Waiting for cancer results is one of the most stressful parts of cancer. These are our 7 best tips for coping through it.
“You’ve got cancer.” Those three little words are like a bomb that explodes into your family.
I’ll never forget waiting for cancer results, the day my dad was diagnosed with Lung Cancer.
I was stunned, I could barely breathe. I could feel the tears streaming down my face and the only thing I could think was “holy shit, this isn’t happening.”
And that was just the first 5 minutes. When we left the doctor’s office I had a lot more questions than I did answers. And a lot more waiting to do.
- What does this mean?
- What do we do now?
- Can we actually beat this, or are we talking about death?
Cancer is terrifying. And the uncertainty of the whole situation is one of the scariest things about it.
That very first day, all you really get is a diagnosis. That’s it.
What you don’t get is information to questions like…
- Has it spread?
- What stage is it?
- What are our options and are they going to work?
Those discussions happen later. After what I like to call the “testing phase.” The scans, biopsies, MRIs, etc that are going to answer a lot of those questions
Then you spend days (sometimes weeks) anxiously waiting for cancer results that will undoubtedly change your whole life.
Heads up: If you have no idea how to deal with all this cancer business, we can help you formulate a plan to tackle the immediate issues…
- Finding the best care
- Talking with your insurance company
- Finding resources that will actually help
- Dealing with the fear, anxiety of this whole situation.
We can’t control the cancer, but we CAN show you how to manage this crisis. And it’s 100% Free.
How to cope while waiting for cancer results
It’s excruciating. While you’re waiting for cancer results, your anxiety is off the charts, and you find yourself in a full-blown melt-down over the littlest things.
And, with cancer, you’re ALWAYS waiting for something.
- Waiting to see if something worked…
- Waiting to see if something didn’t work…
- Waiting for test results…
- Waiting for treatment options…
- Waiting for next steps…
- Waiting for further options…
- Waiting for referral doctors who can help you with specific issues…
- Waiting for 2nd opinions…
- Waiting for appointments…
- Waiting for symptoms to subside…
- Waiting to see if you’ll be heading to the emergency room…
You get the picture.
The uncertainty and the stress of “not knowing anything” completely drains you. And the stress is crazy intense…
Sometimes the waiting is just stressful and annoying. But most of the time, waiting for cancer results is absolutely terrifying and the most stressful part of cancer. It feels like your whole life is hanging in the balance.
Waiting freaking SUCKS.
What we found over the course of our journey is that having a plan to help you get through the stress and terror of waiting for cancer results will help you TREMENDOUSLY.
But before you do that, stop for a minute and breathe…
As you’re reading this anxious and worried… the most horrific possible outcomes are playing out in your head.
You have entered yourself into the absolute worst-case scenario before you’re even out of the starting gate.
I get it, I am the queen of this!
If I don’t feel well, the next 6 hours will be a play-by-play of how I will be diagnosed with the Bubonic Plague… because I’m a little crazy and also because the natural response to uncertainty is to prepare for the worst.
Take a deep breath and put your faith in God. Unload it all on Him. The truth is, he’s the only one in control of this anyway…
Remind yourself every day… whatever is actually happening, it’s not nearly as terrifying as whatever’s playing out in your head.
Now, on to making a plan…
Stay busy spending time with the people you love
Plan some time with your people.
The people who make you happy and support you. The people who bring the light to your life and can find hope in any situation. Surround yourself with those people, especially while you’re waiting for the endless slew of verdicts that inevitably come with a cancer diagnosis.
Spending time with the people you love is a great way to stay positive and keep your mind occupied so you can move through the waiting period a little bit easier.
Staying busy is literally the key to NOT losing your mind.
(P.S. little kids are a great distraction)
Let it go
Give it God. You have no control over any of this. And, all of this stress and anxiety you’re feeling is not going to change anything.
And while we know that in our hearts… actually letting it go, feels impossible.
I struggle with this one. Hardcore. It’s really difficult for me to let things go.
I mean really, who better than me to control, stress, and deal with everything…? Sigh. ☹
But the reality is, I have to tell myself over and over again…
“It doesn’t matter how I feel or what I think. Whatever is supposed to happen is what’s going to happen. It’s totally out of my control.”
