When you’re first diagnosed with cancer you want answers… You want hope. So you jump online and start searching for information on your diagnosis, but instead of finding hope, you find every worst case scenario out there. I remember actually about passing out from looking up pictures of the surgery, I was about to face. Was white as a sheet and wouldn’t have dared trying to stand up.
The internet is a great thing, but it’s also your worst enemy, at times. You seek out support, but you may also be finding people that are dealing with advanced stages of the disease and that can be hard when you’re newly diagnosed and uncertain about what to expect.
One thing you need to remember is that a lot of people that get through the tunnel and survive it well, don’t always stay active in support groups (which is unfortunate). They try to move away from everything to do with cancer, they want to forget.
This isn’t necessary bad, but for those that are seeking positive stories, it makes it hard. The people most likely to give you hope, have moved on. So when you are seeking answers, you often are hearing some of the worst stories possible and in turn being scared to death. I found this, so I try to be available for newly diagnosed individuals whenever possible.
The challenge this creates is knowing what to tune in and what to tune out. It’s impossible to turn out everything, but you need to keep a level head (which is hard enough in the beginning). As great as support groups are, they often have a lot of individuals that feel it their responsibility to “warn” others about EVERY worst possible outcome and I can tell you from personal experience, that doesn’t help when you’re first diagnosed.
When we’re first diagnosed we need to know that the battle can be won, that though it will be a challenge, it is doable. Worst case scenarios are easy to find, we need hope. So choose your quest for knowledge carefully. Know that being positive is important and finding a great team includes finding people that have gone through the battle and won. We are out there and we want to help.
That being said, I’m always willing to help survivors see the brighter side of the battle and the light at the end of the tunnel.
Have a great week!
“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” ~Christopher Reeve