• Mid-40s, married with kids
• Found lumps but waited 6 months to tell anyone
• Why? Many fears
The stress of cancer can cause
1,400 chemical changes in the body!
• To the body, stress is a
perceived threat to survival.
• When sustained over time,
stress can decrease healing
and survival rates.
Unmanaged Fear and Stress:
Impact all our Relationships
• Fear is a stressor – especially
• Fear and stress impact
– Relationship with ourselves
– Relationships with others
Women with Breast Cancer:
Common Perceptions Activate Stress
• This cancer will take my life.
• It must be my fault. God is punishing me.
• Life as I knew it is over.
• My partner won’t be attracted to me any more.
• Treatment is dangerous and ineffective.
Real Threats or Not?
• Stress is not “out there.”
• It is our emotional
response to something out
• Perceived stress often
more impactful than actual
Knowledge is Power:
Understanding How to Manage Fear
• Caring relationship support
• Keeping breast cancer in
• Knowledge and
First-hand knowledge and experience of:
• Facing fears in context of caring relationships
• Communicating openly with loved ones
• Practicing self-care and feeling better
• Feeling hopeful about her future