Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cancer fears

Normal non cancer people have normal fears - being bitten by a dog, speaking in public, getting the flu, spiders, snakes black cats, etc. If you add cancer people to the mix, their fears include cancer spread, cancer return, and another cancer diagnosis, on top of all the other normal fears.

With cancer, we need to learn to balance our cancer fears and not obsess over them. That is the hardest thing about a cancer diagnosis. Since my first cancer diagnosis, I have always had the thoughts of 'what if' cancer came back, spread, etc. What would I do? What would I want from my treatment?

And then it happened, I did get a second cancer diagnosis. That was the triple loop corkscrew roller coaster ride. And it took a long time to get the fears under control. I learned a lot in that time period.

First, I had to stop obsessing about cancer all the time. I couldn't live in cancerland 24/7. I had to get out of cancerland and be a normal person who went to work, grocery shopping, getting together with friends, spending time with my husband.

Second, I had to learn to let cancer have its place in my life. I couldn't cut it out completely because it had to be there so I can get the follow care I will need for the rest of my life.

Third, I had to learn to stop feeding my fears with the 'what if' moments and letting the fears take over my life again. I don't need the work/life balance, I need a cancer/life balance. Yes, cancer may come back again but it might not either. I could find a snake while weeding in the garden too.

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