Practical Tips When You’re Diagnosed with Gynecologic (GYN) Cancer

Being diagnosed with gynecologic cancercan be a shock. The news leaves you numb. You’re left with your head spinning and you’re too surrounded in fog to think clearly.

Despite your need for everything to stop so you’ll have time to process your gynecologic cancer diagnosis, life around you goes on as if nothing has changed. Your day-to-day responsibilities keep getting in the way. While your cancer diagnosis and treatment are a priority, you still need to pay the bills, take care of yourself and your family, go to work, and handle all of life’s general responsibilities.

Make lists.

During your cancer treatment, you’ll need to focus on getting well. Making lists in advance can help keep common, every day chores from falling through the cracks. So stock up pen and paper before you get too far on your cancer journey.

  • Bills: Double check your monthly bills and their due dates. This might be the time to set up automatic payments if you haven’t already.
  • Check your budget: You could be faced with a lot of extra expenses, so know your budget so you don’t get buried in debt.
  • Renew your car tags, driver’s license, insurance, etc.: You don’t want to be caught off guard, so check your renewal dates and take care of them early if you can.
  • Property taxes: If you pay property taxes separately from your mortgage, be sure you know the due dates and get them paid so they don’t get forgotten.


Organize your paperwork.

Get a folder, binder, or basket in which to keep all of your paperwork. You’ll need one for every day, household responsibilities and one for all the information related to your cancer diagnosis. Having important phone numbers, dates, etc. all in one place will ease your stress and let others be able to help you when necessary. A calendar and good address book are helpful, too.

See all of your doctors.

While you’re undergoing cancer treatment, you don’t want any other health issues to get out of hand. Schedule a visit with each of your doctors. Share your cancer diagnosis with each of them and ask for an evaluation. This includes an eye exam and dental cleaning.

Choose an advocate.

Pick someone you trust who can help you wade through the cancer information and help keep things straight at home. Your advocate can go to doctor’s appointments with you, line up household help, act as information central, and be your support. If you choose more than one advocate for different tasks, be sure they have contact information for each other so they can work together to help you.

Find a support group.

Those who’ve gone through what you are going through can offer you a wealth of information and support. They can provide practical and emotional support by sharing tips they used to manage their diagnosis and treatment. They can also offer suggestions regarding physicians, counselors, and medical facilities in your area which they found helpful. They’ve been in your shoes so they can help you over the bumps in the roads. It’s worth it to take some time to find a support group you can join.

Get educated.

The more you know, the more in control you’ll feel about your diagnosis. Do a web search, read some books, and talk to those in your support group. Ask your doctor about your specific diagnosis, including size, location, aggressiveness, and prognosis. Explore treatment options and research clinical trials. And always get a second opinion.

This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.  Reprinted with permission: Practical Tips When You’re Diagnosed with Gynecologic (GYN) Cancer

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