We like to imagine that, if tested by fate, we will rise to the occasion. We want to believe we can handle anything that life throws at us. Confidence and perseverance will get you far in life, but it can’t do all the heavy lifting. Sometimes you’ll be hit with something that requires you to call in reinforcements. One of those “sometimes” is when you’re facing a major challenge to your health, one that could change your life forever or, in the worst-case scenario, end it.
After the diagnosis
We all dread hearing our doctor come into the examination room and say something like, “It’s cancer.” When that actually happens, our minds and bodies kind of shut down a little bit as we go into shock trying to process everything. If you find yourself in that examination room under such circumstances, you’ll have a lot of choices to make. Your doctor may give you a choice between, say, chemotherapy and surgery. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and there’s no shame in asking for a recommendation for a therapist or counselor while you’re dealing with all this. In fact, your doctor may offer you that option before you even get the chance to bring it up.
It may or may not help to remember that thousands of people deal with a diagnosis of cancer every year, and plenty of others deal with a diagnosis of some other life-altering disease like multiple sclerosis. You’re not alone. You may feel alone, but you are not. Ask around and see if there’s a local support group for your condition. If that doesn’t work, you’ll probably have a friend or co-worker who knows a person with the disease. If that person is willing to talk to you about what their life is like, then go ahead and ask your friend or co-worker to connect the two of you.
“There are good days and bad days.” That’s something you hear almost everyone with a debilitating disease say. There will be days when you’re full of energy and days when you feel like you can’t get out of bed. Depending on your condition, physical therapy may be something that can help you lead a better life, if not a “normal” one. There’s often no real “normal” when dealing with serious ailments like this. Some people may mention a treatment called cannabidiol, or CBD oil. It’s made from cannabis, but it doesn’t contain the psychoactive substance needed to get you high. Look up a CBD oil benefits list and decide if it’s something you’d like to discuss with your physician. It’s legal in most states, although the federal government still bans it. There are also those who find a substance called Curamin to be helpful in relieving some types of pain.
Some people faced with a serious illness find comfort in making final preparations, while others don’t want to think about it. Making sure you have an up-to-date will is always a good idea. Beyond that, you may want to look into cremation services or call up a funeral home and ask about pre-planning. Talk to your family about your final wishes as well, and consider drafting a living will that details what kind of treatments you do and don’t want used on you. If you get to a point where you can’t communicate your wishes, then the living will can do it for you.
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