The Lord knows what we’re going through, and he is going through it right there with us.
You have enough stress and anxiety going on in your head…
Let some of it go.
Take a deep breath. Ask God for help. And then give it to Him.
Now let him handle it so you can focus on helping your loved one get through this… trust me, you’ll need that energy.
We were told early in our journey that my dad had days to weeks left to live.
The night they told us I was standing outside in the freezing cold, sobbing uncontrollably and begging God not to take my dad. I told him “I wasn’t ready, that I was never going to be ready”.
My dad lived almost 2 years after that conversation. We spent those two years talking about everything under the sun, having some pretty crazy adventures, and making amazing memories that I get to keep forever.
In the end, I wasn’t ready to lose my dad. Truth is, you can never be ready for that.
But, I also didn’t want him to live in constant sickness and pain and I supported his decision to stop treatment.
The Lord helped bring me to a place where I could at least understand what was best for him. Even though I wasn’t ready… daddy was. And there is some HUGE comfort in that.
Never underestimate the power of prayer to get you through the most stressful parts of cancer. I’m certain that my dad was able to live his life to the fullest and enjoy the experiences we did for 21-months because we had an army of prayers that were building every day.
Prayers are a HUGE part of our cancer journey.
If you have never talked with God before, don’t worry. He’s waiting to help you.
Get some of this stuff off your chest. Write it out.
- The stress.
- Your worries.
- Things you can’t deal with.
- All of your fears.
- Things you appreciate about this experience.
All of it. Get it out of your system and onto paper. It helps tremendously.
Take 5 minutes in the morning to write out everything you’re stressed about, and you’ll be surprised how much of a difference it makes.
It doesn’t fix everything by any means, but it certainly helps you unload some of this stress and feel more in control.
Not sure where to start?
You can download Take Back Your Life, the FREE journal that helped my family find hope and perspective during the most stressful parts of my dad’s cancer journey.
No joke. Breaking things makes you feel so much better.
Seriously. Have any home improvement projects that need to be done?
- Walls that need to be ripped out?
- Plants or weeds that need to be ripped out of the ground?
- Furniture that needs to be broken apart and discarded?
Do that now!
Breaking things releases physical energy that makes you feel better. And using your energy to break things… well, that’s crazy helpful too.
Short bursts of energy where you don’t have to be careful or gentle. Where you can just fly off the handle and direct all of your fear, worry, and energy into breaking stuff is immensely helpful.
Breaking things was one of my favorite ways to combat the stress of this whole situation.
Distraction is a great way to get through the waiting period. Find a project that has been waiting for you to be ready and dive in. Cleaning out your closets, kitchen cabinets, helping a friend deal with a family situation. Whatever takes your mind off all of this craziness, dive into it.
Kids are a great distraction. They keep you on your toes, they keep you busy and there is always something new and fascinating going on to catch your attention.
Check something off your bucket list
Take the waiting opportunity to knock off a few things on your bucket list. Take advantage of those days and check out something you have wanted to do for a while!
Maybe a museum, a national park, a zoo. Take a trip to the beach or a ski slope for the weekend, visit some family members who live out of town… or spend a few days on a super cheap last-minute cruise.
You’ll be busy, you’ll be distracted, and you’ll be doing something you really want to do.
Waiting for cancer results is never going to be easy and as soon as you’re done waiting, for one thing, you start waiting for something else.
Waiting is without question, one of the most stressful parts of cancer.
When you find yourself anxiously waiting, have a plan. A list of go-to things that help you get through. Plan a trip, find things to distract you or a wall that you can kick your foot through….
It doesn’t fix everything … but it does make waiting for cancer results easier and more bearable!
P.S. If you’re drowning in all this cancer business, and you have no idea where to start…
The Cancer Combat Plan is a step-by-step guide from someone who has struggled through this and found ways to manage the chaos, the stress, and the overwhelm.
Things feel better, and more in control when you have a plan.
So if you’re looking for…
- Action steps
That will help you manage this crisis, we’ve got you covered. And it’s totally free…
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