After receiving bad news, I was a bag of emotions. Being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness is devastating especially if it is that dreadful “C” word-cancer. Nobody wants to hear those words. I was in total disbelief and shock when I was told I had breast cancer. Thoughts rushed through my head; what stage, has it spread, did we catch it in time, am I dying, how will I tell my children. These thoughts kept racing through my head throughout the visit. I was glad my husband was with me during that doctor’s appointment because I did not hear another word after that. I never thought why me because was it fair for someone else to have cancer but not me? I thought I was doing all of the right things to prevent disease. But was I!
Stress and Anxiety
I had so much stress and anxiety because of the unknown. Stress by itself will kill you! Those several weeks prior to my surgery were a blur. There were several pre-surgery appointments and scans. I could not sleep because of the bad thoughts racing through my head. I am a spiritual person but doing this time, I found it hard to pray. The preoccupation with my mortality was overwhelming. Unless you have been through this, you will never understand the emotional roller-coaster we face as a cancer survivor.
My doctor eventually prescribed me something for sleep. Don’t feel guilty if you have to ask your physician for something to relax and/or sleep. Depression, anxiety, denial, isolation, anger, sadness, stress, fear, and worry are very common emotional responses to a cancer diagnosis. Remember it is okay to give yourself permission to grieve. Be honest with your doctor if you are struggling. There are counselors and support groups that can help you cope. Don’t be ashamed.
During these times we may want to isolate ourselves from others. This is not the time. It is beneficial to have a community of people to assist you. We as women are so busy taking care of everyone else that it is hard to accept help. This is one time when it is just about you. You and your healing.
Ultimately, I found hope and you will too. I embraced my breast cancer diagnosis and announced it to the world. It was invigorating! My spiritual life was taken up a notch or two. I decided that I wanted to help other women with their journey, so I became a nurse navigator. I want to make sure that no one has to navigate this journey alone.
If you desire support during your cancer journey or just need some assistance with your wellness, please contact me.
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The information is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe for any medical or psychological condition, nor to prevent, treat, mitigate or cure such conditions. The information contained herein is not intended to replace a one-to-one relationship with a doctor or qualified healthcare professional. Therefore, this information is not intended as medical advice, but rather a sharing of knowledge and information based on research and experience. Carolyn ‘conquered’ cancer encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your judgment and research in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.