After your cancer metastasizes, your outlook may be like that of someone with another type of chronic disease. Someone with type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis or congestive heart failure lives with their disease, knowing it cannot be cured.
Living with your cancer and knowing you likely will not experience a cure proves challenging. How this challenges you differs from how it challenges someone else. But some of the difficulties of living with long-term cancer include:
Second opinions about cancer metastasis and possible treatments make many people feel more confident about their long-term outlook or treatment options. See another oncologist for greater insight into your disease, its stage and how it may or may not respond to treatment.
Get help from your treatment team for your cancer symptoms and treatment side effects. You have options, such as for pain management or treatment. If you suffer pain with metastatic cancer, surgical removal of a tumor causing your pain might help. Pain medication or other methods help, too.
Your emotions change with your diagnosis. This natural outcome of metastatic cancer creates its own challenges. Coping methods include:
Talking plays an important role in coping with your metastatic cancer. If you suffer intense emotional symptoms, talk to your doctor or other treatment professionals for guidance and referrals. Remember that your goal is for the best possible life despite your cancer’s metastasis. Your doctor wants to help you have your best possible life and your treatment team has resources to help you live your best.
People who love you likely need support at this time, too. They face the daily challenges and emotional changes of having a family member or friend with metastatic cancer. Your treatment team makes referrals for these needs, too. Simply ask for information about support groups, available counseling or other ways to help your family cope.