Dealing With Stress After Breast Cancer

In Breast Cancer, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

I don’t think that a day goes by when I don’t read something about stress as a contributing factor to causing breast cancer. I know that in my own self-analysis after my second diagnosis, I truly believed that this might very well have contributed to my developing breast cancer. After all, there was no family history of breast cancer and I had absolutely no other health problems and have always been very active in sports and have a reasonably healthy diet. So, with no consideration at that time for providing professional assistance with dealing with stress or any other mental support, I decided that I needed to learn to help myself under the circumstances if I did not want to continue the same negative behavior.

Live your experiences and try to put on them the most positive spin that you can because regardless of the outcome, you will get out of any situation exactly what you put into it.Barbara Jacoby

I realize that many other people find themselves in the same situation. With either no insurance coverage or not wanting to share how a patient is feeling with anyone else, a person may just feel very alone. And if the patient is motivated to try to deal with stress on an individual basis, what they find by researching online might not be what they want or need and a feeling of futility may result. Therefore, I decided to share my own experiences in dealing with stress in the hope that it may help others who may find themselves in a position where professional help may not be available or sought.

What I have noticed is that whenever things get really crazy, there is nothing that I want more than some quiet time. But when I ultimately get that quiet time, I find myself looking for something to do. I have tried going to a quiet place to meditate on many occasions only to end up wondering why I am not able to do so at will.  That is how I finally discovered that when I want that peace and quiet and can’t find it, it is because I am worrying about something.

Now I realize that worrying about something is absolutely of no value. It doesn’t change anything and it is nothing more than a complete waste of energy. But yet I do it. I just keep running my thoughts around in my head with no other outcome than to drive myself crazy. So I decided that I had had enough and I wanted to end this craziness. Now all I had to do was to figure out how!

I started by reviewing a number of times in the past when I had worried about things. I remembered what I was thinking in those times that had caused my worry. Then I thought about the ultimate outcome of those situations where I had been so worried. To my amazement, there was not one single situation where all the things about which I had worried had turned out the way that I expected. So why couldn’t I just stop doing this? Well, I believe worry is nothing more than an expectation of a negative outcome to a particular situation where I do not have enough information.

Okay, so now that I figured out this part of it, what could I do to get more information? Depending upon the particular situation, this can range anywhere from doing personal research to asking others who have knowledge of the particular situation. I could also put together all of the information that I had and try to work out some sort of logical explanation or understanding or possible outcome to the matter. In most cases, this did not work because there were too many variables for which I could not account.

And what if I couldn’t get more information, then what else could I do to counter the worry? At the very least, I needed to talk about the issue. I needed for others to provide their input that could give me some additional perspectives. I thought I could get some additional reassurances this way that all would be fine. That is when I finally learned that nothing ever turns out the way that you expect. And when all else failed, I just needed to fill my head with a mindless TV show or focus on something absurd to the point where I completely forget what it was on which I was previously wasting my time.

The bottom line is that sometimes you just have to have certain experiences in your life. No one else can tell you what to do. The experiences of another may be similar but no one has walked a mile in your shoes. Therefore, even though two people may experience the exact same situation, their individual experiences will not be the same because of the individual lives that brought them to the same place.

So the heck with all of it! Enjoy the day. Live your experiences and try to put on them the most positive spin that you can because regardless of the outcome, you will get out of any situation exactly what you put into it.