It is a bit of a trick question, because it depends on the person and the circumstances. But for me over the past 19 years of remissions and recurrences, I have found the interval between learning I have cancer and making the final treatment decision the most stressful. Here's why:
- I am not doing anything to treat the cancer.
- I have to think about the risks of each treatment option.
- I have to think about the statistics regarding complications and death.
- I feel the burden of responsibility regarding the most important decision of my life.
From Diagnosis: Cancer. A Guide to the First Months of Healthy Survivorship (page 28): "Actually, the most powerful steps you can take toward getting better are to become informed about your treatment options, and to invest the time and effort needed to make wise treatment decisions with your doctors. When you make informed decisions, you'll never look back saying, 'I wish I knew then what I know now!'"