Life After Diagnosis: What to Do Once You’ve Been Diagnosed With Ovarian Cancer

An ovarian cancer diagnosis can disrupt your life completely. Even after the initial shock has worn off, you might not know how to move forward. Fortunately, with some key resources and support, you can understand your diagnosis and confidently move through treatment. 

This guide will outline some steps to take immediately after your diagnosis. With the right approach, you can inform yourself about your diagnosis and receive the help you need during this time.

Ask questions

A cancer diagnosis can be especially emotional when you’re unsure about the future. Talking to your doctor and asking plenty of questions can provide a sense of clarity. Discuss what type of ovarian cancer you have and how advanced the disease is. They will likely make recommendations for treatment, so be sure to ask questions about what to expect. You should leave this appointment understanding the disease, what treatment may be best, and how you can find support. Be sure to ask for resources, such as pamphlets on ovarian cancer and the names of potential support groups. 

Make financial arrangements

When you receive an emotional diagnosis, you likely don’t want to think about money. However, cancer treatment can be financially challenging. Check with your health insurance company to see what deductible you need to meet and how much of your treatment they’ll cover. There’s also a little-known financial option called a viatical settlement.  American Life Fund is a viatical settlement company, helping patients with cancer attain immediate funds through their life insurance policy. Additionally, consider talking to your financial advisor to assess your financial situation and help you develop an actionable plan.

Seek support

As you process your diagnosis, begin treatment, and get your finances in order, you must seek the support you need. Don’t be afraid to ask your loved ones for help. This could mean assisting with grocery shopping while you’re recovering from surgery or simply going for walks in the park with you. You can also talk to your obstetrician about support groups in your area. Regular meetings with other ovarian cancer survivors can offer empathy and become an outlet for you.

Practice self-care

Cancer treatment can be trying for both your body and mind, so be sure to make self-care a priority. Doing so will keep your internal resources full when you might otherwise feel depleted. Self-care can include basics like eating well, exercising, and keeping up with personal hygiene. You can also add in activities like baths, journaling, and time in nature. Be sure to make time for hobbies that bring you joy. Prioritizing your own well-being can make cancer treatment more management on a daily basis. 

Discuss side effects

A day of severe treatment side effects can bring your self-care to a halt, so be sure to discuss your experience with your doctor. Ask them what side effects you might expect and which you are experiencing already. For example, if you had a hysterectomy as treatment, you might experience depression and other emotional side effects. They might recommend that you see a therapist and potentially take medication to manage. Remember to bring up these adverse effects rather than trying to ride it out. 

While ovarian cancer is a challenging diagnosis, many support resources are available to help you through this difficult time. By seeking support from others and discussing your symptoms with your doctor, you can better cope with the realities of treatment. Empathy and support from others can be healing during this experience. 

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