Like everyone, you have probably experienced a wide range of emotions, especially during and after your treatment. What may be more unique to or common among brain tumor survivors, however, is the incidence or depth of particular emotions or of responses that are triggered by memories of treatment and other things related to the disease. Common emotions include fear of recurrence, anxiety, depression, grief, anger, uncertainty and survivor's guilt (when you have friends that have died during or after treatment), as well as relief, happiness and gratitude for having survived. Emotional responses triggered by memories of treatment are also common but, depending upon their severity, may indicate a syndrome known as "post-traumatic stress." The anniversary of certain dates, such as the date of your diagnosis or first surgery, can trigger multiple emotions as can a new diagnosis or health problem that is related to your surgery or treatment. Likewise, late effects caused by your treatment can be constant and painful reminders of what you have gone through and overcome and may also trigger your emotions.
While all of these emotions and responses are normal, they may sometimes be so severe that they interfere with your schoolwork, job or your relationships. If so, it can be useful to know when outside resources may be needed to help you cope until your body, mind and spirit have had a chance to heal and can better handle them. Read more about depression or post-traumatic stress and when to ask for help. Read more about grief and loss and how they can impact your life and relationships.