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ventibug
@ventibug

Posts: 20
Joined: May 28, 2018

Coping with anxiety while waiting

Posted by @ventibug, Tue, May 29 9:42pm

@colleenyoung. Hey I found the "create discussion" box. I would welcome the suggestions of others for strategies for coping with anxiety while awaiting the next whatever. CT scans have never given me good news; I look forward to being surprised with good news after cycle 2 of chemo, when team takes the next look. Currently on a 2 week break from chemo due to the need for time to heal wound infection. Sent photos of healing progress to oncologist. I pretty much had it together that he would recommend another week of healing. He recommended 2 more weeks. Since Ive already had a recurrence (last CT news), i am worried my cancer is growing while I wait to be able to resume chemo. I dont disagree with the plan. My inquiry is how to cope with the anxiety? Things that work for me sometimes: knitting; getting lost in a good book; joking with friends; playing with my dogs; praying. Ordered dr Amit Sood's book today (thank you, llwortman) to improve mindfulness skils. All suggestions humbly appreciated, Ventibug

REPLY

@ventibug This is a great discussion topic. I suppose we all handle this type of anxiety differently. I have not found a one-size-fits-all method for dealing with the anxiety of the waiting process. I generally get quite anxious before upper endoscopies, MRIs, etc. I figure it is part of the process for me. If there is one thing I could suggest, it might be to accept the fact that you are going to be anxious. Do as many of the things you listed in your post above, but when the anxiety hits, accept it and try to move on as best you can.

Teresa

Liked by beckyjohnson

HI TERESA, MY NAME IS CHUCK, I AM A SAILOR AND NOT SMART WITH WORDS, IE,ANXIOUS , WHEN OUT A SEA, I AM ANXIOUS TO GET HOME. BUT I DONT LIKE ANY THING ABOUT MY CANCER. BBUUT I SURE LIKE GETTING HOME. RESP. CHUCK.

I am dealing with only 20% kidney functionality – not really the same issues as your illness. I am not sure when I will am going to have to start dialysis but I know it will have to at some point.
I am on pins and needles every time I have to see Dr ( now it will be nurse NEULOGY – will be seeing me approx every month. So nerve racking. I really would like more info per visit. This waiting is awful.

Hello @54321 and welcome to Mayo Connect.

I am glad that you posted about your anxiety about waiting. Even though the health issues are different – the stress of waiting remains the same, doesn't it?

You mention wanting to get more info per visit. That is a great idea. It is good to advocate for yourself and get as much information as you need to be comfortable about what it going on with your health.

Have you considered writing down the questions you would like to have more information about and then asking the doctor or nurse? Sometimes this will help to organize your thoughts before the visit.

I look forward to hearing from you again as we all continue our waiting.

Teresa

Liked by beckyjohnson

@cweeks18

HI TERESA, MY NAME IS CHUCK, I AM A SAILOR AND NOT SMART WITH WORDS, IE,ANXIOUS , WHEN OUT A SEA, I AM ANXIOUS TO GET HOME. BUT I DONT LIKE ANY THING ABOUT MY CANCER. BBUUT I SURE LIKE GETTING HOME. RESP. CHUCK.

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@cweeks18 Hi Chuck:

Your words are just great! None of us like anything about cancer – I agree. I can understand your anxiety about being at sea and wanting to get home. Can you share with us some ideas or activities that help you when you are away from home?

Teresa

Liked by beckyjohnson

@hopeful33250

Hello @54321 and welcome to Mayo Connect.

I am glad that you posted about your anxiety about waiting. Even though the health issues are different – the stress of waiting remains the same, doesn't it?

You mention wanting to get more info per visit. That is a great idea. It is good to advocate for yourself and get as much information as you need to be comfortable about what it going on with your health.

Have you considered writing down the questions you would like to have more information about and then asking the doctor or nurse? Sometimes this will help to organize your thoughts before the visit.

I look forward to hearing from you again as we all continue our waiting.

Teresa

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Thank you so much for getting back so soon. My next appointment is June7th for echocardiogram (Dr thinks maybe I have some from kidney issue) June7th
June 8th -visit with nurse np – to "review my Kidney function "( blood draw June7 ) and echo
" and what to EXPECT with you"
I had portaled my MAYO nurse who sent these quotes to me.
I call my husband at work he said the info will come down the tube weather you are nervous or not.
OH my. This does not make me feel calm. Oh I know it's true but hard not to get annoyed (even panicky ) when so many things up in the air.
Yes I will with Daniel make a comprehensive list of our concerns. HE WILL BE USING HIS TABLET TO RECORD THE ANSEERS. Some of them will be ojt6of the nurses ability to answer – at this meetinv5
I pray the next meeting will not be 6 weeks away.
5 weeks ago my dr(all my Dr are at mayo) ended our visit 1with 20% bombshell.
DANIEL AND I WERE IN SHOCK AND HARDLY SPEAK -LET ALONE ASK FUTHER QUESTIONS.
"

@ventibug thank you for starting this topic. Have you heard the term "Scanxiety"? I don't think there is a cancer patient out there who hasn't faced the anxiousness when a test date approaches. I'm tagging @cindylb @sepdvm @allisonsnow @alpaca @saltis @kristennursepatient to share their thoughts. I think this will be a discussion that many members will jump into.

