If you’ve received a diagnosis of cancer, you know how anxiety feels. These feelings can become elevated as you begin treatment and afterward, when you learn to navigate your new normal.
When you feel anxious, you may experience rapid breathing, a racing heart, lightheadedness, dizziness, an inability to concentrate and other symptoms. Although they may vary depending on your circumstances, your symptoms are very real.
When you have cancer, anxiety may become part of your daily life. The feeling may even result in post-traumatic stress (PTS). You may experience increased anxiety before medical appointments, especially if you develop PTS.
Feeling anxious before routine appointments is called appointment anxiety. Although these
appointments measure how you’re tolerating treatment or whether the cancer has returned, you may feel debilitating anxiety that can impede recovery. Knowing your cancer may remain or recur is an unsettling feeling.
Allow yourself to experience and talk about your anxiety with a trusted family member or friend. Speaking about your fears helps to disarm them and validate your feelings. Focus on the positive. Rather than fear the worst, hope for the best. Find ways to relax. Listen to calming music or an audio book. Bring someone comforting to your appointments. View your oncologist and medical staff as an important part of your team. They want the best for you and are willing to help.
If you or someone you know is fighting cancer, get in touch with Chix 4 a Cause. Learn more about our Gifts of Love program at chix4acause.org today.