Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow. ~Dan Rather
Please note: Name and all identifying details have been changed to protect privacy.
*Scared and cancer often go together. Sometimes scared isn’t strong enough. George came in to see me, clearly upset. When I asked what he was feeling, he immediately said terrified.
What was terrifying him? The diagnosis, the prognosis, prescribed treatment, what he would look like after treatment, how he would feel during and after treatment, what would happen to his family, his work, and his life, he answered, spoken with breathless words.
While George had fought in war, recovered from bankruptcy, and been in a serious car wreck, nothing in his mind could compare to the sheer terror he felt now.
Exploring his feeling in war, bankruptcy, and car wreck, George was surprised to realize he felt terrified in each of those situations too. I asked George how he managed. How did he feel terrified and keep going at the same time?
“I had to, I just did”. “What else could I do?”
Exactly. Moving forward, one step at a time, despite feeling overwhelmed and scared.
One step at a time can be translated to five minutes at a time. You can do almost anything for five minutes. Focus on five minutes, then; focus on the next five minutes moving forward through fear, anxiety, and the unknown.
* You may find it beneficial to schedule an appointment with an oncology trained psychotherapist or social worker to explore and cope with emotions related to cancer. I highly recommend doing so.