Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Coping with the shock, fear and sadness that come with a cancer diagnosis can take time. You may feel overwhelmed just when you need to make crucial decisions. With time, each person finds a way of coping and coming to terms with the diagnosis. Until you find what brings you the most comfort, consider trying to:

  • Learn about esophageal cancer. Ask your doctor for the specifics about your cancer, such as its type and stage. And ask for recommended sources of information where you can learn more about your treatment options. The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society are good places to start. The more you know about esophageal cancer, the more confident you'll feel when it comes to making decisions about your treatment.
  • Stay connected to friends and family. Your friends and family can provide a crucial support network for you during your cancer treatment. As you begin telling people about your esophageal cancer diagnosis, you'll likely get offers for help. Think ahead about things you may like help with, whether it's having someone to talk to if you're feeling low or getting help preparing meals.
  • Find someone to talk to. You might have a close friend or family member who's a good listener. Or talk to a counselor, medical social worker, or pastoral or religious counselor. Consider joining a support group for people with cancer. You also may find strength and encouragement in being with people who are facing the same challenges you are. Ask your doctor, nurse or social worker about groups in your area. Or try online message boards and chat rooms, such as those available through the American Cancer Society.
May. 12, 2011