Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Learning that you have a spinal tumor can be overwhelming. But you can take steps to cope after your diagnosis. Consider trying to:

  • Find out all you can about your specific spinal tumor. Write down your questions and bring them to your appointments. As your doctor answers your questions, take notes or ask a friend or family member to come along to take notes. The more you and your family know and understand about your care, the more confident you'll feel when it comes time to make treatment decisions.
  • Get support. Find someone you can share your feelings and concerns with. You may have a close friend or family member who is a good listener. Or speak with a clergy member or counselor. Other people with spinal tumors may be able to offer unique insight. Ask your doctor about support groups in your area. Online discussion boards, such as those offered by the Spinal Cord Tumor Association, are another option.
  • Take care of yourself. Choose a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains whenever possible. Exercise when you feel up to it. Get enough sleep so that you feel rested. Reduce stress in your life by taking time for relaxing activities, such as listening to music or writing in a journal.
Oct. 21, 2011