Helpful Advice Should You Ever Receive a Major Medical Diagnosis

Most of us have had our lives touched by cancer in some way. Whether it’s knowing a friend, co-worker, or extended family member who battled some form of cancer, or having it hit closer to home—either receiving a diagnosis ourselves or going through it with a spouse, child, parent, or sibling. And if it wasn’t cancer, it may have been some other serious health condition, like heart disease or Alzheimer’s.

It’s an unfortunate but undeniable fact that many of us, at some point in our lives, will receive a major medical diagnosis. The more years you put behind you, the more likely you are to get some bad news from your doctor. This is a difficult thing to think about, but it’s also part of our life’s journey. While you can never really prepare yourself to receive a life-altering diagnosis, there are some things you can contemplate ahead of time to be better equipped should such an event occur.

The resource below features some valuable tips from Dr. Dan Carlin of WorldClinic on things to keep in mind if you’re ever faced with a major medical diagnosis. In these situations—where emotions can take over—having some base knowledge in your back pocket about how to best manage your mindset can be incredibly valuable.

Here’s a summary of a few tips Dr. Carlin shares that struck us as particularly resonant:

• Keep an even keel – After receiving a major diagnosis, Dr. Carlin notes that people tend to become more reactionary to both good and bad developments. The reality is the journey after a serious diagnosis will have many ups and downs, and—though it can be difficult—it’s best not to give too much weight to any one experience.

• Practice patience – In almost any situation, patience can be one of the hardest virtues to maintain. With the enhanced stress of a medical diagnosis, it can be even harder. But Dr. Carlin notes that having the discipline to exercise patience with doctors and family members will help lead to the best outcomes.

• Find a good PCP – Dr. Carlin provides some tips on what to look for in a primary care physician. He says you want someone who can interpret test results, advocate for you, and help you find the specialists and resources you need when you need them. Dr. Carlin also notes that, if you have the capability, you might want a doctor you pay directly rather than someone reliant on insurance companies for their check.

One of the things we’ve learned in our decades of helping families reach their financial goals is that it never hurts to plan ahead. While I hope you and your loved ones never have to go through the difficult process of dealing with a major medical diagnosis, it’s always helpful to have the knowledge and tools available in case you need them.


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