Life can change in the blink of an eye. For some, this change comes in the form of a visit to the doctor. The words come slowly out of his mouth: cancer. A series of questions come surging into your mind, but suddenly you’ve lost your voice. What does this all mean? What will you do next? The mixture of emotions that bombard you at this moment is paralyzing, but you can’t stay still forever.

Time marches on, and your life continues even after a dramatic turn of events. How you choose to handle the remainder of your life is up to you, and even though cancer might have thrown a wrench into your plans, it doesn’t mean that you still can’t take the reins and live your best life. Here are four keys to taking back control over your life after a cancer diagnosis.

1. Keep Taking Care of Yourself

Days, and even weeks after your initial diagnosis, you may still be feeling a bit shell-shocked. As reality sets in, you’ll discover that life after cancer is filled with ironies. One of the biggest ironies is the need to take care of your body even after your body has betrayed you to this sickness. You need to eat the right foods and keep up with your exercise regimen. More than ever, you’ll need the strength and endurance to outlast your cancer.

You’ll need to get plenty of rest and be alert to how your body reacts to treatments and medications. In addition to your diet and exercise regime, there are many natural herbs and supplements that can keep you on your feet. Red clover, sea vegetables, and medicinal mushrooms are all effective and safe inclusions to your healthcare routine.

2. Don’t Become Numb to Life

Another common reaction to a cancer diagnosis is to simply shield yourself from the pain. With your diagnosis, you won’t find many obstacles in securing pain medication—and whether you decide to seek chemotherapy or some other form of treatment, there will certainly be moments you experience great physical pain.

However, over-relying on medications such as opioids will make you numb to more than just your pain. If you’re not economical about your drug-use you may wind up becoming addicted to the pain meds, which only leads to further complications with your health. To best way to prevent addiction is by closely managing your intake of medication and holding your doctor accountable for what and how much he prescribes. Keep in mind that cancer comes with many emotional and psychological side effects— take control of these before they take control of you.

3. Surround Yourself with Friends and Family

Sometimes, in order to spare your loved ones from the fallout of your diagnosis, you may begin isolating yourself from family and friends. However, now is not the time to put yourself on an island. Having cancer only makes the value of your relationships go up, and no matter how our prognosis looks, you will need them by your side every step of the way.

Instead of pushing them away to spare them from your suffering, bring them closer than they have been before. Use their love and strength to double as your own to keep yourself positive moving forward. Remember, you are not alone and you are only hurting those who love you by isolating yourself.

4. Don’t Go Stagnant

Finally, now is not the time to throw away the goals and aspirations you have set for yourself. Just because you have been diagnosed with cancer doesn’t mean you’ve lost your right to a future. Continue to focus on your life and don’t fall victim to the temptation to give up and stand still. Even with the fatigue that goes along with cancer and its treatment, you can still find the energy to keep fighting. Get enough sleep, talk to a therapist, and find ways to overcome stress and depression. You may find yourself in a state of emotional inertia where you tell yourself you should do these things but don’t.

When things begin to look difficult, try not to get overwhelmed. Start by taking baby steps. You might, for instance, brush your hair, take a break, wash your face, take a break, then put on your shoes and take another break before leaving for a doctor’s appointment. Look at each completed step of the process as a small victory and you’ll find the motivation to keep moving forward mentally and physically.

In life, there are things you can control, and things that you cannot control. Cancer isn’t a decision we make for ourselves but is a decision that is handed to us. How you decide to handle your cancer diagnosis is completely up to you. Will you live your best life, or will you just stand still?

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