- Question from Belle: My nighttime fears are so big, I dread going to bed at night. What can I do?
Marisa C. Weiss, M.D.
First, understand, that it's very normal for your fears to be bigger at night than during the day. The ceiling of your bedroom becomes the movie screen of all your nightmare movies. Before you get into bed, try to identify what's most scary to you. Address one fear at a time. If you have a burning question, talk to your doctor to try to get an answer to that question. Whenever you can, try to resolve some of the uncertainty that can be so tough to live with. You will be amazed by how many other women share your same fears. Join a support group, participate in the discussion boards on Breastcancer.org, call the Living Beyond Breast Cancer Survivor's Help line (1-888-753-LBBC)--it's there for you.
Connect with people, places, and thoughts that are encouraging, supportive, and hopeful. Avoid people that pull you down, or contribute to your anxieties. Imagine beautiful places that continue to give you comfort, and imagine yourself there. Have faith that you are part of a community of people that cares for you and that will be there for you. Have faith in the effectiveness of the treatment that you've had. Don't expect too much from yourself. You have been through so much. A slow recovery does not mean that you are at higher risk for having cancer again. There are many other suggestions and ideas at Breastcancer.org at Dealing With Breast Cancer Fears, and we invite you to join the discussion boards, and to call the LBBC helpline to connect to other women who share many of your concerns.
On Wednesday, June 14, 2000, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Easing Breast Cancer Fears. Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about managing emotional effects of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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