So your doctor has declared that your last test results show no more traces of cancer after your last step of treatment. You are ready to celebrate. After what have been through since your initial diagnosis, you are now being released. You no longer have a calendar that shows the never-ending list of doctors’ appointments. Now what?
At this point, you hope that you can go merrily on your way and never have to look back at the cancer journey that you just took. You want your old life back and the ability to plan what you want to do without having to circumvent the need to go for treatments and other appointments. But, suddenly, you realize that this reality will never occur again for you. The reality is that you can’t go back to what things were like before because after breast cancer, your life will never be the same.
“There is nothing harder than the stress and anxiety of any situation that you carry. You deserve no less than the best life that you can have and you have certainly earned it.”Barbara Jacoby
My experience seems to be a bit different from those of most others that I know. I realize that this is because I have a different outlook on life and my future. I have never looked back at anything and this is something most people can’t understand. My philosophy has always been that everything happens for a reason and that it is always for the best.
But for many, once the last release has been given and you have been told that you don’t have to return for a physical or screening for 6 months, or perhaps a year, a new fear sets in. The fact is that you had breast cancer and you were given the very best care available and you have been cleared. But, you have heard all of the stories about those who have also been declared “cancer free” only to have the cancer return a year later or five years later or 10 years or more later.
Well, look at all of the energy you can waste by being anxious all of the time. Think about all of the experiences that you never were able to fully enjoy because you wondered if you would ever have a chance to enjoy that particular experience again if the cancer came back. Consider all of the fear and anxiety that have taken control of your every waking moment because of something that is unknown and not a reality in this space and time. So, you may say, I don’t know what else to do because I am so afraid that the cancer will come back.
I have my own personal trick that helps me in such situations that you may want to try. Every time that the “what if the cancer comes back” question comes to mind, replace it with the “what if I were to be run over by a bus tomorrow”? This starts to put things into a much more realistic perspective. If you were run over by a bus tomorrow, you would deal with the real situation when it happened. The same thing applies to all of the other “what if’s” in life including the return of cancer. You would deal with it just as you did the first time by going to the doctor and getting the treatment that you needed.
Bu if this doesn’t work for you, talk to the medical professionals to find ways for you to learn how to deal with it. There is nothing harder than the stress and anxiety of any situation that you carry. You deserve no less than the best life that you can have and you have certainly earned it.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.