Dealing with Anxiety

Anxiety and fear are part of breast cancer. There are many tests and results and doctor visits and treatments that are scary. Anxiety and fear are a normal part of the experience. I might go so far as to say that everyone is scared and everyone has some fear about the experience. 

There is a lot of waiting around which gives room and space for anxieties to flourish. Don’t let them. Find something for your brain to do. My mom has always said, “You can only think about one thing at a time.”  I want to pick what that one thing is and not let my mind wander around and land on whatever it wants. 

It was hard to be with myself so I came up with things to think about as I went about my day or if I woke up in the middle of the night.  

What I thought about instead of the ‘What if’s.’

  • Memorized selected Psalms starting with chapter 16, my very favorite, and said them over and over in my head
  • Watched lots of TV sitcoms that made me laugh, all-time favorites are Frasier and Everybody Loves Raymond
  • Listened to books on tape when I walked or cleaned house
  • Sudoku
  • Wrote about what was happening
  • Phoned a friend or my mom 
  • Walked every day at least some. I always felt better after a walk. 
  • Photographed nature, particularly horses ~ I took 1,000s of pictures and edited and posted them. 

What do you enjoy?  What revives you or energizes you?  Spend time in those spaces. 

A word about crying.  I cried a lot. Probably everyday during treatment but crying tells you that you are dealing with it. Crying is healing and releases so much pent up emotions. This hit home when I was talking to a friend going through a similar situation. I commented that I was so tired of crying.  She said, “I wish I could cry but I’m so angry I can’t cry.”  So cry if you can and then think about something else. Talk to your doctor about crying. Let him or her know how often, etc. She may be able to help you. 

Remember that you are not in this alone. You have a team of doctors and nurses that are helping you through. Talk to them. Write down your concerns and questions. Call them any time.  Let them know if you are dealing with a lot of anxiety. 

God Bless!