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ventibug
@ventibug

Posts: 20
Joined: May 28, 2018

Coping with anxiety while waiting

Posted by @ventibug, May 29, 2018

@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

@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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@beckyjohnson Good thoughts about positive and negative anxiousness! Thank you for adding that to our discussion.

Teresa

@stellgma

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.

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Thank you for your encouragement!

@stellgma

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.

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@stellgma You're welcome. That is one of the reasons we are here.

@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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@hopeful33250 Thank you. It seemed appropriate when considering how easy it seems to be for so many of us at so many steps & on such a variety of levels to be understandably anxcious. Might I add a good majority of it is in moving forward which is creating positive energy that we are accuratly labeling "anxcious".

Hi Becky,
I’m shelly. Waiting and stress….yuck!!!!! With my initial go ‘round with breast cancer, I found two incredible, life saving books, Peace, Love, and Healing,and Love, Medicine, and Miracles, both by Bernie S. Siegel, MD. I’ve read them both several sites and written all over the pages. They are my “go to” books!! Very easy read and so uplifting and informative. They not only give me peace, but empowerment over my own body!
I also start digging in my garden. Somehow getting in the dirt helps my stress level tremendously! I am able to get in touch with my emotions. I can cry, scream, laugh at myself, call my cancer names… etc. it’s my time and no one can bother me!
At this very moment, I am also waiting. Almost four yrs. ago I had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. Now I have a new mass under my collarbone and the top of my left breast is swollen. Tomorrow I hear from my oncologist. Can I just. Sleep until then…lol, out to the garden

@shellshocked
Hello Shelly and welcome to Mayo Connect!

I am a volunteer mentor and I just saw your post. I can certainly understand your concern. Waiting is a difficult part of this process, isn't it? I am glad that you have found some support through reading and digging in your garden. I appreciate your recommendation of the books by Bernie Siegel. At Connect we all learn from each other.

You mentioned that you are waiting to hear from your oncologist. Will this be regarding the results of a biopsy or some other test?

I certainly wish you well and I hope that you post again. I look forward to hearing from you. At Connect we are here to listen to your concerns and support you through the process of healing.

Teresa

I was going to post a new topic about panic attacks, but you beat me to it 🙂

I always experience scanxiety before a CT scan. The first time I ever received one I learned I had metastatic pancreatic cancer.

However, I've never had a panic attack until last Sunday, and it came on for no reason. It was my stay home, in my PJs, and do nothing day.

After doing laundry I began to feel dizzy. Then the dizziness became one sided and everything felt heavy on my left side. All of that subsided, but about an hour later I I started feel tightness in my chest.

I had just celebrated my one year past diagnosis date. But right before, I had a recent recurrence, after 165 days of tumor free remission, and we'd switched chemo treatments. I'm super concerned that it won't work. In addition, I have an appointment at Mayo to talk about additional treatments, and a couple weeks later I have an appointment at Dana Farber to interview for a clinical trial.

All in all….I had a panic attack.

It was scary, and I'm not sure how to prevent it from happening again.

@nogginquest

I was going to post a new topic about panic attacks, but you beat me to it 🙂

I always experience scanxiety before a CT scan. The first time I ever received one I learned I had metastatic pancreatic cancer.

However, I've never had a panic attack until last Sunday, and it came on for no reason. It was my stay home, in my PJs, and do nothing day.

After doing laundry I began to feel dizzy. Then the dizziness became one sided and everything felt heavy on my left side. All of that subsided, but about an hour later I I started feel tightness in my chest.

I had just celebrated my one year past diagnosis date. But right before, I had a recent recurrence, after 165 days of tumor free remission, and we'd switched chemo treatments. I'm super concerned that it won't work. In addition, I have an appointment at Mayo to talk about additional treatments, and a couple weeks later I have an appointment at Dana Farber to interview for a clinical trial.

All in all….I had a panic attack.

It was scary, and I'm not sure how to prevent it from happening again.

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I have Panic Attacks and take Fluoxetine (Prozac) 60 mg daily, which controls them very well!  @marylou705

@maxaz1

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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@mxaz1 Maxine, I can totally relate to you saying you both got the diagnosis. I feel the same way. My husband has a malignant melanoma of the eye. Whenever I talk about it, it's always as if I was also diagnosed with this melanoma. We've been married 42 years. You are an inspiration to me, thank you! I wish you and your husband the best as you tackle this journey together.

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