Survey on Emotional Impact of Cancer


As I shared last week, I learn so much from you and your experiences.  Whether you are also a cancer survivor, a loved one, or an oncology professional, could you do me a quick favor?

I’m about to offer my Healing Well: Reconnect with Your Life After Cancer course again and could use some feedback before I finish it up.

Would you be able to help me by answering a few quick questions based on your own hard earned experience? It should take 1-2 minutes):


Are You Easily Shocked?

Learning that you or a loved one has cancer is a shock. Most survivors measure their lives as before and after cancer, often commemorating the day of diagnosis as their “cancerversary,” the day their lives changed forever.

The word cancer itself, until very recently, was whispered and avoided for the fear it could inspire.

People who were very ill were sometimes not even told their diagnosis for fear that

the truth would create unbearable emotional distress.

What does emotional shock look like? It can vary:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory lapses
  • Confusion
  • Feeling shut down or numb
  • Inability to function
  • Fear, anger, difficulty controlling emotions
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Feeling outside of your body
  • Difficulty remaining in the present moment
  • Laughing, crying, screaming
  • Being in denial and moving along as though nothing has happened.
  • At a moment when you most need to be clearminded in order to make complicated decisions on treatment, you may feel foggy, overwhelmed or emotionally disregulated.

It’s a challenge, but this is the time to get grounded.

Getting grounded means taking measures to feel connected to your body, your breath and the present moment.

In a moment of overwhelm, here’s what I recommend for getting grounded:

  1. Rely on your community – start talking and sharing what you feel with safe people. Do not try to go it alone if you can connect with others. Get and give hugs and healthy touch (try a massage!).
  2. If you don’t have much social support at diagnosis, reach out immediately for support groups in person and online. Find spaces that are encouraging and uplifting at this point in the process.
  3. Do practices for connecting to your body and breath , and through your body to the earth and nature. Walking, running, swimming, meditation, yoga, connecting to pets or children.
  4. Check out this video for one guided practice: