It’s hard to hear that you have terminal cancer. It’s easy to let it overwhelm you. It may feel like you have no other options. You may struggle to understand that this is really happening to you.
One thing that can help is to make a list of practical things that you need to do. Focus on what you can accomplish. Become productive. Take active steps. This can make it easier to deal with what this means for you moving forward. Some steps to take include:
- Understand that you’re going to be emotional, and that’s all right. Everyone works through these things differently.
- Focus on learning and gathering all of the information that you can. For instance, find out how the disease tends to progress, what options you have and what changes to expect.
- Decide what priorities you have. For example, some people prioritize their quality of life, so they opt-out of difficult treatments. Others prioritize length of life, so they’ll use every possible treatment option. There’s no right or wrong here; you just need to decide what you want.
- Talk openly with your family and friends. That doesn’t mean oversharing, but remember that you don’t have to do this all alone.
- Take any proper legal steps to prepare. This could mean doing your estate planning, planning out a funeral for yourself and setting up medical directives regarding the type of treatment you want.
One issue you may want to consider is whether or not medical malpractice and negligence played a role in this diagnosis. If so, you may have some legal options that could benefit you and/or your family.