Coping strategies – Julie


Julie explains why she sought out more formal support once she learned that her cancer had spread to her bones.


When I was informed that my cancer had spread to my bones, I was scared. I was really scared. I thought about death. During many months, I had to get use to the idea that death could come sooner for me than for others. That was haunting me a lot at the same time, because the pain was there, it was always there. So this… It intensifies the thoughts when you are in pain. So… It was difficult but I had… And since then, during the past 2 years, I was followed closely by my medical team. They were really able to give me good psychological, psychosocial and medical support to help me go through this. One day you feel anxious and another day you feel angry. Another day, well you don’t think about it. Another day you are tired. You know it is changing. It is changing.

In 2012, I decided to tackle it differently. So I learned that what had happened in 2010, the way I had tackled the sickness, especially the psychological aspect, I decided to change it. This was done very deliberately. Because I realized that for me, psychologically, the work that I had done was not enough. So there, with other sorts of fear, other kinds of anxiety, I tackled it differently. But there is a continuity in all that. It is not clearly divided.

Interviewer: How did you do it differently?

I decided… First, I decided that I was going to take the psychological help more seriously. Secondly, I was going to try to find places to help me, physically or psychologically, some wellness centres. So I found a wellness centre… Afterwards, I was informed about the group for women with metastatic cancer. So, I thought: “I will go see what is there.” I had to find ways that would inspire me and that was showing me how to look at it from another… Not to be defeatist. Because I have a child and it is important for me to see her grow up. So even if I have an advanced breast cancer, I am telling myself that I will see her grow up. So, I have to find ways to feel good despite all this.

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