Fear can let our imagination become a runaway train. A cat becomes a lion. A bump becomes a tumor. A tumor becomes the end. We think the worst. That is fear. Controlling one’s thoughts and staying logical are critical. I asked the LMSDR Facebook group members to tell us what helps them conquer their fears. With their permission, I share their words of wisdom.
SA: I talk to myself and state the facts and options…. staying as logical as I can be in the face of trouble.
Lisa W: Having a plan, and knowing what’s next. Researching options, reading positive stories and posts, and having a great medical team. I don’t know why, but I have actually had very little anxiety.
Catherine M: I turn the dark energy of fear into positive energy working for somebody else in need. A year after diagnosis, I went to work at a women’s and children’s shelter. When a child smiles because he has a “real toilet,” it isn’t easy holding on to fear.
PV: What has helped me is reading posts on this site that have gone through this and have survived. There is nothing like getting advise, support, HOPE and encouragement from people who are and or have been in your shoes. THANK YOU LMS DIRECT FOUNDATION AND EVERYONE WHO POSTS HERE. And Boot Camp videos are a must!
Ann-Kristin L: Trying to get back on the horse…Searching for hope and faith in this wonderful group. And, taking action: Italy, here we come!
Barb S: Meditation has been my most treasured go-to tool for combating my fear.
Sharon A: Fear can paralyze us… so my antidote is to TAKE ACTION of some kind: Do research, travel to a sarcoma center, join a support group, talk about it with loved ones. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
David C: I am with you Sharon. I get through it by facing the fear head on and learning as much as I can about what is happening to me. Doing my YouTube channel is also a great release for me as I get to say my fears out loud instead of keeping them bottled up inside. Lastly for me working with a counselor has also helped a great deal.
Vicki S: Doing all that I can to not let cancer hold me emotionally hostage. I have never ridden the waves of good news/bad news. Doctors are wrong, test results are inconclusive, better and more treatment options are coming fast and furious, and hopelessness can change to hope, almost overnight. I do not let my highs get too high or lows too low, and I don’t do this alone. I facilitate a live cancer support group, make spiritual connections either on my own or with others, and connect with people in this group who I know always have wise advice. Together we are stronger!
Li-lien Y: I worked hard to not let cancer distract my life. I kept working through my treatments and trying to do a better job every day. I have tried to be a better mother. Focusing on my kids and work and enjoying life leaves me little time to fear.
ML: For me its acceptance that we all have to die one day. Its only death that brings a new life. Why fear death?
Caroline A: One big decision that I don’t regret was deciding to travel to Dana Farber for care. When I first met the oncologist, he calmed my fears in the best manner I could imagine, saying that there many options for me. I stay focused on a lot of other activities: golf, kayaking, walking my dog, book clubs, church volunteering, Kiwanis (I belong to one of only two all ladies clubs in the world!). It’s almost like I just don’t have time for medical issues. Unfortunately, they interject themselves unceremoniously at the most unexpected times, and I just deal with them. I try to count my many blessings frequently, even each day as I awaken and lie in bed, listening to the blender as hubby makes a smoothie for us.
Kelly K: What has helped me is a word. I say a word of the day. Consciously every day picking out my word. A mantra. A prayer. When I get into pain, I internally say the word and it calms me down pretty fast.
Lauren R: Know your enemy.
Ziva: Taking a breath each day & dealing with that day only. It powers me personally.
Marlana: For me it is to make something beautiful…or work in the garden….or to make some new plans. Reading Mere Christianity by CS. Lewis talks about strengthening spiritual muscles, which I find myself working on daily.
Laura P: I was obsessed with great white sharks way before my dx 15 years ago or even before Jaws. I learned as much as I could about them and emulated their aggression, whether it was competing for boys, college activities, grad schools, or my husband, and now fighting cancer. I learn as much as I can about the enemy, determine what tools I have at my disposal, then go in for the kill. I also use my journalism background and question everything my sarcoma onc tells me.
Pamela H: When I become immobile with the fear especially when I get a recurrence…I get mobile with my Faith, endless Research efforts, and looking for all the THRIVERS Stories I can find. I read on this site each day!
Suzy A: After 18 years, I get distracted, and do things that make me happy even if it’s a walk or coffee with a friend. When I’m at the lowest of lows, I focus on my Faith, let my worries go. When I have some strength I focus on new treatment options both medically and nutritionally. I eat well – try to eat as many veggies with clean protein – which gives me control and strength (mind strength and physical strength) I focus on what I CAN do each day even if it’s listen and appreciate the birds chirping upon waking, or playing with my kitten. I take things day by day. On a bad day, I remind myself that tomorrow is a new day.
Will B: When I’m at that point- I hot wire a mobility scooter from the mall and hit the open highway at full speed yelling “You will never catch me alive Coppers”…
Humor. If you can’t laugh, don’t expect others around you to.
Maggi F: I have so many fears I have to identify and make a plan for each. Facing each is half the battle; planning the battle is empowering and makes me feel stronger. I can face the next fear knowing I’ve already done it before!
Dave P: For Tami, besides going to the SCCA, a Sarcoma center, working with an ND that specializes in cancer patients. Keeping your vitamin d (vit fit d-3 w/k2) level between 80-100, taking Pectosol-c in an effort to prevent metastasis, taking LDN, liposomal vitamin c, bedtime melatonin (without a lot of fillers) r-lipoic acid with the LDN. Doing these things gives us the confidence that we’re doing everything we can. That confidence removes much fear. Do we still have fear? Sure, but not as much and we trust our treatment team.
Chris A: For me it’s my faith, putting on uplifting music and keeping myself busy. If I allow myself to sit and ruminate constantly on the possibilities I can go down a deep hole. Also like Amy said helping others. We have to try our hardest to not feed our fears.
Eleanor M: I look for beauty and humor and kindness.