Staying Positive Through Cancer
- UK TV broadcaster Jacquie Beltrao, 57, is currently fighting stage 4 breast cancer and her positivity is what helps her through.
- Beltrao shared how she was dealing with “scanxiety” ahead of her next scan. For cancer survivors, “scanxiety” is a very real thing.
- One of our experts recommends participating in activities that immerse you and help you achieve flow, or “lose a sense of time.”
- Another expert says it’s important to stay healthy in between scans to help prevent another cancer diagnosis.
- Lauren Mae, like Beltrao, is another survivior did a great job finding positivity during her cancer journey.
The 57-year-old Sky News sports presenter was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 on Christmas Eve.Read More
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Handling ‘Scanxiety’ during Her Breast Cancer JourneyDespite a relentlessly positive attitude, Beltrao has her moments of fear and stress. She recently took to Instagram to share her feelings about an upcoming scan to check on the status of her disease.
“This is what I’ll be thinking of when I go into the scanner tomorrow. Happy times fun times and sunny days,” she wrote under a picture of herself sitting outside in a blue bikini. “PET scans scare me every.single.time. What will they find this time ? Hopefully nothing but what if ? “I’ve had a sore knee this week so naturally I’m thinking it must be a new tumour in the bone. The annoying thing about thoughts like this ? They could be true. They are a possibility with stage 4 all scenarios of the bad kind are possible. It’s why ‘Scanxiety is a real thing so if you’re about to have one or have been in the scanner this week or going in next I’m right with you.” RELATED: What is Scanxiety? How Cancer Patients Can Manage the Stress of Uncertainty How to Cope With ‘Scan Anxiety’ By Using ‘Flow’View this post on Instagram
“Scanxiety” is a very real thing for cancer survivors everywhere. Some people are able to turn check-up scans into a positive event, but the reality is that many cancer patients say waiting for test results is even worse than their initial diagnosis.
“Scan anxiety is unbelievably stressful,” Dr. Samantha Boardman, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine, told SurvivorNet. “Probably one of the best antidotes that I think psychology can offer patients is to experience flow.”
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Dr. Boardman says flow can be achieved with activities that makes you “lose a sense of time.” Those activities vary from person to person, but they can be exercising, creating art and listening to music, among other things. Whatever it is, it’s crucial to feel immersed in the activity.
“How can we experience flow in our daily lives? It’s usually in some form of a hobby — something we just do because we love doing it,” Dr. Boardman said. “I really encourage patients to find and experience something that they can do that gives them flow.
“It might be baking, it might be gardening, it might even be doing some housework. They are so immersed in that experience that they’re not thinking about anything else.”
Positivity during a Cancer Journey
Jacquie Beltrao has done an excellent job staying positive while living with breast cancer. She’s a great source of inspiration, but if you’re looking for more, check out Lauren Mae’s story.
After experiencing a lingering dry cough and noticing a lump under her armpit, Mae was diagnosed with primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, at just 18 years old. She was meant to be prepping for college, but had to fight a cancer battle instead.
Lauren Mae’s Cancer Diagnosis Sidelined Her College Plans But She’s Still Overflowing With Positivity
“Getting diagnosed with cancer is very difficult but getting diagnosed with cancer as a young adult is even more hard,” she told SurvivorNet. “Because as you’re watching your friends move on to college, you’re stuck in the hospital, losing your hair, losing your strength, your energy.”
Thankfully, Mae is cancer-free today and pulled positivity and strength from her faith and the support of her loved ones.
“Trust god’s timing, because I really think he places the people and the friends in your life at the time you need them the most,” she said. “My friends and family and my church family were such a huge part of my support system when I was sick.
“My best friend cut her hair super short in support for me, and all of my guy friends shaved their heads for me as well, which just made me feel so good… It really just showed that they were there for me on the good and the bad days, and so I’m forever grateful for them doing that for me.”
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