first hear the word "cancer" from your doctor. You may find it hard to believe you have cancer because you feel fine. You may be trying to deal with what it means for you and your loved ones. Having cancer is not easy, and coping with it takes a lot of energy, strength, and perseverance from you and those who care about you.

Once the initial shock wears off, you may feel a wide range of emotions, including fear, anger, sadness, anxiety, or guilt. You may be afraid of dying or of the cancer treatments and how they will affect you physically and emotionally. You may be angry that this is happening to you. Some people feel sadness about things they may not get to do, or anxious about how they will pay for their care.

You’re not alone if you wonder how all of this will affect your loved ones. You may also feel guilty that something you did, or did not do, in your past may have led to developing cancer. You may even begin to question the spiritual beliefs you have always held.

These feelings are normal, yet fear of the unknown may be the hardest part of your cancer diagnosis. To combat this fear, learn all you can about your illness, treatment options, and likely outcomes. Keep in mind that one of your best sources of information is your Texas Oncology care team. Ask them any questions you have. Their job is to help you understand all aspects of your care.

As you begin this journey, bring someone with you to your appointments whenever possible. They may remember things you did not hear and can provide support. As you seek answers, the internet can be a valuable source of information. But keep in mind that there is also a lot of misinformation on the internet. Before making any changes based on suggested treatments or drugs, discuss them with your doctor.

Dealing with cancer is perhaps one of the hardest challenges you will ever face, but know that you don’t have to face this journey alone. Your care team, family, friends, and even friends you have not yet met, are here to help you along the way.

Coping with Cancer Resources

These organizations offer extensive information for coping with cancer: