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Blog: Facing the Fear of Death

By Dr. Laura on April 22, 2024
Woman with headscarf crosses her arms while looking out of window

There's nothing irrational about being frightened by a cancer diagnosis. That's something worth worrying about. And when I spoke to Christy, she was on her second go-round with a cancer scare. After having survived a full hysterectomy, lymph node removal and lots of chemo treatments in response to early-stage ovarian cancer, a follow-up CT Scan had revealed another area of concern. Worried about dying early, Christy called me for help with handling her fears.


I think anyone would be scared in Christy's position. I know when I first found out that I had breast cancer, I was just walking in circles with fear. We cannot eliminate rational fears, but we can tolerate them better with a game plan and with a little help from our friends.


A PET scan was her doctor's next priority, and Christy's mind had taken her to the dark place of more cancer and a worse chance of survival than her original diagnosis. In her fear, Christy made β€œdead” the next step after a negative PET scan. But, logically she knew that surgery and more chemotherapy were the probable next steps. Although she felt numb and in shock, Christy was exercising and spending time with her dogs to help calm her anxiety – other great steps in her game plan. I encouraged her to let friends help. You don't have to feel so alone. The less alone time you have the less you'll be thinking about dying.


The β€œBig C” is a shock to just about everybody who encounters it. It's not abnormal or weak to be scared and worried. No mater what problems you're dealing with in life, you'll do better with a game plan and by leaning on your loved ones. I can't stress enough what great medicine the emotional support and love your friends and family can provide is.



How did you deal with the fear of dying when it came to your health? I would love to hear how you dealt with it. Share your story with me here!



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