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  • Clare Reed CBT Therapist

Cancer Diagnosis - A Most Important Tip

Updated: Oct 13, 2018

A most important tip during your Cancer diagnosis phase is to record everything your medical professionals say to you and keep as organised as possible. This sounds easy doesn’t it? Unfortunately, in practice, it tends to not be so easy.

A Top Top During Cancer Diagnosis
A Top Top During Cancer Diagnosis

When your mind is whirling faster and faster through pre-diagnosis steps, post diagnosis tests and many consultations and you are high on anxiety and nerves your mind tends to become forgetful. Some of you will panic – information will go in one ear and out the other. Some will freeze and not hear much of the information being given to them. I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to find someone to accompany you on these tests and consultation meetings and be your back up ears and recorder.

Find someone you know is calm and organised to help you. Have a diary with you at all times and if you use an app set the electronic diary up to share with the person helping you and set up reminder notifications for appointments too.

You will be given heaps of paperwork by different doctors, consultants and other specialists. Keep them all in one place in a big sturdy bag or waterproof envelope to take with you on each visit. If you don’t do this you will find yourself saying ‘where did I put that report?’ over and over again, driving you and any people around you up the wall.

I was in a complete whirlwind during my own cancer diagnosis phase, it was just so surreal! Fortunately for me, there was a guardian angel with me, my Partner. He immediately recognised that his normally calm, feisty independent partner was not fully with it - even CBT Therapists are human! I was forgetting dates, questions I had been asked and other questions to ask. For about a week I was loco! He kept everything organised for me and I know how lucky I was.

Don’t tough it out on your own if you can get support. Going through pre-cancer and post-cancer diagnosis tests and meetings is not something anyone’s mind will take lightly. Help your memory and share the burden of remembering.

How to Be Organised During A Cancer Diagnosis Summary

1. Have a diary with you at all times, even better have an electronic diary for reminders and share it with your supporter.

2. Write questions down that you want to ask the consultant and take the list to the meeting. Write these down the night before, when you are more relaxed and not put on the spot.

3. Write, or get someone to write, notes during your consultations so you can review them later.

4. Place any reports/scans/documents given to you in a waterproof file – this file can get pretty big and you will need it for the multiple consultants you meet with.

If you feel you need more help during this time I can help you. I have a great CBT toolkit to get you through this time in my Cancer Diagnosis Anxiety Programme. You really don't have to be alone on this. I will provide you with great techniques and tools to help keep your mind and body calm so you can process everything that is going on and make the right decisions for yourself when you need to.

Onwards and Upwards


If you have been through these steps yourself and can think of any other great tips please share them in the comments section below. Sharing is caring!

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