I was 48 when diagnosed with breast cancer. After the treatment was over, I tried to get back to ‘normal’ – but what is normal after cancer? My NEW norm was living with the underlying fear that the cancer would come back.
Does it ever go away? Being at the 5 year mark myself – I say NO.
Speaking with cancer survivors further down the track they say NO.
Every little unexplained ache or pain, we secretly wonder. So what can we do about this underlying fear?
The research shows that ‘feeling helpless’ (more so than being passive or pleasing) is what weakens our immune system and decreases survival time in cancer patients. Therefore if feeling helpless reduces the chances of surviving cancer what might the opposite – being proactive – do for you?
Being proactive is almost always the common thread in people who have overcome cancer.
Action is the foundational key to ALL success – Pablo Picasso
Three things to help you reduce the fear that your cancer will come back:
1. Take an active vs a passive role in the decisions about your health
This means instead of just nodding your head and doing whatever the doctors prescribes, take the time to do your due diligence. I did a lot of research and chose to have a mastectomy, rather than a lumpectomy plus radiation. I have met women who didn’t even know they had a choice. I also chose to forgo the Tamoxifen and concentrate on preventative diet and lifestyle choices.
2. Be willing to make health promoting changes
This means being willing to examine your life and make changes, even if those changes are time consuming or emotionally difficult. This was HUGE for me…this is when I had to face up to the amount of alcohol I drank and then later the impact my marriage was having on my emotional well-being.
3. Be able to deal with resistance
The resistance from others is perhaps the most difficult to deal with . Criticism of our decisions can make us doubtful and push us back into the sea of never-ending options. I eventually came to the realisation that the ONLY person who could make the final decision was ME. I was the one who had to go through with the ‘chosen’ treatment.
If you’ve had cancer, finished your treatment and are now trying to get your health back on track, you’re probably wading through a sea of opinions! There is SO much confusing and conflicting information out there! I know, I’ve waded through most of it!
My mission is to present the facts so you can make informed decisions about how you want to proceed.
. W

 

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