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« The Problem of Specialists | Main | Microvacation of Teamwork »

July 22, 2010


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Lynn Silvia

The worse part of survivorship is the inability to rid yourself of the fear that IT may return.

Wendy S. Harpham, MD

Dear Lynn,
I, too, struggled with fear of recurrence in the early years of my survivorship. What I learned is this:

We cannot completely rid ourselves of the fear of recurrence. But most of us can learn to tame the fear so that it does not interfere in any significant way with living life to the fullest possible.

The path to equanimity about recurrence is different for each of us.

For me, it involved facing my fear, reframing recurrence as an illness--and not a death sentence, pursuing health-promoting measures such as exercise and healthy diet that decreased my risk of recurrence, and building confidence that I could deal with whatever happened.

I believed in the possibility of calming my fear of recurrence long before I actually learned to do it. So hang in there and let me know how I can help.

With hope, Wendy

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