Riding the Waves: The Emotions of Cancer


Cancer is an emotional ride. A diagnosis and life following it can bring you many emotions, from fear to anxiety to grief. We all respond differently to the news and how we handle these feelings. How do you find support and what can you do to help yourself through this journey to peace and happiness? Learn some simple tips to riding the waves of emotion in this episode.

I wanted to talk to you about something that has been prevalent for me and probably most of you. I want to talk about riding the waves of the emotions that come with a cancer diagnosis. I realized after my conversation with my sister Kathleen in episode 65, that there is so much more that happens with and after a diagnosis. If you haven’t heard the episode, make sure you check it out.

Sometimes life can push you to your breaking point. Cancer challenges your mind, body and spirit. It is a conscious effort to start fresh every day and see the world of possibilities. I still have days of struggle… and I still know how much I have overcome.

How do you find hope and happiness in the midst of all of this? How can you change your thoughts?

Our emotions are very powerful and they can affect our everyday lives. 

Learn to love who you are right where you are!

You are amazing! 💙

You are stronger than you think! 💙

You can do this! 💙

Life can change, in fact it is almost a guarantee that it will, especially when you least expect it. Some changes are wonderful and welcome, while others push us to our limits.  Have you ever thought about how you react differently now than you did prior to your diagnosis? Our experience shapes our thoughts, 

We don’t fully have control over life. When you are facing a challenge, you have the option to find an answer or you can fall into despair and overwhelm. When we can’t find a way to face it with level headed thoughts, we aren’t able to see things clearly.  We can’t get through the barrier of “why me” and “why now”. Sometimes you can even get into feeling numb and just shutting down.  

So, what do you do? Make sure you vent your frustrations and fears with someone, giving yourself time to feel the emotions.. Expressing emotions- both positive and negative is healthy. Grieving is equally important as staying positive. 

Do cancer treatments influence our thoughts? I think  we all realize the effect that it has on our bodies, but what about our minds? Do treatments affect how our brain processes our thoughts and feelings? It is very possible. You need to find that support and understand how to work through all of these changes. Our emotions get so stirred up and we are searching for that resolve.

Your experience is your own and you can’t compare to others. You have to look at your situation and find out what will work for you. We all have had different experiences in life leading up to this event. You have to remember there is no right way to feel during this time. You just have to feel the feelings to understand what you need to get through it. 

I was more of the keep it to myself person, because I didn’t want to burden others. I wanted to go back to the way things were. I eventually connected to a few organizations and started to feel more understood. It has been interesting sharing and being more vulnerable. I am learning more about myself and you by doing it. You may want to be with family and friends to feel supported. I love this. Or you may connect with other survivors or support organizations to get the support you need. They will most likely have the best understanding because they have been through it or deal with it more specifically. You should always check with your doctor for anything like this. There are many ways to find your strength and to heal emotionally.

I would guess that  if you continue to search for the positive you will start to see your life has the potential to be happy, it is worth trying. Start with finding people in your life that radiate good energy. Spend time with them, talk on the phone and just take in the moment. Share those feelings of anger and sadness. It is bound to make you feel a little better. Just like when you listen to music and hear your favorite song, or read something on social media that makes you smile or touches you deeply. Take in that feeling and recharge your mind and body. Every little bit helps when you are facing this diagnosis. You never know when you are going to draw from reserve to help you through a tough spot.If you don’t know anybody you can share with reach out to another Survivor or counselor. you can also Journal to get your thoughts out of your mind and onto the paper

What did you feel when you heard the words, “you have cancer”? What feelings came up as you went through your diagnosis and treatment? 

Fear and anxiety seem to be at the top of the list for many of us. There’s also  Loss and grief. I know that over time, these will start to lessen. But there seems to be the little voice in the back that says “what if and when”? Do we eventually get through that?

Even when you are going through the whirlwind of treatments, appts, and scans…I know that one is the usual culprit to stirring up fear and anxiety…the old “Scanxiety”, if you have that reserve of positive interactions, you might find it helps when things don’t feel so great.

Going through The emotions of loss and grief can cause us to feel disconnected from ourselves. It forces us to see another side to our lives. understanding that we have to go through this process, to feel those feelings and find that peace when we do. 

Did you ever have the feeling that your cancer may come back? it can be in the back of your mind and you may not even be aware of it but it’s good to check in with yourself to understand what you’re really feeling. If you’re worried about your diagnosis and potential for it to return, you may need to consult with your doctor. if you get to the point where you can no longer enjoy life or it disrupt your eating and your sleep pattern, it is  definitely time to check in with someone to get some guidance on how to feel better. I know you can feel that twinge or tingle that makes you question what’s going on in your body.

I know there’s also holidays, birthdays or  anniversaries that stir up a lot of these emotions. maybe the important part is to be focused on what brings you joy in a day?

As focused as you are going through all of these new experiences, you must remember, you have a life to live. Stop being so focused on all the things you’re going through and probably need to step away from and start dreaming again. 

Reach deep within to find your fire. What are you passionate about? Find that spark and let it grow. There is no time like the present to be who you truly want to be.

What do you do that makes you feel good what you do that make you feel alive

Have you found any blessings because of this diagnosis? What changes have you made to bring that pleasure back into your life? you need to take care of yourself. what is it you do for yourself? Do little things to start and see how you feel. Know that you deserve a little something special because of what you’ve been through. Is it a bubble bath? Or a new outfit? It’s hard to imagine sometimes that these things can really help you. But they do. Would you ever consider skydiving or something crazy like buying a boat and traveling on the water? I know, crazy right? I made that decision because I didn’t want to regret not living my life. to continue to dream. So, close your eyes and listen to your heart.

Finding ways to reduce or control stress for anyone is helpful, but when you are already compromised you want to make sure you do everything you can to keep yourself healthy to heal and get through the emotional and physical demands.

Start by doing one simple thing every day.

What is something you have felt is lacking or in need of attention? 

Do you need to move your body more?

Why not spend time outside in nature and just appreciate your surroundings

Remember how your favorite song makes you feel? Maybe dance to it to lift your spirits

And what if sharing your experience with others made you feel good and as a result helped someone else? Win/Win!

If there are days where you feel a little stuck, why not try meditation? there’s something to being mindful and in the moment. It calms your mind and your thoughts and it brings into Focus where you are at that moment. it will also help you calm down before going to sleep.

This leads me to something I am working on. I have a new project that would help in this area. I’m very excited to bring you something special, again I needed a dream.  I needed something to focus on that was positive and energizing and I want to share that with you. so I hope you are patient and can work with me on this new adventure. You will be able to know more soon!

There is a quote by Viktor Frankl I heard recently that I wanted to share with you

“Everything can be taken from a person but one thing.  The last of the human freedoms. To choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances. To choose one’s own way.”

Listen to this important episode to hear more.

How do you sail through life? Join me on this endeavor! I would love to grow this amazing support community!



More related episodes:

Clinical Trials, Melanoma and A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles

Mary Elizabeth Williams – From melanoma diagnosis to clinical trial veteran, this stage 4 survivor has experienced firsthand the challenges and triumphs that come with cancer. Her story is one of luck, timing, science, and also hope.  So sit back and…

Published by Lorie

Hello and welcome to Sailing Through Life! My name is Lorie. I am a 2-time melanoma cancer survivor and a sailor - in my heart and on the water. I want to be a beacon of light to others with life challenges and be an inspiration to stay positive while going through these life-altering events. Join me as I set sail on this new adventure... Sailing Through Life.

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