Coping with cancer fears

Do you know anyone with cancer?
Or anyone in remission after cancer?
How do they cope ? How do you cope?

 

Cancer does affect all of us – even if it does not affect our own body cells directly, it does affect our minds, our hearts, our feelings when someone close to us is suffering from this nasty desease or is in remission after cancer treatment.

What I hate about cancer is that even when it seems to be gone, you can never be sure. It always sits in the back of your mind, it always hides deep in your heart. Every follow up test, every follow up visit to the doctor brings back the fear of recurrence, no matter how deep it might have been hidden. Every phone call from the hospital after all those never-ending tests makes your heart skip a beat.

Tips for Coping With Fear of Recurrence

 from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Accept fears. It is common to experience some fear about cancer recurring. Telling yourself not to worry or criticizing yourself for being afraid won’t make these feelings go away. It may also help to remember that the fear usually lessens over time, and that you won’t always feel so anxious. Be aware that your anxiety may temporarily increase at certain times, such as before follow-up care appointments, around the anniversary date of your diagnosis, or if a friend is diagnosed with cancer.

Don’t worry alone. Talking about your fears and feelings can help reduce your anxiety. Talking and thinking about your concerns can help you explore the issues underlying your fear. Fear of recurrence might include fear of having to repeat cancer treatment, losing control of your life, facing death, or losing someone close to you.

Please don't abandon your friends or loved ones after learning of their cancer diagnosis. If you have a fear of saying the wrong thing or have a fear of losing that person (whatever it is that makes you want to flee from the person with cancer) figure it out & work thru it.....Because to abandon someone with cancer right when they need you most is unforgiveable.From http://www.pinterest.com

Be well informed. Most cancers have a predictable pattern of recurrence. Although a doctor cannot tell exactly what will happen, an oncologist will be able to give specific information about whether the cancer might recur and what symptoms to look for. Knowing what to expect can help you stop worrying that every ache or pain means cancer is back.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep helps you feel better physically and emotionally. Doctors do not know why cancer recurs in some people and not in others, but avoiding unhealthy habits, like smoking and excessive drinking, may help reduce the risk of recurrence.

Reduce stress. Finding ways to lower your stress will help lower your overall level of anxiety. Experiment with different ways of reducing stress to find out what works best for you.

  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Spend time on hobbies and other activities you enjoy
  • Take a walk, meditate, or enjoy a bath
  • Exercise regularly
  • Find time for humorread a funny book or watch a funny movie
  • Avoid unnecessary stress€”don’t take on unnecessary responsibilities or commit yourself to tasks you don’t have time for
  • Simplify your life

Cancer makes us look at life a bit differently. Some things that were important no longer seem as important as they were. Let’s try to enjoy every new day we have. 🙂

Cancer

THE END

Credits:

Image 1 from Just Cancer
Image 2 from http://www.sunrisesigns.com

33 thoughts on “Coping with cancer fears

  1. Veda says:

    very true.. 🙂

  2. Mark Baron says:

    Cancer has left an indelible scar on my life. I lost the only grandparents I knew to cancer. four years ago, I lost my dad to cancer. And my son, my 8 yr old little boy, has been fighting leukemia for almost 3.5 years now. Thanks for providing a good reminder of how to stay positive through it all!

    • Otrazhenie says:

      So sorry to hear your story. 😦 Wishing all the best to you and your wonderful little boy.

    • I watch wrestling with my husband, and the wrestler in the WWE called Roman Reigns has also been fighting cancer for years, and he left wrestling when it came back, but he was back before long and I think he works with many groups that help children too plus he has his own children as well. I hope your child can go to Loveshriners Hospital because they seem to help so many children who have things like leukemia. It is free for any parents and the children, and the parents have a place to stay while their children are getting treatments. They seem to have tremendous success. I love the way they let the children speak up and come in front of people. It no longer needs to be a death sentence, and they are teaching the children invaluable things. Don’t give up on your boy; he IS a good fighter at his young age. I am so sorry you lost other relatives to cancer, but just remember that your little fellow has a very good place that he can go to for no charge, and they will get him through this I honestly believe. The best for you and your family.

