Tips for ManagingYour Emotions
Discover additional tips that may provide some encouragement for people living with bladder cancer.
Having a Good Support System
Tips for Staying Positive
Valuable Tips: Creating a Bladder Cancer Game Plan
If you receive a bladder cancer diagnosis, you might not know where to turn first. Here are a few tips our bladder cancer advocates picked up during their journeys, which they hope will help.
The Power of Support
A bladder cancer diagnosis can be jarring news, but a good support team can make a world of difference. Your healthcare team can be an excellent resource and help ease concerns and fears. Rely on friends and family to lift you up in difficult times. It also helps to have a sense of humor – find the appropriate moments to laugh with your loved ones. If you don’t have a large support network, there are oncology social workers, support groups and specialists that can offer advice and be there to listen.
Overcome the Stigma
Despite the thousands of men and women in the U.S. affected by bladder cancer, people may feel ashamed or embarrassed talking about their issues with urination. The stigma can also hold people back in the exam room, where they may feel uncomfortable speaking up or asking questions about their care. While it may be tough, it’s important to focus on your treatment and recovery. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, explore your spirituality, or channel your energy into educating others about the disease.
Communication is Key
Patients with bladder cancer face unique challenges. Surgery and other methods to treat the pelvic area can cause sexual side effects in both men and women. A person who has a urostomy bag may feel embarrassed or upset, which can affect their desire for sex and impact their self-confidence and ability to be intimate. Although sexual intercourse may not always be possible, closeness and sharing can still be part of your relationship. Talking with your loved ones and opening up about the challenges you are experiencing is key to healing physically and emotionally.
Pay It Forward
Whether you’re a bladder cancer survivor, a loved one, or a caregiver, you have experienced the stigma and other challenges patients may be facing now, so your story can help others. One way to get involved is visiting your local patient advocacy group or cancer center and inquiring about volunteer opportunities or becoming a mentor. If your schedule does not permit, simply sharing your story is enough.