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Breaking the Blues: Advice for Newly Diagnosed Patients

Are you a newly diagnosed colorectal patient looking for ways to “break the blues”? We know the diagnosis is hard to face. However, here at the Colon Cancer Coalition, we want to help you as much as we can. We gathered advice from our community across social media platforms to share with you. We asked the question, “if I could give one piece of advice to a newly diagnosed patient, it would be…” Patients and loved ones from all over shared their best pieces of advice. We hope the responses are helpful in this time of need. 

Here’s what they had to say:

1. Have a strong support system.

  • Hannah Burkey on Facebook: “Keep making plans with friends and family. And don’t cancel! Human interaction is critical!”

  • Lisa Denny on Facebook: “Have a great support team around you …Your family and friends! You have your good days and bad days but you will have your support team to help you!”

  • Heather Lynn on Twitter: “I found the community of people with my same diagnosis and it really has become a huge support system.”

2. Get a second opinion.

  • Alia Delacour on Facebook: “Second and third opinions! See surgeons even if your oncologist says you’re not operable.”

  • Michelle Goodwin Cherry on Facebook: “2nd, 3rd, and sometimes 4th opinions.”

  • Jason Randall on Facebook: “If your doctor gives you an expiration date, it’s time to get a new doctor who is there to fight with you every step of the way.”

3. Stay positive.

  • Sandy Kauffman on Facebook: “Take it one day at a time. Breathe. Don’t focus on the bad. Stay as positive as you can.”

  • Kris McElvary Schamus on Facebook: “Stay positive as much as possible and never give up, no matter how hard it gets.”

  • Laurie Koski on Facebook: “Find a positive mantra and repeat it constantly.”

4. Don’t get caught up in statistics.

  • Jennifer Rio Ruddle on Instagram: “Don’t get caught up in statistics. They are outdated and every one is an individual.”

  • Caroline Johnson on Instagram: “Never go and look on WebMd.”

  • Jessica Morris on Instagram: “Don’t read too much on the internet because each person’s challenge with cancer is different. You can’t read a stat and blanket apply that at all.”

5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

  • Shiray Berry on Instagram: “Ask the question! The doctors are there to help us and answer our questions, big or small.”

  • Liz Johnson on Instagram: “As a nurse it was important to me to fully understand everything about my disease and treatment options and be an active participant in the decisions. Ask questions and know that all the decisions are yours to make in conjunction with your care team.”

  • Hannah Burkey on Facebook: “Be comfortable with your doctors. But don’t be afraid to ask questions! Push until you get answers that satisfy you.”

We may never have the magic answer on how to best go about dealing with colon cancer. But, together we can fight this battle. You are not in the fight alone. Remember the power of community, second opinions, positivity, refraining from studying statistics, and asking questions. Hopefully, it will make your fight a little bit easier.


To see all the suggestions from the community, see the posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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