What To Expect When You’re Hit With A Cancer Diagnosis

Pink scrabble tiles arranged to spell 'Cancer'

Cancer is a six-letter word that is so heavy on the heart and minds of people that its weight can crush people’s life. A cancer diagnosis can be a lot to take in, especially if it’s something that has affected your loved one. You may momentarily lose sight of everything and go numb, not knowing what to do.

There will be many questions spiraling in your head when you get a cancer diagnosis. How will you cope with this? What can you do to get rid of it? Where to go? Who to reach out to?

There will also be too many emotions to process, but most importantly, there will be somebody who needs your utmost attention and care. With a responsibility like that on your shoulders, it’s better to be mentally prepared for what’s to come, and the purpose of this blog is to help you achieve that.

A man embracing his wife after cancer diagnosis

Embrace Yourself Emotionally

A cancer diagnosis takes a mental toll on the patient and loved ones. People feel sad, frightened, and worried. They might feel like there’s no hope, they don’t have control over their life. They may also feel that everything coming after this diagnosis will be more bad news.

It’s completely normal to have those feelings, but you mustn’t lose hope and embrace yourself to fight disease with all your strength. Motivation is your key to getting through this challenging phase of life.

Choosing Healthcare Team

It’s preferred by patients and families to approach multiple doctors to feel more confident. Different doctors might have a different diagnosis of one disease based on their experience and knowledge. They might also have different approaches and viewpoints regarding cancer treatments, so it’s good to consider a second opinion.

So it’s better to get in touch with renowned specialists and take everyone’s opinion on the treatment before choosing the healthcare team (doctor and hospital).

Gear Up For Cancer Treatment

There are different types of treatments used solely or in combination for different stages and types of cancers. Some of the common cancer treatments are:

  • Surgery – Cancer cells are removed from the body through surgery/operation.
  • Chemotherapy – Cancer cells in the body are destroyed with drugs and medicines.
  • Radiation Therapy –Cancer cells and tumors are shrunk with radiations.
  • Immunotherapy –Immune system is made strong enough to fight cancer cells.
  • Photodynamic Therapy –Light-activated drugs target cancer cells.

These treatments are not pain-less or easy to go through and have side effects. However, cancer treatment is extensive and taxing, but it’s the only way out. So, boost yourself to go to all lengths with the cancer treatments.

A cancer ward

Be Prepared for Transformation

Once the word ‘cancer’ enters your life, your living style is completely transformed. Your eating, sleeping, and socializing habits will be altered. The only thing you’ll focus on is getting rid of cancer. With extensive treatments and tests, the hospital might become your second home. You will have to make many changes in your lifestyle to tackle this disease pertinently.

Moreover, the harsh cancer treatments and their side effects will bring many physical changes in the cancer patient. Loss of hair and weight is the most common side effect of cancer. Anticipate the physical changes and be prepared for them so they don’t knock you off emotionally once they start appearing.

Cover The Financial Ground

Getting the best possible treatment for cancer and taking care of all the necessities will require you to have a significant financial backup. Sort out your financial matters in advance, talk to the insurance company to know how much they will cover. Arrange for money in whatever possible way you can.

If you are employed, you need to check with your workplace to see if they offer paid caregiver leave. Some insurance companies also provide compensation to caregivers, so it is essential to check with your loved one’s insurance providers. It would help if you were financially sound to take care of your needs and the person’s health is in question.

Try and check every possible program, service, or support group that might be able to assist you financially so that you can provide the best care to your loved


Cancer patients go through a lot – physically and mentally. They may need help eating, bathing, getting dressed, and doing other everyday chores. A caregiver not only manages the patient at home but also takes care of the patient’s hospital visits, scheduled appointments, treatments, medicines, and everything else.

Though professionals can take care of a cancer patient, it’s always better to be cared for by a loved one. A primary caregiver from a family can understand the patient and his emotions; they can spend more time together. Though caregiving is not an easy job and requires 24/7 attentiveness and care towards the patient, family members still like to do it themselves. Caregiving a loved one is also rewarding for family members.

There are many caregiver support books for cancer support that can help the families of people with cancer.

A couple clasping hands to show support to each other

I, Patrick Palmer, am a Caregiving and Cancer Research Advocate, who has written books to support for caregivers of cancer patients. My wife was diagnosed with cancer, and I have fought the battle of cancer with her for 4.5 years. During my cancer journey with my wife, I have learned a lot and have tried to pen it down in my books to help others.

My books’ A Husband’s Guide to Hands-On Caregiving‘ and ‘Are You Prepared to be a Caregiver‘ are must-read books for family caregivers to help them understand the process and boost their morale to get through this difficult journey. Click here to know more about my journey or get the books from here!