Living With Fear

Being a cancer survivor comes with certain levels of fear or anxiety at times. This feeling is normal, but you will need to work to manage it, accept it and not let it consume you. You have a life to live, no matter where you are in your diagnosis stage, treatment, or navigating life after your diagnosis.

Try to work to determine where this place of fear is coming from. Is it the situation you are in at the doctor office or the way you feel after treatment, or something else? It is understandable for initial fear to come from your diagnosis.

Even 6 years out from treatment, I try to access fear I may experience at an appointment or leading up to a scan or test. Am I afraid of the test itself, or is it the fear of the results? When you start to think about the cause of the fear, the act that is triggering the fear, may not be the case at all.

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Recognize when a fear is becoming overwhelming

Everyone has fears and being fearful, is a powerful emotion. You must be mindful of your fears. Try to recognize when fears may be starting to take over your life and how you are functioning at times because of it.

Some signs of this are extreme anxiety, avoiding places, or people for example. It is important to recognize these situations and work through them. Many times when these situations are extreme, the best advice is to seek support from a professional.

Find a healthy outlet

It is important to find something that makes you feel good, or brings you joy! Some people journal, some run, and some take up yoga or photography for example. Find something that encourages a creative outlet, relaxes you, and helps you work through your current uncertain feelings.

During the time you leading to a scan, for example, keep yourself busy with something that helps you relax, yet keeps you engaged. This will help the time pass faster and is a healthy outlet.

Remind yourself of how far you have come

Every morning when you wake up, remember you have survived that many days before. Some days we must be our own hype person and remind ourselves that we have survived everything thrown at us so far. Try not to depend solely on others to always know we need a pick-me-up or some encouragement. We must do that for ourselves at times and keep moving forward.

Acknowledge that it is ok to be afraid

Obviously, you have the right to be afraid, no matter what the reason. This is how you are feeling, and it is valid. Never let anyone tell you differently. Just do not remain in that space. Living in fear is not a healthy way to live your lifelong term.

Surround yourself with support

Make sure you have the best people for you in your life when you need them. Surround yourself with a hype squad, a source of support, shoulders to lean on, or even cry on. Most importantly surround yourself with positive energy. Seek that positivity and embrace it. Allow it to impact you and your feelings.

Sometimes we realize that we have those in our life that are not what we need right now. It is ok to distance yourself from those that are not giving you what you need. They will either phase themselves out or step up to the plate and be there for you no matter where you are in your diagnosis.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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