What scared me the most was the uncertainty of what happens next
We created this article to help you with the worries and fears that are triggered by a cancer diagnosis.There are some powerful and open insights from people that have survived cancer and how they did it once they got over their initial fears. This material can also help people who want to avoid cancer or reduce their risks of developing cancer. We have brought you some really personal stories which we hope will give you energy and support take away and utilise some of the messages from these wonderful stories and content below and maybe share with your community.
Before sharing the personal stories we wanted to highlight one of the many fantastic books out there. This book can help you understand your own emotions and take you through many case histories which highlight what approach to your emotions can help. It is called Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, where a Ph.D. researcher interviewed over 1500 cancer survivors from 10 different countries. We won’t spoil it for you and tell you all the details. However, what was evident in most of the survival cases was the positive mental strength these people had once they dealt with their emotions. First, we need to understand one’s emotions, take the time to sit with them, by fully understanding the depth of the emotion it can then be dealt with, if we do not face the emotions we will find it hard to fight the disease called cancer.
We need to work out which of the main emotions in the list below (see diagram) is the actual emotion that is present, that we are currently feeling and free our bodies from that emotion. As it was evident from research, If we do not, it will lead to extra stress on the body, which according to WHO (world health organisation) stress is accountable for 75% of the world’s illnesses and diseases. From various research stress then increases cancer.
According to various experts in human emotions there are many, however, they can all be categorised into eight main emotions according to expert Robert Plutchik’s, using his theory the eight main emotions are:
- Fear → feeling afraid
- Anger → feeling angry. A stronger word for anger is rage.
- Sadness → feeling sad. Other words are sorrow, grief (a stronger feeling, for example when someone has died) or depression (feeling sad for a long time). Some people think depression is a different emotion.
- Joy → feeling happy. Other words are happiness, gladness.
- Disgust → feeling something is wrong or nasty
- Surprise → being unprepared for something.
- Trust → a positive emotion; admiration is stronger; acceptance is weaker
- Anticipation → in the sense of looking forward positively to something which is going to happen. Expectation is more neutral.
Robert Plutchik’s wheel demonstrates the link to other emotions:
These then link to the five main areas of one’s life:
- You – Seems pretty obvious, however, so many people place others first and themselves/their health second. Once you start putting yourself first and set your boundaries life becomes positive which enables you to focus on the areas of your life that matter, which starts with YOU
- Family and Friends – The importance of the right support and network, be it a family member, a friend or a religious belief/community can be just what is needed to keep you on your journey
- Money – In this day and age, we have huge responsibilities that are what causes the main stress in most people’s lives and in various surveys the one area that is impacted when one can not earn or work. Health issues impacts on our pockets in ways we just don’t or can not foresee.
- Time – Time is equal to all, however, so many of the people do not respect or fully value time until it is potentially taken away. How much more do you actually get done when time is running out?
- Trust – Trust creates certainty and confidence, which are hugely powerful ingredients to help you or your network get through most challenges.
Noa’s Story – A story about personal positivity which gives her the strength to deal with other factors in life. Extremely inspirational lady.
How I explained chemotherapy to my children
Noa Popovsky would call herself a survivor. She is currently battling her second relapse of ovarian cancer, a disease that has already robbed the 34-year-old of her spleen, reproductive organs and a sizeable chunk of her liver and colon.
This is the deadliest of gynaecological cancers, killing more women than all the others combined, and currently the sixth most common cancer among women. The UK has one of the lowest survival rates in Western Europe, with 7,000 new diagnoses each year and 4,300 deaths – one every two hours.
Family & Friends Story
A boy’s perspective on his mum’s breast cancer journey
What’s it like for a child to hear that the most important person in your world has life-threatening cancer and to watch them go through treatment? Twelve-year-old Lisburn boy Jack Myles shares his experience of his mum Jo getting and surviving breast cancer,
LISBURN voice-over artist Jo Myles was diagnosed at age 41 with Stage 3 breast cancer. Since December 2013 she has undergone six operations, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, chemical menopause and ongoing hormone therapy, with one more reconstructive operation to go.
Single-mum Jo, both of whose parents have passed away, was grateful to friends and neighbours who supported her through her cancer journey, and to the strength of her son Jack.
You never imagine that you have to save for cancer
When Cath was diagnosed with bowel cancer she had to deal with the shock of her diagnosis, on top of the financial implications of taking a year off work. She had a mortgage to pay and was anxious about the cost of bills. She found herself worrying more about her finances than about getting through treatment.
I was told that I could be off work for up to 12 months. And then it hit me. Wow, how am I going to pay my bills?
After the diagnosis, when my wages stopped, my income went down £100, £150 per week. But I still had to survive. I started thinking, well, all the bills have still got to be paid, even though I’m ill. You never imagine that you have to save for cancer. Strangely enough, when I became ill all my expenses increased too. I had to buy gluten-free bread, which was over £2 a loaf instead of 35p. And my heating bills went up because I felt cold all the time.
TIME – You never value life until it’s nearly taken away from you
5 Ways To Live With No Regrets, From Someone Who Has Cancer
What if I told you that, for me, being diagnosed with cervical cancer turned out to be a blessing in disguise? At age 31, I now know exactly what I want from my life. I know what’s truly important to me, and I’ve entered a new realm of self-discovery. All because I have cervical cancer.
Imagine if you could feel this way—without this deadly disease. Do you want to live a fuller life? A life with no regrets?
I’ve made this list just for you, whether you have cancer or not. These are the five ways my life has changed and things I urge you to do as they’ll make your life fuller, more complete, and could lead to greater things:
TRUST – Out of adversity comes opportunity
My Mum…Sarah Smith
Becky Smith, daughter of the late Eve advocate Sarah Smith, re-counts her Mum’s speech at the House of Commons, in the same spot just a year later.
Sarah Smith, my mum, was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer 18 months ago. This time last year she was stood where I am now, telling you that she was unlikely to live another 18 months. She was right, it was just 6 months.
Ovarian cancer is a deadly killer. Each year more than 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and most find out too late. You’ll hear from Alison in a moment who will tell you just how brutal late diagnosis is and why prevention is so vital. My mum wanted, and now I want, to use this precious few minutes to persuade us all to do something about this.
It’s common when girls are asked who their inspiration is, for them to say their mum – and I hope it’s not a cliché, but my inspiration was my mum too