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5 Under 40 Foundation – New York City » Fear of Recurrence

Fear of Recurrence

  1. It is normal for anyone diagnosed with cancer to be scared about recurrence. There is a sense of security in going for treatment or taking a pill-you feel like you are doing something active to treat the cancer. Once you finish treatment you almost feel an emptiness, a vulnerability-if I am not actively doing something this cancer will come back-I felt this way too
  2. It is also normal to think that every pain and ache you feel is “the cancer”! I have a six-week rule. If the pain or ache does not go away within six weeks with conservative measures, I go to the doctor and have it checked! Remember-common things are common if you worked out, cleaned the house, played with your kids or dogs and your back hurts-it’s likely a muscle ache! Breathe, relax, take an anti-inflammatory, and rest!
  3. There is no time when fear of recurrence is at its peak, like when you are having medical tests: mammograms, ultrasounds, exams, CT scans etc. Just remember, you have assembled the best team possible to treat your breast cancer and keep you healthy-they will tell you when to worry! Keep a positive, healthy outlook
  4. Don’t let breast cancer define you! Recognize that it is part of who you are now and although it has changed you forever, it does not define you! Rejoin your life! Focus on family, friends, work, and your passions! Do the things you dream of doing! Focus on each day and live it to its fullest! If you are having a hard time moving beyond your diagnosis get help from a professional-there are cognitive behavioral therapy methods, support groups and medications that can help! Live life to the fullest-we cannot control what is going to happen tomorrow, only what we do this minute in this day!

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