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Breast Cancer | Dealing With Fear


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Breast cancer and dealing with fear

The time for the check-up, which I've had a few, is always a very nerve-wracking time.

My tumour; you could never have found it in a million years. In fact, they didn't even look at the mammogram for a few weeks, and then they said, "Oh! There's something tucked away there."

And just waiting for that result is fairly scary.

A fear of cancer returning is something that everybody experiences.

And at times that can be really intense, and one of the intense periods is in that diagnosis-type period, really, where there's an intense fear about cancer.

And as they go through there's increasingly fears about it returning and people, in a way, have to find a way to live with that.

The great truth is that we're all going to die, whether or cancer or not. And I find that quite helpful, actually.

And the fact that one has had cancer, that it may come back, one is going to die of something.

I guess one of the things that cancer does; it makes you think about death and dying, even if it's the last thing that's likely to happen, in fact, for you.

You might not have thought about it before and you can't not engage with the ideas about death and dying and what that means for you.

Well, I've got a 5-month-old and I'm absolutely petrified about the thought that, you know, I might see her growing up be; I don't know, even . . .

Well, I mean, it would be great if I could see her to 40, but, you know, I think, "Oh, my God. What if she's 5 and something happens?"

I just can't bear the thought of it, for myself as well, but I mean for her, and also have I, maybe, passed something on to her that means that she's got this ticking time bomb. Which I don't, I can't feel guilty about, exactly, because it's not my fault, but I worry about that was well.

People can feel overtaken by a sense of fear inside themselves, so we might give the fear a name and talking in terms of fear coming to visit. And, of course, if something comes to visit, it can also go away.

And how can they make friends with the fear? What might the fear be saying to them? Is it trying to say to them, "Look, maybe you're just overdoing it a little, bit, you know? Do you want to slow down a bit?" Or, "Are you taking enough care of yourself at the moment?"

So, we'd have a conversation about what the fear might; how useful the fear might be.

So, in these kind of ways people can get a different relationship with their fear. And in that way begin to lessen the impact of it.

The percentage of people who are surviving is much higher.

It's a scary thing, from diagnosis through treatment through survival. It's a scary thing. But, again, I think we're lucky. Because we're living in a century where people talk about it in an open way. It's not something you have to hide.

And I think that helps tremendously.

Well, folks, we're drawing to the end of our time for this evening. It's been wonderful to have you all here and listen to your stories and the things you've had to say this evening.

I do thank you for that. It's been a real pleasure.

 

10609 Reviewed November 2012

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