1. It helps me face the possibility of an earlier death because of my cancer diagnosis and treatment in a direct, frank way with myself and others.
2. It helped me when in active treatment to only speak to cancer survivors who 100% supported mainstream medical care.
3. Sometimes a patient will have a very similar diagnosis and treatment to you: yet they die and you live. They may have lived a similar pre-cancer lifestyle to you: yet they die and you live. One day, I will be the one who dies. There may not be an explanation.
4. The fear of the emotional impact of your death on those you love, often feels far harder to cope with than the fear of dying yourself.
5. Fear of death in the midst of the rigours of cancer treatment and the muddle-headedness induced by opioids, less nutrition and weight loss feels like intense, inchoate anxiety. Very uncomfortable. Being loved helps a lot.
Julie McCrossin is renowned across Australia for her warmth, humour, intelligence and commitment to social justice. After 20 years as a broadcaster with ABC Radio, ABC TV and Network 10, she is now a freelance journalist, facilitator, trainer and speaker.
Julia had oropharyngeal cancer treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy over six years ago. She has recovered her speech and swallowing, and is back to her usual busy life. Julie is an Ambassador for Targeting Cancer.