@cweeks18

HI TERESA, MY NAME IS CHUCK, I AM A SAILOR AND NOT SMART WITH WORDS, IE,ANXIOUS , WHEN OUT A SEA, I AM ANXIOUS TO GET HOME. BUT I DONT LIKE ANY THING ABOUT MY CANCER. BBUUT I SURE LIKE GETTING HOME. RESP. CHUCK.

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HI TERESA, THANK YOU. LONG AGO, I ENJOYED STANDING BRIDGE WATCH AT NIGHT. THE STARS ARE SO BIG AND THE SEA IS SMOOTH.. I ALWAYS THANKED GOD FOR MY LIFE AND THIS DAY. AND FOR YOU, AS YOU TOO HELP . VERY RESP. CHUCK.

I had a brain cat scan at Mayo yesterday and will be needing open brain surgery in a few weeks. I feel extremely anxious and scared. The anticipation of the “what if’s” that could happen is the scariest.

@cweeks18

HI TERESA, MY NAME IS CHUCK, I AM A SAILOR AND NOT SMART WITH WORDS, IE,ANXIOUS , WHEN OUT A SEA, I AM ANXIOUS TO GET HOME. BUT I DONT LIKE ANY THING ABOUT MY CANCER. BBUUT I SURE LIKE GETTING HOME. RESP. CHUCK.

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@cweeks18 Hello Chuck:

Thank you for sharing this great thought. Like many of us I see that observing nature helps you to relax! That is a good plan. When we see the world through nature, our problems take a back seat to the world and that is good.

Teresa

Liked by beckyjohnson

Hello @stellgma

I am glad that you are sharing your upcoming surgery with us. Your anxiety is perfectly understandable! Any of us would be anxious if we were in your shoes. Sometimes talking about our fears can be helpful.

Can you tell us a little about the type of brain surgery you will be having? Have you been told what to expect and what your recovery time will be? Please share with us as you feel comfortable doing so.

Teresa

I do alot of deep breathing and focus on the breath. This relaxes me and sometimes gives me Peace. I’ve stipped resisting anxiety as resisting made my anxiety worse. Hope this makes a difference.

@cweeks18

HI TERESA, MY NAME IS CHUCK, I AM A SAILOR AND NOT SMART WITH WORDS, IE,ANXIOUS , WHEN OUT A SEA, I AM ANXIOUS TO GET HOME. BUT I DONT LIKE ANY THING ABOUT MY CANCER. BBUUT I SURE LIKE GETTING HOME. RESP. CHUCK.

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I took a class that was offered at Mayo that helped me a lot. I will highlight two ideas. The first was to designate a place in your house to feel calm. It can be a room or a chair. If knitting, praying or drumming makes you feel calm, do it there. Don’t open bills or other anxiety provoking things there. The second was to enjoy nature and see yourself in the perspective of the cosmos. Having said that, I am still anxious about my upcoming appointment with the urologist. To manage it I’m spending time with my friends, doing my favorite hobbies, exercising, and eating a good diet. Plus doing the two things I outlined.

@cweeks18

HI TERESA, MY NAME IS CHUCK, I AM A SAILOR AND NOT SMART WITH WORDS, IE,ANXIOUS , WHEN OUT A SEA, I AM ANXIOUS TO GET HOME. BUT I DONT LIKE ANY THING ABOUT MY CANCER. BBUUT I SURE LIKE GETTING HOME. RESP. CHUCK.

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@mpeters What great suggestions! Thanks for sharing these with us.

Teresa

Liked by beckyjohnson

This is a great topic…. 6 years ago my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. We were horrified, and we spent the next 2-3 years waiting…Waiting for the next bad thing. We watched and waited for symptoms to develop. We interpreted every little twitch as the beginning of the end. We were in full panic mode, anticipating and dreading the worst possible developments. It took us that long to learn to cope with the fear, the depression, the anxiety…until we finally understood that the advice and care the doctors were giving us was empowering – allowing us to live our lives with the best possible outcomes. Note that I speak as though we both got that diagnosis….After being married to this guy for 38 years, that's what it feels like. Our best days have come from enjoying our family, being together doing the daily activities of life – as well as we can, as much as we can, we talk about the symptoms that have developed – to the doctor, to our family, to each other. Shame and embarrassment and dread no longer control our daily life. Small pleasures are the best!

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