Facing the Fear of Cancer
Every time I look at these pictures, my hands and feet erupt with profuse perspiration – its like facing the fear of cancer. It is an instant reaction. It is so profound I need a towel on the floor to mop up the sweat and I need another in my lap to soak up the drips off my hands. It’s terrible!!!
I don’t know about you, but when I heard my diagnosis…no towel in the house could soak up my tears let alone the sweat from my feet and hands. I imagine each of us with a cancer diagnosis had a similar reaction – not exactly like mine with profuse liquid production erupting from my body, but similar to the amount of fear I had. I was facing the vast chasm of the unknown. It scared me. I had questions: What was the journey going to be like? Will I be strong enough to endure the treatment? Will I survive?
For some reason I fear anything I don’t understand. I did not understand cancer, how it was that I had cancer, what I was to do with it, how to treat it, how to treat myself because I had it, what to eat, what to avoid, how to behave around my family and friends…Facing cancer brought on an entire plethora of new thoughts and activities into my world. I knew I had to find someone, anyone who had been on this journey who could show me the way.
Once I had this cognition of finding a fellow cancer patient or better yet and cancer survivor, long-term survivors began to come out of the woodwork presenting themselves to me. I met them at the grocery, at dinner parties and even while walking my dog! I quickly learned long-term cancer survivors are everywhere.
I know patients going through treatment typically only see other patients in treatment, and rarely see patients who have completed treatment. I want to successfully connect long-term cancer survivors with cancer patients to encourage them and give them hope. Cancer patients need to know I, and others like me, exist… that we are surviving period!
And so, I liken my journey and the success I have experienced to facing my fear of heights and challenging myself to walking across a suspension bridge – like the ones shown in these pictures. I believe I could make it across this bridge because I know many others have successfully crossed the bridge.
Each step I took on my journey, I told myself that many others had already done this, that I was not the first. When I began chemotherapy I told myself, many endured the treatment with few, if any, significant side-effects. Most importantly, I knew statistics proved that some patients actually survived and went on to lead long and productive lives. So as I faced each day, one at a time, I knew I could be one of those fortunate ones. If they could do it, so could I! And here I am today, over tens years later, encouraging others to do the same.
Observe who we are
And what we do
Then you can become a survivor too!
So like these folks crossing the suspension bridge facing their fear of heights, face the fear of cancer. Always keep in your mind that if others can do it, so can you! But if you are like me, you might want to bring a towel along…
Learn more about long term cancer survivors visit spotmany