Receiving A Cancer Diagnosis
Receiving A Cancer Diagnosis
Carly Schwartz (Co-Founder) gives expert video advice on: Who should I tell I have been diagnosed with cancer?; Is it ok to keep my cancer diagnosis a secret?; How should I deal with someone who reacts negatively to my cancer diagnosis? and more...
What does it feel like to be told you have cancer?
Being told that you have cancer is devastating; it turns your world upside down. It's huge. You walk in thinking maybe something's wrong but never wanting to hear you that have cancer. It's devastating because you need to know what stage you are at, as that can change everything. There's so many things to consider when you are told you have cancer. You think of all of your loved ones if you're raising children, your career, or whatever. Everything is affected, all of your relationships, anything in your life at that time when you are told that you have cancer.
What should I do after being told I have cancer?
After being told that you have cancer, I think the first thing you would want to do is find the best oncologist. Find someone that a friend of yours has gone to and had a good rapport with and a good experience with. If you're connected with the right oncologist they can direct you to any other services you might need to fight your cancer, such as if you need surgery or radiation or acupuncture, whatever it might be.
How long does it typically take to get over the shock of a cancer diagnosis?
I don't know that you ever get over the shock of a cancer diagnosis. I am eight years out and still, when I feel something , I think I don't want to go through this again. I've more or less accepted that this is how life is going to be, and I keep up with all of my check ups. You should be diligent to do what you can, and just go on with your life after the shock of a cancer diagnosis.
How do most people react to a cancer diagnosis?
In a reaction to a cancer diagnosis, I think denial is common, because you can't believe this can happen to your body. I actually thought I'll do what they tell me to do, but this isn't real, and I've heard that from other patients. You're also devastated of course. I think its a full spectrum of emotions that people experience when told they have cancer. Everyone is different, so I think that whatever you're feeling, you are feeling, and you have to deal with those feelings after a cancer diagnosis.
Who should I tell I have been diagnosed with cancer?
Who you tell that you've been diagnosed with cancer depends on who you are comfortable telling. In my situation, I felt as though there had to be a reason for me to have cancer and I was going to attempt to use it for good to come out of it. So I was very open that I had been diagnosed with cancer, but I have since worked with women that have not wanted anyone to know and they pulled it off just fine. So it is totally up to the individual who they tell when diagnosed with cancer.
Is it ok to keep my cancer diagnosis a secret?
It is absolutely ok to keep your cancer a secret. It's totally up to you if you want to keep your cancer diagnosis a secret. However you want to deal with the consequences. I know people that have pulled away and no one ever knew why, whether for career reasons, or they didn't want to have their family concerned. They pulled it off, they kept their cancer a secret and dealt with it fine.
Is it possible people will abandon me when I tell them about my cancer?
It is possible that people will abandon you when you tell them you have cancer. I had close friends who couldn't deal with it because it was too close to home. It's shocking when someone close to you reacts like that, and it can happen.