• Does the worrying and anxiety ever stop?

    Asked by Boogerman on Sunday, February 23, 2020

    Does the worrying and anxiety ever stop?

    As more and more time goes by since my diagnosis and the treatments get more and more distant I should be feeling proud of how far I've come. But with that comes the worry and anxiety building more and more too.

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      I'm not sure that we ever really "get over" our diagnosis. But anxiety and fear can destroy the quality of life that we have - higher blood pressure, feeling stressing, tightness in the chest, and insomnia.

      Modify your life style to eat healthier and exercise more. Limit alcohol.That's all that you, as the patient, can do to help prevent a recurrent. No amount of worry will prevent a recurrence.

      I find that staying mentally active and busy with my hands helps. I read, I go to Silver Sneakers three times a week, and I've taken up a new hobby - watercolors. I've also learned deep breathing. That helps when I get stressed or can't go to sleep.

      It might also help to analyze why you are worrying. Is there something that triggers the anxiety? I hope that you can work through this and find peace of mind.

      10 months ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      I read (wish I had citation because it was very interesting and informative) that as many as 80% of those diagnosed with cancer suffer some degree of PTSD. Anxiey, sometimes with flashbacks and/or panic attacks can be an indication you have PTSD. Nothing wrong with admitting that. I fought it for a long time because I knew I was too strong a person to have PTSD. When I finally accepted it and agreed that I needed some help and started seeing a mental health counselor things got better. Having someone outside of family, friends or even your medical team to confide your deepest thoughts and fears to can be cathartic.

      But, everything JaneA said, good diet, exercise, redirecting your focus away from your diagnosis to a activity, etc..... are all helpful. Mostly, know you are not alone in having these feelings. Many struggle with this and fully understand what you are going through. Just talking it out here on WhatNext is a great way to relieve stress!

      10 months ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      Some rhetorical observations.

      It is no longer popular to investigate and believe in the transcendent; in an existence beyond this earthly realm. There are many reasons for this, but I note from personal experience that, generally speaking, as "belief" declines, it is rapidly replaced by anxiety, fear, doubt, uneasiness. We live in the age of humanity with the most physical security; the longest life spans, the greatest healthcare, assured retirement income, steady and ready food supply - you name it. We also live in the age of, as Mel Brooks titled his film: High Anxiety. Isn't this strange? 1:5 today suffer from some form of anxiety disorder. 64 million in the US alone.

      I tell no one how or what to believe. I can only relate what I believe and why. I came to grips with death some years ago. It no longer frightens me. Since it is inevitable, I am preparing for it. Thus, whether I survive only today, or for another 20 years, it is all the same. Yet, a longer life only makes my yearning for something beyond, something better, something unending, something perfect even stronger.

      For this reason, neither death nor cancer are much of a worry. Oh, they will cut my plans short, but so what? What purpose has worry in any case? Does it change anything? Yes, it actually does! Like drinking to excess, it makes things worse.

      I choose to be thankful and appreciative for the life I have been given so far. Sickness and death are like breathing. We have spent so long looking down, are we even able to consider or accept something far superior to this life?

      10 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      For me, the trick was to train my mind to not dwell on the negative, keep it out of the dark side. It's hard to do but once you learn to focus your mind on what you do want and keep it off of what you don't want you will cope with the anxiety much better.

      10 months ago
    • Paperpusher's Avatar
      Paperpusher

      My hubby doesn't worry all the time. Most of the time he seems quite contented. It's when we drive by the hospital where he had his chemo, when the storyline of a show we're watching has to do with cancer and chemo and when he has to go for his scans that the anxiety rises to the surface. He's due for a scan next month and he's dreading it. He has anti-anxiety meds to take to get him through it. Somewhere I didn't expect it to pop up is over a wedding we're going to the end of August. He's happy about going and seeing everyone.It's a small family wedding. We're going to drive half way, spend the the night in a hotel then drive the second leg. But he wants to make the hotel reservations now for the mid-trip hotel and the destination which we don't have yet. I'm a planner too but this it a bit to far in advance. But he also doesn't want his car checked over before we drive from NJ to Dayton, OH. This is going to be interesting. Maybe the anxiety about the scan is bleeding over.

