Managing Coronavirus Fears a Lot Like Managing Cancer

Written by Donna Oldenburg, MA, LCPC, NCC

In my weekly sessions counseling those with a cancer diagnosis, I have been fascinated to hear how many compare their experience with cancer to what’s happening with COVID-19.

“Now with coronavirus, everyone is experiencing what I experienced with my cancer diagnosis,” said one CWC participant. “At first there was shock. Then I had to take precautions like washing my hands and isolating, not traveling on airplanes or being in crowds. Constant fear of the unknown. Feels the same.”

For those already managing a cancer diagnosis, coronavirus may feel a bit like déjà vu. The good news is that the techniques cancer patients use to manage the anxiety inherent in a cancer diagnosis, can be effective in managing their fears about facing cancer in the age of coronavirus. These strategies include: Finding support, being mindful, fostering wellness through yoga and meditation, and seeking resiliency. Cancer Wellness Center is pleased to be able to help our participants navigate this stressful time by continuing to offer counseling, support groups, wellness programs, and education, virtually. If you need additional support managing your distress, call Katie Hull at 847-562-4981 to complete an intake interview.

To register for programs, visit our website For more ideas on navigating this trying time, check out this recent article from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.