Susan Bauer-Wu, PhD, RN, is an associate professor at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and a faculty member of Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University. She also is a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar.
The words, “You have cancer,” forever change one’s life. Even when the chances of cure or long-term remission are high, there is often questioning that takes place. Why me? What caused the cancer? What could I have done to prevent it? Will it come back? Is this new ache the cancer coming back or getting worse? Will the tests come back normal? Will I live long enough to see my children or grandchildren graduate from school or get married?
Family members of cancer patients may also wonder and worry: Will my loved one be okay and live a long time? Will we be able to handle challenges that we may face? This kind of wondering and questioning, for both cancer patients and family members, is normal. However it may be