Research and Information
Find out as much as you can about your diagnosis. If you stumble upon aspects or treatment modalities that you want to know more about, bring them up to your medical doctor. Tell him or her about what you read and start a dialogue. Communicating is one of the best steps you can take after your diagnosis. The more you speak (even if it’s only with your doctor for now), the easier it will be to fully accept and share your diagnosis later.
Think about working with a therapist. He or she will be able to provide support and suggestions during this confusing and overwhelming time. It’s important to commit to regular sessions and do your best to share your feelings even if it’s hard. Remember that therapy is a non-judgmental place where patients can safely uncover a variety of difficult issues and emotions. Don’t keep it bottled up inside. If there is one place where you can truly let go, it’s in therapy.
Focus on You
While I’ve recommended a few ways to proceed after your diagnosis, ultimately, your next steps are up to you. You are in control. While the clinical side of your diagnosis can be all-consuming, it’s important to make your mental well-being a priority. Even if it’s difficult, carve out the time each day to find peace and calm. This can be in the form of enjoying the outdoors, actively participating in therapy or a support group, journaling, meditating, or spending time doing activities you love.
Resist the urge to isolate yourself and put up a false mask that you can handle everything on your own. This will only cause more distress. Instead, surround yourself with people who can support you when you’re ready to share more about your diagnosis. Know that you will grow and move forward. So take this time to care for the resilient person you are.
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