Things To Do If You’re Diagnosed With Lymphoma Cancer

The moments between diagnosis and the beginning of treatment are often the hardest for the person battling cancer.  Here is a list of suggestion/tips if you’re diagnosed with cancer.
1. Take a deep breath and go easy on yourself
2. Seek help from others. Get support from family, friends, coworkers, clergy, associations, etc. (see number 12)
3. Get organized.  Consider a binder to keep your medical papers organized. Check The Armstrong Foundation at to obtain their special cancer guidebook.
4. Get Educated. Know the details of your cancer diagnosis but don’t spent too much time online
5. Pick an oncologist, one you feel comfortable with.  Preferably an expert in your type of cancer
6.  Feel free to seek a second opinion.
7.  Get your medical center’s 24-hour help line and oncologist nurses’ phone number
8.  See a dentist for a general cleaning before treatment begins
9.  Learn how to read your lab reports.
10.  Keep a list of all medications you take including vitamins (keep it updated and provide it to your doctor)
11.   Get your  finances in order. Look into medical leaves, critical life insurance, financial assistance with drugs/medical supplies etc.
12.  Find cancer support groups (ask your cancer center or search online through foundations that support your type of cancer). If you prefer one-on-one support and privacy from online groups, consider the organization Imerman Angels – they can find one-on-one support for patients and caregivers.
13.  Have a trusty friend/advocate join you during appointments to take notes and help  ask questions.
14.  List ways family and friends can help you (chores, rides, cleaning, etc.).
15.  Consider a temporary disability placard (print the application online and have your doctor sign it). On days you’re fatigue, it will be useful.
16.  Not to discourage, but to prepare. Consider planning ahead with and advanced directive and living will.
17.  Find ways to relax and cope (yoga, guided imagery, music, hobbies,  faith/spirituality,  etc.).
18. Accept help.  Don’t do this alone. Don’t try to be strong all the time. Allow yourself to vent or cry if you have to. Don’t bottle it up inside (see numbers 19 and 20)
19.  Understand fear and anxiety is normal. Once you have a treatment plan, you’ll be in fight mode
20.  Ask doctor for a therapist referral if you feel you need ways to combat fear or anxiety.
21.  Consider taking time off  during treatment or ask your employer for an alternative schedule if you feel you need it
22.  Find a certified nutritionist who understands nutrition for cancer patients, healthy foods and what not to eat  when blood counts are low.
23.  Understand that family and friends won’t always say the right things or know what to do.  They are scared too. Be patient with them.  Suggest to your family to join a  cancer support groups for caregivers through the cancer center or search online.  Alternatively, consider the organization Imerman Angels – they can find one-on-one support for patients and caregivers.
24. Children who have parents diagnosed with cancer need special attention.  Learn more at the Kids Konnected organization.  Additionally, kids and young adults with cancer may find that they need support from patients their own age. We recommend the Stupid Cancer organization
25.  Some patients will find comfort in  spirituality whatever their faith may be. We recommend an article called “Finding Comfort in Spirituality.”  If applicable, look for support through your local clergy.
26. Consider a blog to keep your family updated.  Blogs are useful as a way to journal and to keep family and friends connected with your progress.
27.  Continue to celebrate life in spite of cancer. You still have your identity. Don’t lose it. Participate in hobbies,  live life and do the things you love to help keep you focused.
28.  Find strength from both good days and bad days. Celebrate each small triumph.
29.  Take a deep breath and take it one day at a time. That’s the best way to keep on going.

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