(Theodora Branchfield/ Healthline) — For many breast cancer survivors, the fear of recurrence can be all-encompassing.
You may feel guilt for this — like you should feel more grateful for your health — but it’s completely normal to have both gratitude and fear, says Dr. Gabriela Gutierrez, LMFT, clinical oncology therapist at Loma Linda University Cancer Center.
“Cancer is like an earthquake with many aftershocks,” she says. “Just because the big one is out of the way doesn’t mean the ripples are gone.”
The journey transitions from a physical one to a mental one, and it may be a lifelong battle. In fact, nearly half of patients have some fear of recurrence.
The good news is that you’re not alone and there are ways to cope.
Unfortunately, fear is part of the journey, says Gutierrez. It’s perfectly normal that you’re feeling this way. In fact, fear means that you care about your life — that you do have hope for the life ahead of you. (…)