Imagine sitting in a doctor's office and being diagnosed with cancer or some other grave illness. In this paralyzing moment, whatever was consuming your life minutes before suddenly recedes far into the background as you face completely new and seemingly terrifying territory. Though you may feel as if time has stopped, you must go on. But what is your next move?
To find out, we turned to the experts -- those who not only have lived through a scary diagnosis, but who have harnessed their coping mechanisms to share with others.
Hydrazine sulfate is a chemical compound that has been studied as a treatment for cancer and certain side effects caused by cancer (see Question 1).
Hydrazine sulfate may block the tumor from taking in glucose, which is a type of sugar that tumor cells need to grow (see Question 3).
In randomized clinical trials (a type of research study), hydrazine sulfate did not make tumors shrink or go away. In some randomized trials, however, hydrazine sulfate was reported to be helpful in treating...
Perhaps no one is better qualified for this task than Jessie Gruman, PhD, survivor of three separate diagnoses of cancer plus a life-threatening heart condition. A social psychologist and the founder of the nonprofit Center for the Advancement of Health, Gruman has written the book After Shock: What to Do After the Doctor Gives You -- or Someone You Love -- a Devastating Diagnosis.
Now, she and others share their personal experiences on how best to cope in those initial days after a scary diagnosis, when the sting is still strong.
Tips for Coping
Go easy on yourself. Make no mistake: A scary diagnosis is a personal crisis and should be treated as one. You needn't act as though nothing in your life has changed, advises Gruman. Instead, she suggests letting go of certain things if you feel overwhelmed -- even if temporarily -- and sticking to those that are absolutely necessary, like scheduling and keeping doctor appointments.
"This is a rainy day. It makes sense to give yourself time to think, to understand what's happening, to not go to work if you don't feel up to it," Gruman says.
Know that you won't always feel this way. Many people describe feeling shock and numbness upon learning they have a serious health problem. That's normal and, believe it or not, insists Gruman, the intensity of these initial feelings doesn't last forever. Having received a cancer diagnosis on three separate occasions, she recalls feeling "devastated" every time. But she also reports that, each time, the feeling of dread eventually lifted. "You're not always going to feel this bad," Gruman says.