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I have a question, and you all are the best ones to give me an answer.....we've all dealt with a major loss here. Lately (since my Dad was diagnosed with NSCLC 10/04) I have been afraid that everyone I love, or me, is going to get cancer and die. (Sorry for the bluntness, I know there are LOTS of survivors!) I don't think about it every minute of every day, just usually at night when I'm having my nightly discussion with God. I always ask for protection for the people I love, but sometimes I'm just so scared. Dad only died about 3 1/2 months ago. Is this part of the grieving process, or am I just going crazy? Is this loss of innocence and loss of feeling secure going to be forever? How do you not be afraid? I know my dad would tell me not to worry about the things in life I can't control, and mostly I can do that. Just sometimes at night..... :? Any thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks everyone for the great support. I don't have a lot of time for posting (I have a young baby), but I do follow what's happening here. Warm wishes go out to everyone!

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Laura -

I get it. I thought my family and I were untouchable. We had never really ever had anything challenging happen to us -- no sickness, no deaths, no divorce, no addictions -- and then my mom, the seemingly healthiest woman in the workd is diagnosed and died in five months. I know am frightful when my husband flies internationally. I worry when I go to the doctor for anything. It has all become very real that bad things can happen that just don't make sense...I feel like I have lost contol. I can say that I have gotten better at logically telling myself not to worry...but I do think it is part of the process.

hang in there,


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From what I've experienced and heard, it's very, very normal. Our assumptions of invincibility are shattered. Probably forever. If we can get through the fear part of it, it doesn't have to be a bad thing.

But it is a hard thing. To realize that life can change AGAIN in the blink of an eye. You'll always know that now, but hopefully the fear will become less suffocating.

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Well, I know where you're coming from. But it just doesn't make sense to spend alot of time worrying about the future. Yes, we will all die sooner or later of something or other. But I've thought this over and I think that spending your time on this doesen't help you. Yeah, life sure is tough, but as you go thru it, you learn alot and that helps you get thru. Please be kind to yourself.


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I think it's an awakening. Many people were awakened on September 11th to the fact that some people hate us THAT much.

The year I was diagnosed, my family was hit with a lot of bad news. I'm three years out from diagnosis, three years out from the death of my paternal grandmother, three years out from my mother being diagnosed with diabetes, three years out from my maternal grandfather dying, three years out from putting my beloved dog down far too early, three years out from losing a good friend from high school, three years out from my father being diagnosed with cancer, from my grandfather being diagnosed with cancer and my uncle dying of lung cancer...

If I were to tell you that I don't have problems sleeping every night, I'd be lying. There are nights when the monsters crawl out of their cages in my brain and start walking down the hallways and clanging on the bars. The numbers and statistics swim around in my head and I feel the dread start to wash over me and the fear that I will not see the morning... I have medication for those nights. I've had the same bottles of pills for three years and open them on the extremely horrible nights. During the day, it's easier to consciously counteract the sad thoughts with other thoughts. It's easier to beat the monsters back into their cages with the sunshine on my face and the earth under my toes.

Fear cannot rule you unless you let allow it to. You cannot go through life afraid of everything. Cold reality is that everyone will die someday. That IS the "master plan". Birth to death is a journey. If you choose to make the journey about the destination, you will miss all the scenery. Take off the blinders and allow yourself to experience the journey. You will not come this way again.

Facing your fears makes them smaller, they grow when you run. Find the courage and face them down. Sure, you'll still have down days, but maybe you can talk to your doctor about that. Swallow down the fear and walk out the door into the sunshine.

...and if you're really feeling weak, let me know and I'll bring my baseball bat and maglight. One day at a time...

Take care,


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I think I know what you mean. My family seemed untouchable as well -- no major hospital stuff, no major illness....doing everything the world says we are supposed to about checkups, eating "right", exercising, etc. etc. and then my dad gets massive brain cancer with no early warning symptoms (goes from hale and hearty and working teenagers into the ground to completely bedridden and able to do nothing for himself in about 4 weeks) and passes 8 weeks after dx. Now mom with LC.....the head can't help but wonder into dark places in the mind at times.

Folks are right though: we just plain miss the wonder of life if we get stuck in such places. Worry and fear do nothing good for us except make us miss the scenery, as Becky put it.

