Next Steps After Your Diagnosis
Step 1: Take the Time You Need
Table of Contents
Take time to breathe. Don't panic, and don't feel pressured into making a rush decision.
—Alexis, cancer survivor
A Diagnosis Can Change Your Life in an Instant
Like so many other people in your situation, you might be feeling one or more of the following emotions after getting your diagnosis:
- In denial.
- Relieved (that you finally know what's wrong).
It is perfectly normal to have these feelings. It is also normal, and very common, to have trouble taking in and understanding information after you receive the news—especially if the diagnosis was a surprise. And it can be even harder to make decisions about treating or managing your disease or condition.
Take Time To Make Your Decisions
No matter how the news of your diagnosis has affected you, do not rush into a decision. In most cases, you do not need to take action right away. Ask your doctor how much time you can safely take.
Taking the time you need to make decisions can help you:
- Feel less anxious and stressed.
- Avoid depression.
- Cope with your condition.
- Feel more in control of your situation.
- Play a key role in decisions about your treatment.
Page originally created September 2012