A cancer diagnosis is overwhelming. But there's a lot you can do to manage the situation and stay positive.
Amanda: You hear that word. You hear “cancer” and the world sort of stops spinning. It feels like you're in an alternate reality.
Amanda: My name is Amanda, and I have thyroid cancer.
Yoohnee: I have kidney cancer.
Michael: I have prostate cancer.
Alexia: I have breast cancer.
Teela: My name is Teela, and I am a cancer survivor.
Yoohnee: Mentally and emotionally, I took care of myself by seeing a lot of friends, making sure that I spent a lot of quality time with people I love.
Alexia: I'm actually a doctor, so I pretty much practice what I preach, in terms of taking care of myself. From the very beginning, I just took on an attitude of 'No matter what happens, I'm going to choose joy.' Like every day, I'm going to find something to be happy about.
Michael: I tend to look at the world with a very, very full and positive perspective.
Amanda: I looked online a little for other people who have been through similar things, and I just found that it was helpful knowing I wasn't alone.
Alexia: Prayer has been a very big part of my journey.
Teela: You know, there's the Serenity Prayer. Basically, be able to recognize the things which I have power over, and be able to change them, and recognize the things I don't have power over, and just let them go.
Amanda: I am meditating a lot.
Teela: Physically, I stay strong by working out.
Michael: I play soccer every single week. I watch what I eat.
Yoohnee: I slept a lot, and eating whatever I wanted, although it was pretty unhealthy, it was a way for me to feel like I was living my best life.
Amanda: I love going on hikes. I'm just trying to do a lot of really healthy and stress-releasing things to kind of get me through until I'm feeling really good.
Teela: What is something that I wish somebody had told me when I'd just been diagnosed? The biggest thing is you're gonna get hit by chemo brain, and you're gonna get discombobulated, and again, that is okay. Start writing things down. I always keep a little planner/notebook on me at all times. I also have a notation app on my phone.
Michael: I smile a lot more now. You go out in the world and you're trying to infect other people with that goodness and with that positiveness. You get that in return.
Amanda: My advice would be reach out to the people that you love, and lean on them.
Alexia: As strong and independent as I am, this is not something that I could do alone, and nobody could do alone, so allow people to be there and be present for you, and acknowledge that you need help.
Yoohnee: Also, sharing your story, if you can, without any harm to yourself can uplift your voice. And I think that's so important to have control of when you have an illness like this.
Teela: You know, every day is very up and down, but all in all, what keeps me going right now is the promise of being able to get to live.