Have you ever been on a rollercoaster? They go up slow and come down fast. Twisting and turning while you’re screaming scared. Then finally you come to a slow stop and hastily climb out of the car that held you captive for that 2-minute ride (or less). And it was supposed to be a thrill. The emotions of cancer have similarities. Some emotions can help.
I haven’t been on a rollercoaster ride for many years but still remember the thrill, the stress, the excitement of the ride. Cancer is not a thrill or exciting, only stress, anxiety, and fear of unknowns. There are ups and downs, twists and turns, as cancer is captive in your body somewhere. You just want it out.
For me, life was going along well. Even with Covid-19, my husband and I are enjoying, for the most part, our quiet, retired life in the country. No major problems, food in the fridge, bills are paid. Life is moving along at a happy pace. Then a routine exam turned life in a twist with tests, pain, unknowns, filled with anxiety.
Emotions in a time of crisis range from denial to distress, and everything in between. I’m sure there are many factors as to why and how we each experience certain emotions during a crisis. I’m not a doctor so my writing here is only based on my experience.
When the Radiologist looked at the first ultrasound I had, he mentioned a spot looked like cancer. I immediately thought that maybe the biopsy will show different so I didn’t get too upset.
Because I had cancer before (Thyroid cancer in 2008), this time it wasn’t a heavy blow to me. I heard the ‘c’ word before and survived it. I’ve had a mix of emotions this time, but not the devastation as before. Being told I had thyroid cancer was like saying you have a month to live. This time around, my attitude is, “ok, let’s fix it so I can live my life.”
Yes, I’ve cried, been angry, frustrated, felt sorry for myself, worried, sad, lonely, blamed myself, and felt overwhelmed. I don’t want to spend our finances on medical, I don’t want to be poked and prodded again, I don’t want surgery or treatment. No one does.
I’m choosing to deal with it and make the best of it.
Healthy emotions are the way to go. This time around, I can see how I’ve grown in my attitude towards things like this. I’ve had moments of negative emotions, but mostly I’ve been positive about it all. It’s a choice. It’s not denial. I know the reality of what is happening to my body but I also know the benefits for my body of having a positive attitude. Your body knows the difference between negative and positive emotions. And she will react accordingly. Negative emotions create stress and damage your immune system. Positive emotions have powerful, life-giving benefits.
Faith is the biggest part of my cancer journey that keeps me anchored, positive, and at peace. God uses our struggles to show Himself. I’m closer to Jesus as I’ve traveled the rough roads in my life. For that, it’s worth it. When things are good in my life, I tend to think I don’t need Him. But I’m wrong. I will always need God, my Father, whether life is good or life is hard. I cling to Bible verses I’ve memorized. Listening to uplifting positive music helps me tremendously. I love worship music by Kim Walker-Smith, Bethel Music, Elevation Worship, Lauren Daigle, Hillsong, Kari Jobe, and more.
Staying focused on the positive is the key to staying positive.
What has helped you emotionally as you’ve gone through struggles?
What suggestions would you give to someone struggling?
How may I pray for you?