Fear of Recurrence How to Conquer It Brenda Casey MSW Social Worker Arizona Cancer Center (520)...

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Transcript of Fear of Recurrence How to Conquer It Brenda Casey MSW Social Worker Arizona Cancer Center (520)...

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  • Fear of Recurrence How to Conquer It Brenda Casey MSW Social Worker Arizona Cancer Center (520) 694-0347
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  • Todays discussion will focus on what we mean by fear of recurrence its influences its consequences what we can do about it
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  • What does the fear of recurrence mean? Afraid the cancer will come back Doubt (self & others) Fear is the most common emotion It is a universal occurrence Fear can be experienced very differently
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  • What influences this fear? Prognosis Personality Temperament Life Experiences Belief system Coping style
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  • What are the consequences? Psychological paralysis Lead to poor decisions Cause one to function rigidly Lead to suffering physical & emotional illness Losses for the person as well as family and friends
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  • Strategies in Managing Fear Know the signs & anticipate them Consider your belief system Develop a diverse support system Practice coping skills and learn new ones Be open-minded and flexible Explore and experiment with your new normal Communication Stress management
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  • Know your Triggers Anniversary dates Doctor appointments Anything reminiscent of the cancer experience Every little ache and pain Crisis with family and friends
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  • Dealing with Emotions Identify and be honest about feelings Feelings are not wrong or right Know your own approach and be willing to learn new ways
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  • Asking for Help Think about what you need Be specific Sometimes there is a reversal of roles Be willing to say whats not helpful
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  • Re-Evaluation Questions and new insights Perspectives can change The Future? My Goals? Understanding what happened
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  • Boundaries Know your limits Set your limits May invite criticism No, means No!
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  • Communication Identify those with whom you can talk openly Talking to your medical team, family and friends Notice where it feels difficult, theres usually a good reason
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  • Confidence in Your Medical Team Know your team members Learn how to utilize them Bring a buddy Tape your appointment
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  • Get the Facts Show up Understand your diagnosis and prognosis. Dont be afraid to ask questions. Include your emotions and trust the science
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  • The Element of Distraction Activities: volunteering, hobbies, gardening, movies, photography Keeping busy Diversions
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  • Reducing Stress Humor Meditation Gratitude Staying Positive Prayer
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  • Taking Care of Your Body Diet Exercise Sleep Have a plan Complimentary medicine
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  • Taking Care of your Mind Temptation is to worry When to control and when to let go Empowerment Take Charge Know your strengths & weaknesses (knowing your weaknesses is a strength)
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  • Getting back to New Normal Transformation Adjustment Perspective Future Surveillance
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  • Resources Family & Friends Support Groups Conferences, Seminars, Workshops Internet Continuing Education Individual Counseling/Professional Help
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  • Serenity Prayer God grant me the courage the change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference. Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
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  • Summary Fear is natural and a universal reaction Get the facts Know yourself Keeping an open mind and experimenting are essential in effective coping Fear may not go away but will fade over time It is conquerable