The time before the checkup--which I've had a few--
is always a very nerve-racking time. >>Yes, it is. That would be the usual experience.
My tumor--you could never have found it in a million years.
In fact, they didn't even look at the mammogram for a few weeks,
and then they said [gasps], "There's something tucked away there."
And just waiting for that result is fairly scary.
A fear of cancer returning is something that everybody experiences.
It's a time that can be really intense,
and one of the intense periods is in that diagnosis type period really
where there's an intense fear about cancer.
As they go through, there increasingly is fears about it returning
and people, in a way, have to find a way to live with that.
A great truth is that we are all going to die, whether of cancer or not.
And I find that quite helpful, actually. [laughter]
And the fact that one has had cancer, that it may come back,
one is going to die of something.
I guess one of the things that cancer does, it makes you think about death and dying
even if it's the last thing that's likely to happen, in fact, for you.
You might not have thought about it before.
And you can't not engage with the ideas about death and dying
and what that means for you.
I've got a 5-month-old, and I am absolutely petrified about the thought
that I might not see her growing up to be--I don't know even--
Well, I mean, it would be great if I could see her to 40.
But I think, "Oh, my God. What if she's 5 and something happens?"
I just can't bear the thought of it--for myself as well but for her.
And also, have I maybe passed something on to her
that means that she's got this ticking time bomb--
which I can't feel guilty about exactly because it's not my fault,
but I worry about that as well.
People can feel overtaken by a sense of fear inside themselves.
So we might give the fear a name and talk in terms of fear coming to visit.
And of course, if something comes to visit, it can also go away.
And how can they make friends with the fear? What might the fear be saying to them?
Is it trying to say to them, "Look, maybe you're just overdoing it a little bit."
"Do you want to slow down a bit?" Or, "Are you taking enough care of yourself at the moment?"
So we'd have a conversation about how useful the fear might be.
So in these kind of ways, people can get a different relationship with their fear
and in that way begin to lessen the impact of it.
The percentage of people who are surviving is much higher.
It's a scary thing. From diagnosis through treatment through survival, it's a scary thing.
But again, I think we're lucky because we're living in a century
where people talk about it in an open way.
It's not something you have to hide.
And I think that helps tremendously.
Well, folks, we're drawing to the end of our time for this evening.
It's been wonderful to have you all here and listen to your stories
and the things you've had to say this evening.
I do thank you for that. It's been a real pleasure.
[Streaming Well] [Breast Cancer Haven] [Copyright 2012 - 10609] [♪♪]