Newly diagnosed woman standing in the center with a somber expression, looking downward with hands in pockets. She is surrounded by people emerging from digital talk bubbles, encouraging her by patting her back, clapping, giving positive hand gestures

An Insight of Processing When Newly Diagnosed

After receiving my diagnosis of ovarian cancer, it was so easy for me to get caught up in the how and why. I had to take a step back and take a deeper look inside me to understand what was taking place.

Processing my cancer diagnosis was so tricky, but it was super important and beneficial for my well-being. It did not happen overnight and to be transparent, the first week felt like I was having an out-of-body experience.

From the internet to my doctor

One of the first things that I did after my diagnosis was an internet search for ovarian cancer. At some point, I'm sure we all turned to our friend, "Google." I tried really hard to stay off the internet, but seriously I was setting myself up. I had to know what information was available.

Let me just say - I did not find what I was looking for online. Sadly, there just isn't a ton of research available online. What I did find was a lot of myths and negative information. Needless to say, my search left me with even more questions.

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I did not receive the information that was pertaining to my specific form of cancer until I went to see the gynecological oncology team in Houston for my second opinion.

I will say the doctor did a tremendous job explaining the medical side, but I was missing the social part. The part where I figure out how to continue to live my life with cancer. And also my feelings. I needed to sort those out, as well.

Processing an ovarian cancer diagnosis

So I found a Facebook group for individuals experiencing ovarian cancer. I actually joined 2 groups; one, I did not stay in long because I did not enjoy the experience. But when I found the group for women with mucinous ovarian cancer, I knew I had found my tribe.

Finding my tribe

In this group, I connected with a fellow social worker who was an ovarian cancer survivor. She became my mentor and literally held my hand as I processed my diagnosis.

We met on Facebook video for 6 weeks, she coached me through my emotions, and we worked on different tasks that I could do to help with my new life. For example, one of the tasks was writing a letter to cancer and learning how to say out loud what I was afraid of.

Honestly, she was an angel in disguise. I am not saying that a cancer coach or mentor is needed, but it worked for me. I am a thinker by nature, so this helped me process things. After our time was up, I truly felt that I had a chance at continuing life.

Accepting my journey made me a warrior

Processing looks different for everyone, but once those feelings were exposed, it became manageable for me to talk about what I was experiencing. I gained my voice once I faced my fears head-on, and I knew that I was too resilient to be defeated.

Also, I really did experience every step of the grief process: anger, denial, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. I can truthfully say I accepted my journey, and I became a warrior on the battlefield.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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