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The "What If" Syndrome

Just hearing the word Cancer, stops your world. From a suspicous mammogram, to the biopsy and then the diagnosis of cancer, a black cloud immediately starts hovering over me. My life became less bright. My mind is racing and my anxiety level has just gone up a notch.  This is when I lovingly refer to as the “What If Syndrome”.  It tries to take over your life.

Looking back on this journey I find this “syndrome” almost mentally did me in. I found myself going right to the scary scenario (God forbid I would have just said – Oh they just want another look – it’s nothing – NOooo, I had to torture myself even before I got the news). What if it’s cancer? Which then led me to: What if it’s a late stage? What if it’s spread? What if it’s in my lymph nodes? What if I have to have a mastectomy? What if I have to have chemo? What if the cancer has gone somewhere else in my body? AHHH!!!  I'm going to drive myself crazy if I continue this.

I need to stay in the now.  Thinking any further than the present serves no purpose.  Allowing my mind to conjure up different scenarios doesn't help.  If there's one certain in all of this - it's that cancer is unpredictable. There is no step by step, every journey is unique.

Staying present, finding gratitude and finding the humor - let those guide you on your journey.


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