"All healing is essentially a release from fear."
An oncology nurse for many years, Amy knows the journey through diagnosis, treatment, remission, and dying. There are challenges and opportunities in each part of the process.
During diagnosis there are many appointments; doctors, lab, scans of all kinds, and procedures. Next comes insurance coverage to negotiate or purchase, all requiring asking good questions and knowing how to advocate for yourself.
Treatment brings its own unknowns. Infusions and side effect management, fears, tears, sleepless nights filled with anxiety, keeping friends and family informed. And of course the effects of the treatment can often leave you wrung out, tired and not feeling like yourself. Following the orders and suggestions of your care team to minimize the effects of treatment are their own challenge, with large quantities of water to drink, medications to keep on schedule and moving your body even when it does not want to move.
Remission or stable disease brings a different kind of stress and anxiety, as you are left alone with your thoughts and fears. Leaving the comfort and safety of the nurses in the infusion center, you return to your life a changed person, and yet you also remain the same. It can be a rich time of reflection and exploration as you have just come through something big, facing your own mortality and possible death.
When treatment options are exhausted and your cancer cannot be cured or stabilized, it is time to step through the door and face death. And no one wants to do this and yet we all will. Taking the time to reflect on your life and what matters most can be a time of deep healing and connection. Saying I love you, I appreciate you; you move toward connection. Saying I forgive you, will you please forgive me; you offer healing to those closet to you. Accepting death and facing it fully is gift you give yourself and those that remain long after you are gone.
Having the support of an experienced cancer coach to help you navigate these confusing, anxious, and profound feelings can help you lean into the experience of cancer as you integrate body, heart and mind.