What fascinates me is watching how nature handles loss around it -- ever watch nesting birds when they lose a little one that falls out of the nest or large animals who lose a pasture buddy one day? How about the trees in the forest when one perishes in their midst? All of these things grieve for a period of time (some very brief, some longer) and are temporarily "off balance" for a little bit (yes, even trees), but they rebound, regain their strength, and go on in their own individual beauty -- None of these things appear weakened by worry and fear as they go on in their life. Makes me wonder what nature knows that we don't know.


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My father passed away a month and a half ago and I find that the night hours are the most difficult as well. Girls tend to put their father's on pedestals and believe that nothing bad can happen to them because daddy will take care of them. Well Daddy's gone and are worlds are shattered and everthing we thought before has changed. It is so hard. I am hoping it is all part of the grieving process because if it is not, I too am losing my mind. How old is your baby? I have two a 3 year old girl and 19 month old boy.

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Oh Laura,

I am so sorry that you are feeling this. I odn't really know the answer to your question, but I am going to guess that it is pretty normal. We all have fears, and right now, your baby is your main concern. You dont' want your baby to feel like you do, with pain, so I believe internally you are just protecting your baby...does that make sense?

God bless you and I ask that He give you peace during this grieving time.


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Thanks for posting such deep feelings and fears. I believe you have taken the first step toward healing thouse feelings but talking about them.

Dr. Phil says you can't fix what you don't acknowledge.

A line in "The Pilot's Wife" always stuck with me. "You have to go through the pain to get to the other side"

And my favorite, favorite book is "Tuesdays with Morrie". I read it twice, after the last two cancers. Mitch asks Morrie is he is ever sad or angry or depressed and how does he deal with that. Morrie goes onto say that of course he does and he feels the feelings head on, lashes into them and carries on as painful as it may be. Then, he says he has given it enough time and moves on from there.

Dr. Bernie Siegel "Love, Medicine, and Miracles" says you are either living or your dead. Thank about that one.

And if you haven't much yet, read up on the stages of grief. Another book I highly recommend for grieving is "How to survive the Loss of a Love" It is a very small paperback which could fit in our purse. I hve given it to many people through the years, and everyone says it is very helpful.

And hold that baby. That's what your dad would tell you to do.


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love your babies and muscle through the fear.

I know exactlu what you are saying about worry that cancer will get more people you love.

I makes me so mad I want to beat it silly with a bat...that is how much I hate the fears.

They suck my power away and steal my joy.

Last week at my aunt and uncles 50 wedding anno party I had to go cry int the restroom I was so mad that cancer kept my parent s from celebrating a 45, 40 60 years together.

But that cry kept me from hearing a speech from a person I love. My cousin video taped it and that made me cry harder.

Damn cancer.

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When you were talking about laying in bed at night with the fears, it reminded me when I was all alone and so sick with chemos and radiations and pretty close to death. What could I do about it? Not too much.

It was dark in there. I was full of spirituality. I learned that there were two prayers that could chase away the spooks. I would actually whisper them and whisper myself to sleep in no time.

The opposite, they say, of fear is God. When you become so frightened, lean on Him in your prayers.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep...

actually was a great comfort when I thought through all of the words.

The other was The Our Father.

For those two prayers that have been committed to memory, I am so grateful. I hope that you will give them a try and find that they will work for you also.

Cindi o'h

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I lost my husband of 12 years one year ago to small cell lung cancer. I lost my beloved mother in January to colon cancer. Before that I lost one of my best friends who was also my first cousin, to breast cancer. I have had a stage 2 melanoma. Guess what? I feel like everyone is going to die of cancer, including me, and it scares the living crap out of me. I'm terrified of it. But the key is to not let it control you. I combat the fear by making sure I get ALL the screenings I can. this last year I've had a colonoscopy, mammagram, pap smear and a full body skin check (and a pre-cancerous mole removed) but I don't obsess about this stuff, I just make sure I do it and then I forget about it.

What you're feeling is perfectly natural. Just don't let it control you. and make sure you get your checkups.

I heard one time that everyone has some cancer cells in their body, but most immune systems are able to kill them off. But if nothing else killed you and you lived long enough, everyone would end up dying of cancer. horrible thought, but again, don't let it take you over.

hang in there and God Bless,


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