Why We Fear Cancer

There are many reasons why we fear cancer.

It is a complex array of  emotions . It is something that can only be described my someone who has made the journey and lost. Millions around the world have made the same journey and lost just like me. “My biggest fear in life was loosing people I love and with cancer we have no control.”  How was I going to deal with the loss of my husband and what would my life without him be like? He was everything and I wasn’t prepared to lose it.

Cancer fears come from the unknown about the future.

I realized it wasn’t the diagnosis I feared, it was the unknown future ahead. I had promised myself that once i had a chance to deal with the loss, that I would share my story.


The fear of cancer can be managed by believing  there is hope. 

My story is not about fear but a story of hope. Hope that even in loss, there is a chance to learn, to grow, and to appreciate life. To learn there is life after the loss of cancer and it can be a good life.

The fear of cancer can be replaced by changing perspective and what you choose to make it. Attitude is the only thing we control. There are very important times in our life we need to control our attitudes and perspectives. Once you have survived the travesties of cancer,  you can survive anything. It is like a badge survivors wear with pride.


People without cancer  fear and worry about it. They pray and hope their ailment is not cancer. 

When you talk to people about their biggest fears they will describe visions of drooling bear fangs, or being in a pit with slimy snakes – you get the picture. However those momentary visions pale in comparison to the verdict of terminal cancer of someone you love and of whom you’re certain you can’t live without.

Laura Martin
Laura Martin

Cancer fears can come from not having much time together.

Oncologist can often give you a pretty accurate date on a life expectancy. Adding to the anxiety, was how much time we would have together? Fear to me was sitting around a table of medical professionals telling me my husband had 6 mos to live. Get your financial and life affairs in order now. Anything that had happened prior to or after the verdict just didn’t hold a candle to that moment.

Cancers fear can manifest a sense of sheer panic.

It was a panic I  will not forget. I had little time to accept the end was inevitable, and  6 mos seriously?  They had to be wrong on the date didn’t they? 6 mos, did not feel like a lot of time to me.  “C’mon give me at least a year, we had a ranch, cattle and horses, equipment, land, and tons of stuff to do. Six months barely gave me time for anything.

The fear of cancer is very well justified

 Knowing that disease will rule and  how it will ravage a body is a complete new fear in itself. I dreaded the fearful wait of what this monster of a disease would do to a father, son, friend, brother and husband that we called Bruce. I hated the word and was was angry when I first got the news.  He didn’t deserve this, he worked very hard his entire life. I wanted him to spend his retirement teaching his grand kids how to ride a horse, but he would never be given the chance. 

We lived of 3 hours away from closest family In Alberta and in a sparsely populated community in west central Saskatchewan. I was on my own to nurse and care for Bruce. Our nearest hospital was an hour away. I had all kinds of reasons to fear cancer, but I honestly didn’t have the time to acknowledge it.  I focused on the task at hand and that small little glimmer of hope that Bruce could beat this.

A glimmer of hope was all we had. I had always been a realist, and the odds of him beating this were slim to none.

Laura Martin

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