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Public Group active 4 years, 7 months ago ago

A group for survivors. Tell your stories and discuss your plans.

Supporting the newly diagnosed (5 posts)

  • Profile picture of rick rick said 7 years, 2 months ago:

    Questions often come up on what’s the best way to support someone recently diagnosed with cancer. What were the most helpful…and for that matter, least helpful things that were done for you during you initial cancer diagnosis? What is the one thing that you would recommend be done for someone who has been recently diagnosed with cancer? And for those of you who already played the caregiver role, any thoughts?

  • Profile picture of Lisa Tercha Lisa Tercha said 7 years ago:

    Being newly diagnosed, I will tell you that the most helpful thing for me was getting the factual information about the illness and a treatment plan that included a sense of hope that this illness is treatable. Not being knowledgable about the disease, the word cancer caused me to immediately go to “the darkest place”, especially when I was so confused about how all of this happened and what it all meant. A lack of understanding of what is going on only adds to the anxiety of the situation. After getting the information I needed, the next best help is being allowed to talk, incessantly at times, to family about the diagnosis and the hope for the future.

  • Profile picture of Sharon Dwyer Sharon Dwyer said 6 years, 9 months ago:

    Why do some people find it so difficult to talk to cancer patients? And why don’t some people think before they speak? Was really looking forward to Easter dinner with my neighbors and their family since it would be my first social outing since my hysterectomy. Everyone there knew about my surgery, cancer diagnosis, and excellent prognosis but hardly anyone mentioned it. Maybe they thought I wanted to avoid the subject or they felt uncomfortable dealing with the “C” word. All they had to say was “How are you feeling?”. Then they could have followed my lead but most did not! And the ones that did broach the subject were insensitive. Why tell me about all the people you know who died from cancer? Why was it necessary to tell me the cancer could come back even though it’s Stage 1? And don’t tell me you know how I feel…..because unless you’ve been there, you don’t!

    I wish people wouldn’t treat me like some fragile china doll ready to break! Ask how I’m doing and if I want to elaborate, I will. You can ask questions about what I’m going through and if I don’t want to share my thoughts, I’ll tell you. Above all, please act normal around me because that will make me feel better. If you tiptoe around me, it will only add to my already heightened anxiety level.

  • Profile picture of andrea poloni andrea poloni said 6 years, 6 months ago:

    I agree with Lisa that getting information and having some choice in treatment was important in dealing with the cancer diagnosis. I am in a weird position as I have two different types of caner: breast and endometrial. That in and of itself is perplexing to me. One thing I have read is that many cancer patients who are newly diagnosed may have undergone some type of severe stress in their lives in the years prior to getting diagnosed. That is something that had happened to me, yet this isnt discussed or talked about. Personally, for me, getting some counseling and dealing with the leftover stress from these issues is important to me as a part of my recovery.
    And Sharon, I agree with you that lots of people feel awkward when approaching us cancer patients….they dont know if it is polite to talk about it or ask us about it. One thing I keep hearing from acquaintences and friends who know that I am getting chemotherapy: “But you look so good!” I think the average person is so afraid of cancer and equates treatment of it at any stage as being on death’s doorstep. They are perhaps fearful for you and maybe even themselves to some degree. The image they may hold of a cancer patient in their minds doesnt jive with how they see you. So I just asked all my friends and family to simply treat me as normally as possible and ask what they wanted and talk to me like they normally would. That means also do not stop calling or visiting me because they are afraid I might not feel well….just ask, and I will be glad to tell them and talk about it if they want to hear.

  • Profile picture of Kayla Dolan Kayla Dolan said 6 years, 4 months ago:

    I agree with everyone who has written before me.

    Being diagnosed only three short months ago I can say that having an appointment with a genetic counselor was also helpful. Being 24 and having a cancer that most women don’t have until there 50′s was confusing to me. Speaking to the genetic counselor and understanding cancer cells and cellular mutations made the diagnosis easier to understand. I am being tested for Puetz Jeghers syndrome, I am so thankful that I am a candidate for genetic testing and hopefully i can protect the rest of my family!
    Another thing that helped me was talking to people who have gone through a similar diagnosis or someone who has or has had cancer. Im a waitress and im constantly wearing my “Fight like a girl” bracelet, so there is no shortage of questions and conversations and I love every minute of it! :)