beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

  • Contact BIDMC
  • Maps & Directions
  • Other Locations
  • Careers at BIDMC
  • Smaller Larger

Find a Doctor

Request an Appointment

Smaller Larger

Fear Continued

Posted 11/18/2016

Posted in

  I promise that I will change the topic next time, but I think this is an excellent essay from Cure Today that continues the discussion of the past few days. Fear has been such a large presence in my office (and, therefore, in my life) all week that I am moved to include this piece.

  Although this is primarily about the fear of recurrence, it is worth noting that we may experience fear in many flavors. We can be afraid of recurrence, of death itself, of the dying process, of pain, of being a burden to our families, of losing roles and activities that we cherish, of losing our hair during chemo, etc. etc. etc. Clearly fear of dying/death is the biggie, but it is hard to make a scale of all the others. We are different, one from another, and our worries will be individual, too.

  Fears of Recurrence and a Tale of Survival
Barbara Tako

Cancer survival is possible. Honestly, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 at the age of 46 and an unrelated melanoma at 50, I didn’t think I would be alive right now. Recently, four biopsied moles at my six-month full body checkup were not cancer — three of the four weren’t normal, but they weren’t cancer.
I certainly didn’t think I would be six years free of breast cancer and three years free of a completely unrelated melanoma. Survivorship is worth sharing and celebrating. I hope sharing this gives hope if you are a new cancer survivor. I still get comfort from hearing about people who are further out from diagnosis than me and feel optimistic that I may be one of them.
The fear of recurrence is still there for me, but it truly does get better with time. Life, in both good and bad ways, has moved on and continues to move on since my cancer diagnoses. There is hope and there is still time for many of us to experience life. I wish to encourage fellow survivors to work on their bucket list items. I do.
I have crossed off some big bucket list items—six countries in Europe over the past month after never having been to Europe before. As a two-time cancer survivor, I was grateful, humbled and awed. The distraction that travel provided from cancer worry brain was good, and the world seemed like both a bigger place and a smaller place than I had imagined before this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Read more:


Add your comment