Discovering that you have a potentially life threatening illness is almost always devastating. You think that everything is okay but in the blink of an eye, suddenly your world is turned upside down. You have every right to be upset with the diagnosis. However, you have to find a way to deal with it. It’s your reality now, and you need to stay strong.

Everyone reacts slightly differently when faced with a diagnosis of cancer, but your world need not fall apart. There are ways of coping with support and help. The following suggested steps can help you cope with such a life changing diagnosis.

Don’t blame yourself for the diagnosis

The first thing that you might think of if you receive the diagnosis is to blame yourself. You may believe that it is your fault why you are currently suffering from the illness. However, cancer does not discriminate; it’s not fair for you to blame yourself. In doing so, you increase the burden of stress upon yourself. You have to try to take it easy and think logically and not emotionally, although it can be extremely difficult to do so. You didn’t intend to be ill. It is not your fault!

It’s okay to cry

You might not know what to do upon hearing the sad news apart from crying. If you want to cry it out, that’s understandable. Humans cry for a reason – to release stress, it is a natural reaction and shouldn’t be suppressed. Pretending that you’re okay and you’re strong at the beginning doesn’t help. If you need to cry to release your frustration and fear, you have to do it. You shouldn’t even feel embarrassed to express your emotions in front of others. You’re going through a life-changing situation; and it’s okay for you to feel sad at such an immensely difficult time in your life.

Join support groups 

You’re probably not the only person going through such an extremely unpleasant period. Lots of other people will also have a diagnosis similar to yours. At such a difficult time you can seek help from support groups. If you have cancer, you can find a lot of cancer support groups. The good thing about being part of these organizations is that you’re with people who will fully understand what you’re going through. They can give you advice on how you can cope with your hopes and fears.

They won’t judge your actions, but they will empathize with your stories. You might also realize that other people are going through worse situations. If you’re a part of one of these support groups, there are times when you can listen and share your thoughts and experiences with others. You can receive inspiration from others, but you can also inspire them.

Learn more about the illness

Try your best to learn about your illness. The more you know about it, the easier it is for you to deal with. If you can ask questions of your medical professional it would help. Learning about it will also make you feel more confident that you can overcome your fears. When you hear about a cancer diagnosis, you might think it’s the end. The truth is that you can still find a way out. Understanding your illness will also help you adjust your lifestyle and move forward with renewed hope.

Talk to the people you love about your diagnosis 

You don’t have to feel guilty when you’re with people you love. They will be there for you and understand what you’re going through. Sure, they’re already helping you in many ways. However, if you need someone to talk to and be your emotional support, you shouldn’t hesitate to turn to your family. They know that you need them more than ever.

It’s okay for you to feel frustrated but never lose hope. Lots of people survived even the most terrible illnesses. As long as you follow professional medical instructions and treatments your future has the potential for a positive prognosis.

The bottom line

Stay strong, be positive and do not allow yourself to be overcome. If you do feel stressed and pressured, taking part in a support group will help you move forward with positivity and energy.

More to read

Be inspired by Jenna Lowe’s story and how her illness  changed her family forever.


Emily Sloane

I am a nature lover, and freelance writer. I love sharing new insights on how to live a healthier life using nature's gifts. Be kind. Be generous. Live in the now.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.