How Often Do Cancer Survivors Think About Death and Dying?

How Often Do Cancer Survivors Think About Death and Dying?
Living & Loving with Prostate Cancer Think back to the day you received your diagnosis of cancer. How soon did thoughts about death or dying come to your mind? For me, thoughts about death occurred within seconds after I received the news I had prostate cancer. What's surprising to me is how often I think about death seven years later, even though my last PSA test came back undetectable. I decided to ask the community of men on my Prostate Cancer Pre & Post Surgery Facebook page how often they thought about death and dying. Here's a sample of answers I received:
  • Just passing thoughts.
  • I'm five years out and I think about it almost daily.
  • I don't think about it any more often than before I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
  • Most days.
  • Every day.
  • I think of death too often.
The first thing I noticed was the variety of answers I received. I expected everyone to say they thought about it multiple times every day. The answers I received suggest there's a wide variation in how often cancer survivors think about death and dying. The frequency of thoughts about death and dying is less important than the conversation we engage in with ourselves each time we think about dying. My initial thoughts about death were terrifying. I imagined spending months in agonizing pain that no amount of medication would successfully manage. I imagined
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Rick Redner received his master’s degree in social work from Michigan State University. He has spent many years working as a medical and psychiatric social worker He is the author of the award winning book I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where's Yours? His second book Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Erectile Dysfunction and Penile Implants won the Beverly Hills International Book Awards in Men's Health in 2016. Additionally, the book was a winner in the 2017 IAN Book of the Year Awards.

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