What to Do After You Hear the Words 'You Have Cancer'
If patients take a deep breath and concentrate on the journey ahead after receiving a diagnosis, they can find a path forward, says one metastatic breast cancer thriver.
BY Nalie Agustin
PUBLISHED March 09, 2020
Being diagnosed with cancer at any stage can be heartbreaking and terrifying, especially when a patient hears the words “stage four”. But this doesn’t mean your life is over, and it’s important to remember to “take a breather”, according to stage four metastatic breast cancer thriver Nalie Agustin.
Agustin, author, speaker and wellness advocate, was the keynote speaker for the 37thAnnual Miami Breast Cancer Conference and also took part in the 2020 CURE® Educated Patient Breast Cancer Summit held in tandem with the conference. Agustin had the chance to sit down with CURE® and discuss the advice she wish she could have given herself at the time of her diagnosis.
This is advice I wish I could turn back the time on and give myself, but that would be to take a breather. Often, we think that once we're diagnosed, especially with stage four, we think our life ends right there and then we think that we immediately jump to death. So, we work under pressure, we make decisions out of fear, and I think it's important to take the time to take a deep breath.
Then do some research, and that is contact people who are diagnosed with the same thing and who are doing well. People who are NED or in remission, find out what it is that they did, what do they recommend? And get a second, third, fourth, fifth opinion if you need to, because sometimes the first prescription or the first diagnosis isn't always the best one. So, even just getting several opinions really helps.