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How to deal with a difficult diagnosis

Deal with a difficult diagnosis

Whenever we go to the doctors with symptoms that we’re not quite sure of, everyone thinks the same thing. Please, don’t let it be cancer or another serious illness that involves suffering and pain. Thankfully, it’s not often  the worst-case scenario. If you have a headache, for example, it’s more likely to be a migraine or stress-induced pain, rather than the first sign of a brain tumor. However, others will receive a difficult diagnosis, so it’s important to know how to deal with it, if it does happen to you. Rather than panic, understand how to cope effectively with what the doctor tells you.

Get a second opinion

You should not settle for the prognosis of one doctor, particularly if they say that your treatment options are limited. Instead, you should speak to a second doctor and see what they say.

This second medical professional might have a completely different perspective on the situation than the first person. Ultimately, make sure you have a doctor who shares your point of view.

If you are ready to fight the illness, you need a doctor who is ready to provide you with the treatment you need to do that. You might not find a doctor like that when first receiving the startling news about your health.

Talk with loved ones

To deal with a difficult diagnosis more easily, ensure that you have a support group in place. This network can consist of close family and friends, as well as people from your church, mentors, and others who you feel comfortable confiding in.

It is important that you have someone, anyone, to lean on, so that you don’t go through it alone. Make sure that you have people who understand and who can help you through this tough time.

This burden will be easier to bear if you have others who can carry it with you.

Consult a specialist to cope with a difficult diagnosis

Whether you have a rare form of cancer or more common illness, you should certainly consult a specialist. Why?

Doing so is the best way of getting the right advice on a condition that you may have no personal knowledge of yet. Colleen Huber is one of these experts; she can provide advice for patients suffering from serious conditions, such as pancreatic cancer.

The right specialist has the tools to formulate a treatment plan that fits your needs and preferences, even for a very rare illness. This professional will help you deal with the difficult diagnosis and what comes next, which can improve your quality of life.

Live your life

Finally, don’t let the serious news of a medical condition stop you from living your life. Quite the opposite, actually.

You should be doing more to enjoy your life and get the most you can from it. Avoid the temptation to hide away or retreat from the world, and don’t treat it like a death sentence. Medicine changes every day with continual advancements bringing new treatment options.

Concluding thoughts on coping with a difficult diagnosis

I hope you see now that there’s no need to panic when you receive a serious medical diagnosis. There are plenty of options and every possibility that you can still live a full life.

54 thoughts on “How to deal with a difficult diagnosis”

  1. Always get a second opinion and find out all your options. A friend and colleague of mine would have had both of her breasts removed unnecessarily if she didn’t get a second opinion.

    Have a good weekend Christy. :)

  2. But when you are actually given a diagnosis of cancer it’s a whole new ball game. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2005 and have had extensive treatment. However, I’m still here and surviving, although it took quite a few years to come to terms with it. The acceptance doesn’t happen overnight.

    1. Truth. As a fellow cancer survivor, I get it. I’m glad you’ve gained acceptance and I wish you all the best on this journey of life that does test us…

    2. It’s true, Stevie. Life becomes so much clearer in some ways. Like, not much can phase us anymore after being through difficult times, right.

  3. Wonderful writing of this post Christy. So important. If it weren’t for my insistence for a 2nd opinion, I wouldn’t be replying to this post right now. <3 xo

    1. W.O.W. xx I’m thankful for you so I’m glad you got that second opinion. Even a third one is what some people seek. Hugs!

  4. I’ve been super-impressed with how events played out after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. A nurse navigator delivered my biopsy results over the phone, and she was there to set things in motion with my initial meetings with a surgeon and oncologist. Not all hospitals do this.

    1. I’m so glad you’ve received the highest level of care, Jeri. Keep going, sis, keep going <3

  5. Christy, my darling, the scope of this set of posts is brilliant and they are written in such a nice matey way. I think this series a great idea. Well done you xxxxxxxx

    1. You’re such a delight, Shey. Truly. I hope the theatre project is coming along well xx

  6. freiedenkerin

    About a month ago I had been confronted with the very difficult diagnosis of having a rare form of myopathy, that’s a muscle desease. It is not curable and the loss of muscle power and the loss of controlling it increases. For four days and nights I lived in hell, than I made the decision, to go on with living my life, and filling it with as much activity and joy as possible. My neurologist suggested, I should quit my job – I refused to do so, I’m still working, although my job is very debilitating, and I will continue working, walking, discovering nature, traveling to my beloved Italy, taking pictures, writing short stories, until I would be unable to move my limbs anymore… I’m incurable ill? Well, that’s a fact, nobody is to blame – but I’m a fighter, always have been, and this damned desease won’t take away my joy of life!

    1. YOU are indeed a fighter! Your story is so motivating and I thank you for sharing it here. Keep living life and spread love around you <3 I wish you all the best as you move forward!

  7. Very good advice, especially about getting support as well as a second opinion. It’s incredible (and a little worrying!) how the opinions, suggestions, diagnoses and prognosis given can vary so much between specialists. Great post  ♥

  8. An extensive study from many years ago showed that those who made themselves knowledgeable and were involved in their treatment choices fared better than those who were “under the doctor” and felt disempowered.

    Your advice is very much along those lines. :-)

  9. Hi Christy:
    Great advice and I think I can speak for most people in saying the hard news does have an impact. As we age there are greater risks of our past habits catching up to us. So many people just seem to give up. I would never settle on just one opinion. I have a great Doctor who is a referral man when it comes to anything besides a common cold… I am thankful for that… Excellent writing my friend.
    Hugs from Alberta… Just over the big rocks.

    1. Your doctor is a referral man and that’s awesome – I’m glad you are in good hands :)

  10. Christy B these are excellent suggestions!
    We’re all like beautiful flowers – and the bloom will fall off and we’ll become compose. No time is a good time when you’re enjoying life but eventually it does end. Well, in this dimension, that is. :)

    1. Thanks Mel for sharing your comment so eloquently and I like how you see us as beautiful flowers. As Robert Frost said, nothing gold can stay… <3 Here's to enjoying this lifetime to the max!

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