A stomach cancer diagnosis can be frightening and confusing, and these feelings are understandable. Following any cancer diagnosis, there is always a need to plan for the road that lies ahead. You will likely feel more confident and in control if you take an active role in your stomach cancer treatment. The best starting point is an in-depth discussion with your health care team. Make sure that you fully understand your condition and treatment options and that all of your questions are answered to your satisfaction. For further peace of mind, you might also consider requesting a second opinion.
How to prepare
Before you begin your stomach cancer treatment – and even before you know what it will entail – there are some steps you can take to prepare yourself, which in turn will improve your state of mind and enhance your well-being. These include:
- Enlisting help – Take advantage of any offers you receive from family members, friends, neighbors or co-workers. And, even if they don’t offer, ask anyway. You will likely find that many people are willing to help but simply don’t know what to do. To make things easier for everyone (including you), list the various tasks that you that perform daily, such as preparing meals, taking children to school, walking the dog and driving to appointments, and then give your "helpers" specific assignments.
- Modifying your surroundings – Take a look around your home and make sure that you will have a comfortable place to rest and recover during and after your stomach cancer treatment. You might buy some new bed linens and cozy loungewear, make sure that there are outlets and chargers nearby for your electronic devices, stock up on reading materials and find a convenient place to store your medications, water and snacks.
- Taking charge of your health (both physical and mental) – Good nutrition and regular exercise can help you maintain your quality of life throughout your stomach cancer treatment. If you need assistance, consider talking with a physical therapist, dietitian, yoga instructor or psychologist.
For additional information, you are welcome to turn to the experts in the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center. Request an appointment by calling 1-888-663-3488 or completing a new patient registration form online. Referrals are welcome, but unnecessary.