As the year comes to a close, many people begin to create resolutions for the New Year. As a cancer patient or survivor, you may look to the New Year in a different way and make resolutions that don't involve a weight loss goal. Here are a few health related goals to set for yourself in the coming New Year for the different stages in your cancer journey--
Recently DiagnosedAsk Questions
Newly diagnosed patients will likely feel overwhelmed after finding out that they have cancer, so it can be easy to just go along with the treatment plan that the doctor sets. While your doctor has your best interests in mind, don’t be afraid to ask questions about your current treatment plan and the options available to you. It is important to be an active participant in your health care as you go through intensive treatments.
In TreatmentAsk for Help
While going through cancer treatments, side effects can make your everyday activities become seemingly impossible to do. Make a resolution to ask for help when you need it, even with simple chores like cleaning, laundry and cooking, but especially for important tasks like rides to doctor's appointments when you’re not feeling well or even for emotional support.
Join a Support Group
A cancer diagnosis is life changing. Whether you are having a tough time dealing with your diagnosis or are feeling that you’re managing just fine, join a support group to meet with others who are going through a similar journey. Some patients experience a loss of friends or loved ones as they go through treatment for different reasons, but when you join a support group, you have an opportunity to gain many new people to help you through your journey.
SurvivorShare Your Story
As a cancer survivor, your cancer journey is a unique story. Take time to tell your story with other survivors and cancer patients because your own take on cancer can be educational and a source of inspiration. Making the public aware of causes surrounding cancer can be important too. For rare cancers, such as mesothelioma, sharing your story is a good way to raise awareness. Whether you choose to use a blog and social media, news outlets, a support group, or a combination, share the story of your cancer journey!
Continue to Take Care of Yourself
As you learn to live with your new normal, take the time to continue to take care of yourself. Keep your health a high priority by taking time to exercise to your ability and eat well. Attending your doctor’s appointments and continuing with any prescribed medication is also important. Above all, remember that your cancer does not define you as a person, so continue to find ways to enjoy life and stay happy.