  3. Hornblower says:

    Although I wouldn’t wish it to cancerous patients, I must admit that moderate levels of stress and anxiety does spur me on to be more productive and take greater levels of action. Writing for instance, is a solemn duty, and when one accepts the solitude for what it is, I find that the stress, the anxieties, and the self-criticisms turn around to be your friends if cultivated wisely. Does come with an health warning though: prone to excessive amounts of coffee, odd hours of sleep, irregular meal patterns…

    • Otrazhenie says:

      When I wake up at night full of anxiety and fears, I start blogging or working. Changing focus does help a bit. As Dale Carnegie once said, “If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy! ” 🙂

  4. butchcountry67 says:

    My wife is battling stage 4 (end stage) lung cancer, she never smoked a day in her life, we cope 1 day at a time, though it is hard on me to see her suffer so, it is even harder on our 13 year old son to see his Mom so sick.

  5. I really liked this post, thought it was beneficial and informative. Can’t stop cancer from coming back, but you can try and enjoy the healthy days you have.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Very good point. Loved your comment. Very good reminder to all of us to try and enjoy our healthy days and appreciate that. So often we take our health for granted. So often we are moaning and groaning about minor things in life instead of focusing on a bigger picture, on what really matters in life 🙂

  6. Ladybuggz says:

    I recently learned a friend in Hungary has Prostate Cancer, he travels on a bus 4 hrs one way to his treatments and 4 hrs home. He is a Teacher, to get to his work is a 1 hrs bus trip each way. There ( Hungary) Government has legislated all teachers must work 8 hrs a day. So his actual day is 10 hrs.
    I don’t know what kind of HealthCare he has or what is offered but I worry about him and his family as they struggle each day as it is, then to add Cancer, it makes me shutter becasue I can’t do a darn thing for him.

  7. Rob Taylor says:

    Interesting and informative post.

    It is true….one can never be sure. I am a two-time survivor, eight years out from the second battle. I don’t look back. I choose to live my life without the confinements of fear. I have always maintained a very healthy life style and keep evolving that process. There are few things more crippling to our inner balance, and damaging to the body, than submission to fear.

  8. annesquared says:

    We all carry cancer cells in our bodies. Mine have manifested in a rare type that is usually misdiagnosed by doctors for a number of years before a proper diagnosis is made.
    I deal with humor, healthy lifestyle, educating myself, and advocating for patients that believe challenging a doctor is not within their right.
    Sometimes denial works 😉

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Love your attitude. 🙂 All the best to you and your nearest and dearest.

    • When I had mine (not a rare type like yours, but age was a factor), I challenged all the oncologists because I looked up every single thing I could find about it, and so I felt better for not just giving in to whatever the doctor said. It is not that they are necessarily wrong, but we absolutely need to believe that we have some control over our own lives. It is important not to let yourself feel that you are dependent on what everyone else says. You have a mind of your own, and this is the time when you use it. Also, never forget that even if you have it, you can ask what other clinical trials, etc. are going on. That is something you can do that is positive, for if whatever you are testing ends up helping you, it will likely help others. If no one volunteers to try, many others may suffer in the end results. I think you are doing wonderful with all you are trying and I salute you for that. Keep up the good work.Always from another Anne

  9. Very uplifting information that will not only help those suffering from cancer but also those who love them who may not always know exactly what to do or say. Thank you so very much for sharing!

  10. I wonder if there is anyone who has not been touched in some way by cancer.
    The positive aspect for me is that, where once before, the word itself was used as an all-encompassing death sentence, so many medical strides have been made in identifying the different types that a diagnosis of cancer now does not necessarily mean the end.
    It is sound advice to deal openly with an oncologist and know what may be faced. Detection is paramount and we must be alert to symptoms and query doctors who might initially misdiagnose or take too much time in referrals.
    I feel certain there is a cure for all types and it is a pity that research is so dependent on charity.
    You have highlighted many positive approaches to take which can have a huge impact on how the disease may be coped with.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      I wonder sometimes about that as well. There seem to be so many people around affected by big C. Luckily, it does not necessarily mean the end these days. Not with all types of C. Thanks for your insightful comment.

  11. pndrgn99 says:

    The like button refused to load after a very long time so. LIKE
    I made my own. :<)

  12. I had cancer when I was 74, and Yahoo, I am 78 now and no repeat. It was left breast cancer. Anyway, what I did when I found out was to talk with my hubster, Richard, to see how he felt about it and what I might do AFTER the surgery. What I love about this man is that he said he would support me in whatever I chose to do, and for sure he absolutely did. OK, the first thing I did, which is generally my method for anything new I am facing was to start doing some really thorough medications. I read until I was nearly cross-eyed every medical article on every aspect of cancer I could.

