You may have just been told the news no one wants to hear—you have cancer. You can’t help but feel frightened and wonder what lies ahead. Yet you are already a survivor. From the moment of diagnosis, you become a cancer survivor and join the over 12 million cancer survivors in the United States today. Thank you for coming to the Cancer Support Community today. It is here that you can learn valuable information and connect with others who understand how you are feeling right now. As a member of a cancer support community, you can find that you are not alone, you can regain a sense of control over your life, and learn that there is always hope.
Please know it is normal to experience worry and sadness at this time. It is also normal for the stress of a cancer diagnosis to affect you and those you love. Cancer is no longer a death sentence but it is a disease that touches everyone around you. You will need the support of your family, friends and community as you make decisions about your care and move through the treatment process. Let them join you as teammates as you face the road ahead. Together, you can seek information, ask the right questions and develop an “action plan” for your care.
Navigating the health care system – the tests, doctor’s appointments and more – can be daunting. Yet the more involved you become in your treatment, the more empowered you’ll feel. Use this website and other Cancer Support Community resources to guide discussions with your loved ones and your healthcare team, and map out your path to survival.
The next few days and weeks will be a busy time, as you face critical decisions about your treatment for cancer. Remember, you do have time to look into your options and make choices that are right for you and your family. Gather information and make a list of questions to ask when you visit your doctor. Ask for help and support from family and friends.
As you move through this first stage of survival, turn to other cancer survivors for support and advice. Be honest with your healthcare team and ask questions about why certain treatments are recommended. Don’t hesitate to seek a second or even a third opinion. Give yourself time to take it all in, then move forward by gathering information so you can make treatment decisions with confidence.