There might not be an illness any more strenuous that tests the wills of mankind more than cancer. As soon as a patient here the words it’s cancer, they’re immediately catapulted into a state of high alarm. The most imminent question that comes to mind is whether or not they’re going to die. They immediately start worrying about how they will tell their family, what kind of treatment they’ll need to go through and whether insurance will pay for enough of it to make those treatments possible. Indeed, sometimes they don’t.
Worry and Sadness
That’s the beginning of worrying where cancer is concerned. Other worries will develop as the patient’s own personal story does. When they start chemotherapy, they’ll worry about whether or not they’ll lose their hair. When they are put on Lupron to suppress all their sex hormones and prevent cancerous tumors from growing, they’ll worry about the side effects that throw them into a chemical state of menopause. Yes, they get to endure both menopause and cancer at the same time. When the doctor mentions a double mastectomy, they’ll worry about whether or not their partner will still find them attractive afterward. In fact, they’ll wonder if they’ll ever be able to feel attractive again.
So, it’s not just incessant worry about cancer. It’s about the multitude of issues that cancer brings with it. In nearly an instant, the worry can take over and consume the patient. This can lead to the development of panic disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, and even obsessive compulsive disorder — which many patients develop as a way of coping with their illness and the anxieties it presents.
Sometimes, it’s not just worry. There is also depression. It often plagues people with breast cancer, as well as survivors. Yes, survivors go on to struggle with their diagnosis long after most of them are in remission. The worry starts all over again. They worry that it will come back. They worry about the odds of beating it twice. They worry about enduring the fight against cancer again. This is often where depression lurks. It is behind the worry and waiting for the opportunity to pounce.
When things settle down and it’s time to go back to reality and recover from a battle the patient has won, they begin to wonder why they don’t feel normal. In truth, this is their new normal. The person’s life they are searching for belonged to them before they were diagnosed. That life has been permanently changed and they must adjust to who they are now.
A big part of moving on from cancer and bouncing back from all that is drags people through involves time — oddly enough, sometime most of these people worry about having. In the waiting period where they stand to recover or submit to what has happened to them, they need support. They can find it through mental health professionals, family and other loved ones, and breast cancer support groups. Most of the time, the latter is a tight-knit group of women who have shared your same experiences. No one else will ever understand better than someone who has been through it. If you’re looking for someone who gets it, get to a support group — now.