Caring for Myself & My Family

What can I do to care for myself and my family?

You can never be prepared for the shock of learning that you or a loved one has cancer and coping with cancer. Fear, anxiety, denial and anger are normal reactions to a situation so uncertain and life changing. Most cancer patients recall the exact date they heard the words “you have cancer.”

Questions flood your thoughts immediately. What is my diagnosis and what does it mean for me and my family? Did I catch the cancer in time? Where do I go for the best treatment? How long will I live? The CERN Foundation can help you grapple with and get answers to these questions.

How can I better understand my ependymoma diagnosis?

Getting the facts requires teamwork. Not only do you need doctors to explain all the facts clearly, in plain language, and answer all of your questions, you also need support from family and friends to help you research and process information. Once you have a better understanding of your situation and you gain confidence with your treatment decisions you will likely feel some relief.

How can I help myself and my family cope?

Battling a spinal or brain tumor is an emotional rollercoaster. Some days are good, some days are bad and some days are both. Personal relationships can also be challenging during this time. Remember that your loved ones experience your diagnosis in their own way and are dealing with an emotional battle as well.

As hard as this is to accept, every situation has a positive side.  Some patients and families feel that battling cancer strengthens their bond and makes them better people. Keep in mind that a cancer diagnosis is not synonymous with death. The road ahead may be hard to understand and frightening and will change your life. However – focusing on completing your treatment and taking care of yourself is the most important task at hand.

Ways to help you cope with the diagnosis

Are there any organizations that can help me cope?

There are numerous organizations dedicated to assisting spinal and brain tumor patients with all aspects of life. The CERN Foundation encourages you to contact these experts whenever you need more information about living and coping with cancer. The list below is a great place to start:

We also encourage you to visit our resource section or follow us on Facebook and Twitter, where you can connect with other patients, caregivers and medical providers. We encourage all those touched by this disease to reach out to each other for support and guidance.

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