    Luckily mine was in Stage One, which gives us more choices. And I have a healthy attitude about us women and our breasts. While they are pretty essential as a teenager, a young single woman and a mother with babies, when we are 74, they have served us very well, and unless the man is a jerk and cannot accept a woman if she has to have a mastectomy, he will still love us without one or two.

    Also, having radiation after stage one (depending on the kind and the aggressiveness of it) is more likely to give us a heart attack if it is on the left side breast than we are to get it back. And ALL of the anti-hormone meds were researched by moi. Most all of them have a lot of side effects, and what keeps us women living mostly longer than men? Hormones! Whoo hoo, it didn’t take a very big brain (thank goodness) for me to make my decisions. No radiation, no meds.

    I have not regretted any decision I made about it. Hubster has been a total love, and I am an accomplished old lady so my life is lived to its fullest each and every day I am able to do that physically and mentally. And I have another thing I do too every single time I go into radiology for my squishems. I always tell jokes to the radiologist, and when I get her laughing, I know it will be a good day. And when I go to the Oncologist, I always immediately look around the waiting room and when I see all the gloom and doom faces, I do something that is totally unexpected and I make it loud enough that everyone hears it. The last time when I came into the room, I looked in the corner as if I was looking for a secret camera and said loudly, “Everyone Smile,” and believe it or not, everyone did. Then we all got to talking and everyone’s mood changed to lighten up.

    Another time when I saw an attractive but truly gloomy lady, I leaned over and said, Your scarf is just beautiful and it brings out your pretty coloring so well. You are just incredible. Now that lady was not quite as old as me, but she was not a kid either, and she smiled softly and we began to talk. She had a rare form of cancer, and I shared with her about this really good friend of mine who lived in Israel and who was an art quilter. Now she had cancer for all the years I knew her and that was, not counting all the other things she also had going on, at least 17 years, and I am not making this up. But she made one art quilt after another and entered them in shows. Sometimes you would see a photo of her thin body and clearly not well self, but always smiling and always showing her daughter and son-in-law her latest beautiful creation. She did eventually pass on, but hey, 17 years and she had to do all the radiation and medications and other things – surgeries, etc. But I bet those were the most productive and shining years of her life. As with anything in this old life, it is what we make of it. And I tell you right now, when I am 102 and still kicking, I will be telling people that I have outlived all my children! Not that I wish any of them anything bad, but that is my belief system.

    Live it to the fullest no matter what the doctor tells you. This is the kind of blog I really LOVE for we all have challenges in life. I love watching the adverts for Shriners Hospital that was founded by Danny Thomas. Those children are each so beautiful in their own ways, and they have a lot of self confidence and are getting a chance to use it out in public, which is also helping people with physical and other challenges to gain respect and admiration and joy in their everyday accomplishments. Yay for them!!!

    • Otrazhenie says:

      You are truly amazing, Anne! Love your story ❣️🙂 congratulations with beating cancer. Very impressed with your positive attitude and strengths! 👍

      • Thank you most kindly. We have to stand strong and show people with all sorts of physical challenges, many equally as bad as cancer. They are standing tall too, and it is needed so we can help the younger people coming up who have to deal with it. No man (or woman) is an island, and I am definitely not the first person to say that. That’s what I love about those who work with children who have physical, developmental, and emotional challenges, sometimes a bunch of things altogether (I did too for years and years). Everyone needs to have acceptance of them, as they are, and as they are not, as well as for what they can become.

  13. Prostate cancer early stages. I try to keep too busy think think about it every moment. I try to be more in tune , more sensitive, more awake to sort of really inhale the days. Have family that depends on me especially financially. They’ll suffer when I’m gone. Right now more worried about IRS audit which says I owe bazillion$ and I really don’t owe but a small amount.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Sorry to hear that. That’s tough 😔

    • You can find a good company that helps people with taxes, etc. from the kind of thing you are experiencing. There are always ways to get through of it. Never give up, and the most important thing you can do (I’ve been where you are with school loans too, so yes, it is probably an IRS issue, but there are lots of agencies that can help us to get it off our records and to help our families through these crises. Your family needs to hear from you that no matter what happens, they have the strength to make it and they will too. Show them some ways. Best to you and your family and I know you are going to get through this.

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