Last time, we began on the topic of cancer recurrence. Usually, such in-depth topic is covered during workshops, or one-on-one counseling sessions. This is an extensive and important topic for survivors.
It is difficult to address the fear of cancer recurrence and give a definitive prescription on how to approach 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.
- You must know – the Fear of the cancer coming back once treatment is complete, is absolutely normal. You are not alone.
- 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/and someone will always be 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. That is what family, love one and friends are for … in some cases, a pet works too. Yes, indeed.
- 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…
- 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., and 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 – in addition to work and other life stresses. 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 is rather extensive and goes beyond the capability of this blog. The professional field of oncology acknowledges that your apprehensions and fears are real. 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.
Until next time, Peace and Blessings!
Ipsa Scientia Potestas est ——— Knowledge itself is power!
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Queen, Your Family Friendly Cancer Doc!