Managing Stress After Cancer

by | Sep 17, 2023 | Managing Stress and Cancer

After cancer and chemo, I tell myself all the time that nothing matters more than your health. While I think many of us believe in that philosophy, it does not negate the other ‘stuff’ that does indeed, still matter. Because life isn’t just about the big moments and experiences; it’s also about the day-to-day management of families, households, careers and other important things.

After a clean six-month CT scan a few weeks ago, people have asked me how I’m doing and I’ve responded with a strong statement of ‘I don’t have cancer; nothing else matters’. In my head and my heart, I believe this. But even with all the reasons in the world to remain elated about my current NED status, I can’t seem to escape the stressors of everyday life. And that’s not a good thing.

I stress about the work I need to do for my job. I stress about the weather. I stress about whether or not there’s enough propane for hot water and whether or not my car has gas for my next trip. I stress when the kitchen is messy or my house feels ‘out of order’. So, when stressing about the small stuff starts to impact me, I start asking myself why I get caught up in the things that matter… but really don’t.

The cancer I was struck with was high-grade neuroendocrine. According to the Mayo Clinic, Neuroendocrine tumors are a group of uncommon tumors that start in specialized cells in your neuroendocrine system. These cells combine the traits of nerve cells and hormone-producing endocrine cells. They link your endocrine system, which manages your hormones, and your nervous system. Neuroendocrine cells are scattered throughout your body.

It’s clear to me that there is a direct correlation between my stress and my health. After an earlier diagnosis of DCIS (early-stage breast cancer) many years ago, I changed my habits to help me stay healthy. As a result, I already eat well and exercise often, and believe this lifestyle has led to faster surgical recoveries and better outcomes for me. Now I just have to nail this last requirement to manage my stress better. I wish it was easier than it is.

So whenever I find myself anxious about something, I start asking myself, ‘what’s a realistic scenario and/or what’s the worst that could happen?’

My work product may be delayed, but no one at work is pressing me for it. The weather may be fierce, but my house will likely stand up to the elements. If my hot water runs out, I can call my propane company for a refill. The likelihood of me running out of gas is laughable as my tank is rarely below ¼ full. And when dishes are in the sink, they’re actually doing no one any harm.

Logically, these day-to-day issues aren’t worth my anxious energy and could really impact whether or not my cancer returns. So I’ll just keep working at finding ways to keep my stressors that shouldn’t be stressors at bay.

Blog Written by: Rachel Martin


Treatment for Neuroendoctrine Cancer

Radiation therapy is generally used when a neuroendocrine tumor has spread or is in a location that makes surgery difficult. CyberKnife® may be a non-invasive option for some patients and enables radiation oncologists to deliver high, targeted doses of radiation to NETs.

Radiotherapy uses high energy rays similar to x-rays to kill neuroendocrine tumour (NET) cells. You might have it for a NET that can’t be removed or that has spread to other parts of the body and is causing symptoms.

You might have internal radiotherapy or external radiotherapy. Some types of internal radiotherapy are called radionuclide therapy or radio labelled treatment.

Who is a good candidate for CyberKnife?
One of the many benefits of CyberKnife therapy is that nearly everyone is an eligible candidate, even those with difficult-to-treat cancers or the medically frail.
What is the downside of CyberKnife and how do you feel after CyberKnife?
Typically, there are no side effects after a CyberKnife treatment and patients return to normal activities immediately. However, some patients may experience rare side effects including nausea and dizziness, which usually can be prevented with medications taken before or after treatment and usually resolve themselves in a few days or weeks.
Who qualifies for CyberKnife?
Depending on your diagnosis, CyberKnife may be your best treatment option—or an excellent supplement to other treatments. You may be a good candidate if you are: Unable to have surgery due to other health conditions. Not a good candidate for traditional radiation or surgery.
Is CyberKnife better than radiation?
CyberKnife is an exceptional treatment option because of the following advantages: Convenience: Unlike traditional radiation that’s given in 30 to 40 sessions over eight to nine weeks, CyberKnife can treat cancer in just one to five visits.
The CyberKnife allows patients to lie comfortably on the procedure table without anesthesia while the robotic arm moves, without touching them, to treat all areas of the tumor.
How quickly does CyberKnife work?
Depending on the type of cancer tumor, CyberKnife can take from one day to a few weeks—a significantly shorter timeframe than traditional radiation therapy. And CyberKnife offers other benefits: It’s a non-invasive, pain-free treatment. Your treatment generally lasts between 30 and 90 minutes.
Does insurance cover CyberKnife?
Do Private Insurance Companies And Medicare Cover CyberKnife Treatments? Yes, CyberKnife treatments are covered by most private insurance companies and by Medicare.
Can I drive myself home from radiation treatments?
Physically you will not be groggy or unable to function. Unless physically ill or mentally exhausted, most patients are able to drive themselves home after their appointments.
Can a person work during radiation treatment?
Some people are able to work full-time during radiation therapy. Others can work only part-time or not at all. How much you are able to work depends on how you feel. Ask your doctor or nurse what to expect from your treatment.
To find out if CyberKnife is a treatment option for you, call the top cancer experts in Miami at the CyberKnife Center of Miami call 305-279-2900 and go to our website now.
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