Living As A Cancer Survivor - Worrying

Mark Everett Kelly (right) is a 28-year survivor of Rhabdomyosarcoma. Here he is with one of the most intelligent men in the universe, Bob Boutcher. Bob is like a father to Mark.

Whether or not worrying was part of your life before having cancer, it can create a devastating effect on your life during or after your diagnosis.

What makes us worry? What creates such a devastating effect on our psyche that forces our minds to recognize something that might never happen?

According to Web MD and the National Cancer Institute, stress (the product of worrying) can affect the body in several unhealthy ways, not just mentally but physically. There is very little evidence that links stress and cancer, but how you handle stress (smoking, drinking, overeating) can raise your risk.

This topic is difficult for me of which to speak. I don't want to be a hypocrite, so let me start by saying worrying impacts my life consistently. I did not have this mindset before being diagnosed with cancer. I am not worried about the cancer returning, but about the side effects that create environments that I can't control.

I am a control freak. One thing cancer does is make you realize you have very little control. In return, you never lose your desire to control your environment, but you create a way to have control over something.

I need to control living near my doctors by staying in the New York area. Knowing that doctors who have treated my conditions concerning Crohn's disease and Lymphedema are available if I suffer a flare-up, comforts me. That is important to me. Many things occur during the day of which I can not control and negatively affects me. 

Fevers, incredible lower leg and ankle discomfort, severe swelling, and intestinal blockages all can occur at any time. Often the onset of those diseases creates situations that cause my reliability to be inconsistent. I suffer extreme stress and anxiety, knowing that my conditions have negatively affected someone else. 


My Scars Tell a Story
By Mark Everett Kelly

I find hope in the little things that I appreciate much more — the value of conversation, enjoying a hike, and soaking in the beauty of nature, for example. I have a fiance that understands my limits and still finds value in me. While she might be worried about the difference in the cost of living on Long Island compared to Alabama, she understands that my need to feel in control of something helps me. 


There is always something beneficial you can do to control how something affects you. Those who have money to spend on nutritionists (they are incredibly expensive) or know how to implement the value of foods with high healing qualities benefit in countless ways. Yoga, meditation, exercise, along with counseling are all wonderful ways to take back control of your situation. 

Personally, having a relationship with Jesus Christ benefits me in many ways when I allow it. I don't always win the spiritual battle I fight every day, but Jesus provides me with the strength and courage to get up and fight. It says in Luke 12: 6-7.

"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows"

Despite the many ways we feel our worries, fears, anxieties, and scars make us undesirable, the God that created you only made one you. No one else can offer the world you, which is extremely valuable. 


Please reach out to me or anyone in the beautiful support groups on Facebook, Reddit, Tumblr, or other social sites. 


I can always be reached by email (CKMagicSports@gmail or LivingAsACancerSurvivor@gmail). Please see the links below to follow me or contact me on social sites. I welcome (need) more followers and supporters. Please don't be shy about sharing your thoughts.  

In closing, I leave you with some quotes on the topic of worrying by people far more intelligent than I.

God Bless

"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow; it only saps today of its joy."

– Leo F. Buscaglia

"Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow."

– Swedish Proverb

" People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them."

– George Bernard Shaw

"Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration, and resentment."

– Dale Carnegie

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one."

– Elbert Hubbard

"If you ask what the single most important key to longevity is, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress, and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it."

– George F. Burns