THE REAL FEAR OF CANCER RECURRENCE
COPING MECHANISMS FOR HANDLING THE FEAR
From the Physician’s Desk….Queen, Your Clinician and Cancer Advocate!
Last week we began on the topic of cancer recurrence. Usually, this is covered during workshops, or one-on-one counseling sessions. This is an extensive and important topic for survivors. See a survivors’ video below.
It is difficult to address the fear of cancer recurrence and give a definitive prescription on how to treat it. Every patient is different, and therefore, their needs in handling the tough topic of a cancer recurring will also be different. In order to individualize a patient’s care, the patient MUST be involved and willing to become their own advocate, though a love one may also be just as helpful.
CONFRONTING THE FEAR
- The Fear of the cancer coming back once treatment is complete, is absolutely normal
- The Fear of cancer recurrence is usually link to one’s outlook on “Death and Dying”, so it is very important to openly discuss your thoughts about this topic (even if it is with yourself…first, to thine own self be true)
- Do not compare your treatment process with someone else’s, or try to identify with someone else with a similar cancer (someone will always be doing better, or doing worse)
- Be honest with yourself. Say out loud what your needs are…and then get it! Need a hug, need to laugh, need to cry, etc., These are normal range of emotions and needs. Don’t be afraid to fulfill them
- Be ready and willing to let go of the fear. This will allow for healing and make the concerns and associated symptoms less traumatic each year. This too, takes time… lots of time
- Do not be afraid to seek help. Counseling and guidance from a professional, will ease the (perceived) burden of sharing with friends and family continually. It will also allow for venting, and provide personalized strategies on how best to handle anxiety, depression, etc., without repercussions. Most cancer centers have such services available…please do ask!
- Know that your family and friends DO love and care for you. If they become tired, it is not just you. The care and concern for your well being also weighs heavily on them – and this is usually in addition to work and other life stressors. Not communicating with them or not sharing, will not make their concern go away…it’s all a part of loving and caring for someone else.
The Process: The process is extensive and beyond the scope of this blog. However, I invite you to please take a moment to read and share this link from the American Cancer Society by clicking HERE. They did a great job of tackling different aspect of the fear of cancer recurrence. See patient’s video below
Peace and Blessings!
Ipsa Scientia Potestas est ——— Knowledge itself is power!
Don’t forget – you can learn about cancer the easy way – watch videos HERE!
I’m Queen, Your Family Friendly Cancer Doc!
Until next time…