Facing Your Fears
- Good Morning America anchor and breast cancer survivor Robin Roberts, 60, spreads messages of joy and valuable reminders of hope through her “Tuesday Thoughts” dressing room Instagram series.
- Whether you are navigating through a first-time diagnosis, fear of a recurrence, or a secondary cancer, it is important to remind yourself that your struggle may be only temporary.
- Many experts say that keeping a positive headspace is one of the best things you can do when you feel like you are hurdling through things out of your control, like cancer.
“Keep your joy in the tough times,” the Good Morning America host read to followers in her morning message of prayer from her dressing room. “Don’t run away from the process. When it doesn’t make sense, when you don’t understand it, when it’s taking longer than you thought … remind yourself that it’s only temporary.”Read More
“The process is not working against you, it’s working for you,” she adds.
We all have those days where everything seems to be crashing down on us. In the cancer community, patients may be dealing with an initial diagnosis, a nerve-racking upcoming scan, a recurrence scare, or an actual recurrence. The goal is to keep up the positive energy, and never stop fighting. Where you are now may be vastly different from how things will be a year from now.
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“It’s preparing you, it’s getting you prepared,” Roberts reminds, “so don’t look back, and don’t fall into self-pity, which we often do … Don’t let delays cause you to give up. Don’t let the difficulties keep you from doing the right thing. The joy is coming.”
Robin is a Two-Time Survivor
Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 after discovering a lump on her own while prepping for a news segment on performing self-checks.
“At first I thought, ‘This can’t be. I am a young, healthy woman,’” Roberts said. The host’s early detection was a critical factor in her survival. She treated her breast cancer with surgery, one of several treatment options for this disease, which can also be treated with radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and immunotherapy.
In addition to battling breast cancer, Roberts had MDS, which stands for myelodysplastic syndrome—a rare type of blood cancer where abnormal cells form in the body’s bone marrow. Roberts had to undergo a bone marrow transplant.
Chemotherapy for breast cancer could have likely contributed to Roberts’ secondary cancer. Although it is rare, it is one of the risks of treatment. MDS caused by cancer treatment is called “secondary MDS” or “treatment-related MDS.”
Surviving one cancer battle is intense enough, but having to go through two can be extremely discouraging and even more difficult, which is why Roberts is constantly lifting up others.
Staying Strong During Cancer
Reading and listening to others’ motivational words and inspiring journeys can make such a difference and give you that boost you need on tough days.
SurvivorNetTV’s film, Maintaining a Positive Headspace, is an inspiring story of how a positive attitude can help when battling cancer.
Sarah Kelly, an oncology social worker, discusses the shock that comes with an initial cancer diagnosis. Dr. Dana Chase says that emotional health and good quality of life is associated with better survival and better outcomes. Social, emotional, environmental well-being can all impact survival rates.