So, you just discovered that you have cancer and may feel like things are out of your control. The good news is, there are some lifestyle changes that can help you. The following tips will not only help you cope with the diagnosis but also help you to improve your overall health and well being as much as possible during and after treatment.
Be Honest with Friends and Family
It can be hard to tell your friends and family about your diagnosis, especially if you have young children. But you need a support system and in order for them to be there for you, they need to know what is going on. Keeping the details to yourself will usually cause you more stress.
Take a Deep Breath
You’ve probably lost count of the number of times someone in your life has told you to just stop and take a deep breath. You may even be thinking that it sounds like generic advice. However, when you get overly stressed or when it just seems like too much is going on at once, just take a deep breath. Focus on your breathing for just a few seconds. It helps to calm yourself enough that you can get a clearer grasp of everything.
Find the Best Oncologist
Dr. Won Sam Yi recommends choosing an oncologist that is comfortable to speak with via the phone and in person. Also, make sure he or she has a communication style that matches yours and shows a genuine interest in getting to know you. Lastly, the oncologist you choose should be friendly and provide informative answers to all of your questions.
Eat Fruits and Veggies
Eating too much meat and other animal products can increase inflammation. You don’t have to completely eliminate meat from your diet, but you should increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables not only help decrease inflammation, but they also contain many vitamins that are beneficial to your overall health.
Rest and Exercise
You may be wondering how rest and exercise can even fit into the same category. Well, rest is important for your body. Getting a good night’s sleep can help activate your body’s regenerative properties. But too much rest can be counterproductive. Lack of exercise weakens your immune system and causes you to be even more tired. Exercise helps increase your muscle tone and flexibility, which in turn helps you recover faster from cancer treatments and other medical procedures.
Manage Your Stress
Cancer is stressful. All the appointments, the treatment, the look you get from people when they find out you have cancer, planning your life around the treatments, it’s all stressful. It would be impossible to think you can completely eliminate all stress associated with having cancer. But you can manage your stress through meditation, exercise, and other means. Excessive stress weakens your immune system, and you are probably already dealing with a weakened immune system as a result of cancer treatments.
Cancer is a diagnosis that nobody wants. But it’s important for you to remember that it is not a death sentence. Be sure to educate yourself so that you can always make informed decisions regarding your treatment.