      10 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I was diagnosed in late 2012. I stopped treatments with my disease stable in 2019 - nearly a year ago. I think I had my last Opdivo treatment in April of 2019. I find myself thinking less and less about cancer, even though my tumors are still there, just stable. I go for scans every 3 months to make sure they're still stable...

      My point of view is that worry does nothing except waste my precious time being miserable. I have personally immersed myself in things I love to do. For years, that was agility with my dogs. My dogs got too old for agility and radiation took away a lot of my energy for that...

      Then my son passed away from heart disease at age 43 ... and a few months later my best friend since the 4th grade died from heart disease one month before her 65th birthday. That taught me something (as if we don't all already know it ...) the one sure thing about life is that it is terminal. There are many things that can cause a person to die, cancer is one of the many. Do you worry every time you get into the car that you're going to die in a car wreck? (I actually worry more about that than about dying from my lung cancer - the drivers where I live are CRAZY!!!)

      Now, I spend a lot of time in personal and group Bible studies, activities with friends, spending time with my husband. I honestly find I don't have much time and have even less inclination to spend thinking about cancer.

      I hope you can find a way to stop worrying so much and instead make sure that you are truly living every minute of your life. In my opinion, that's the way we defeat cancer (even if the cancer doesn't go away, we aren't letting it rob us of the life we have while we are alive). When I pass away, I hope people will say, "She lived life to the fullest extent possible" and not, "She worried every day about that cancer getting her ... and it finally did."

      10 months ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      I am a worry a lot but not just about cancer. Lately I have been worrying about the coronavirus. Last week I totally freaked when my son came down with a common cold. Then there is climate change. And I have moved to a city that is located on an earthquake fault that is overdue for a "big one" at the foot of a volcano that is overdue for eruption. Also this city is located next to a major army/air force base so every time Kim Jong-ung rattles his missiles I freak out. One thing I tell myself is I have survived 2 serious cancers and one smaller one but I am not so sure I could survive an earthquake or a volcano eruption

      10 months ago
    • wmsavs' Avatar
      wmsavs

      More often we worry about things that never happen. You could walk out of your house focusing on the cancer, forget to check before crossing a street and get struck by a car. Focus on areas that we have control- where we choose to live, what we choose to eat, etc. Echoing words of my Grandmother, "If I want a hot dog, I'm going to eat a hot dog. Nitrates, cancer causing, will not stop me." I would rather have a life well lived than a life filled with worry.

      9 months ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      @wmsavs Exactly! For chronic worriers, I suggest keeping a "worry book" - a spiral notebook in which worries are written down as they occur. Then every two weeks or monthly, go back and cross off all the worries that did not come to pass. After several months, I am willing to bet that all or nearly all worries have been crossed off. Any which remain are, in a few words, not worth worrying about.

      Several aspect here: It gives the worrier awareness of how many things they worry about; control over worry inasmuch as it empowers them to destroy (strike through or cross off) the worries. It shows that worry in no way equals reality and that it is a negative rather than a positive.

      The opposing virtue is hope. No one wants to be hopeless! There is an Italian Saint who famously said "Pray, hope and don't worry. Worry is useless." There is more, but that is the gist of it.

      9 months ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      I COULD get hit by a bus. A meteor MIGHT fall on my house. I HAVE cancer. Apples and oranges.

      9 months ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      po18guy If I wrote down coronavirus two weeks ago and I do not have the coronavirus today would I mark it off coronavirus the list when it is still likely to be infectious. A person from our town has contracted the virus. She was discovered when she returned before she came home. I am still not going to crowded places. I also have not been to a concert for years and I no longer go shopping in malls, movies, because of mass shootings. I still go to church but I do fear a mass shooting there; church is a place where we should show a little courage.

      9 months ago
    • Paperpusher's Avatar
      Paperpusher

      @po18guy..I saw a psychiatrist after a breakdown many years ago and had bad panic attacks. I was raised to worry about everything. He had me keep a notebook on my nightstand for those middle of the night worries and "I have to remember to do...tomorrow" stuff. He told me that 99% of the things we worry about never happen and to think about all the energy I've wasted worry about them.
      @BoiseB I'm sorry that someone from your town contracted the coronavirus. You say she didn't make it home with it but I'm sure that gives you a different perspective than most of us. If I avoided all the places that something might happen to me, I wouldn't go out the door. I'm sorry you feel this way. It must be very lonely.

      9 months ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      @Paperpusher. I am becoming more and more housebound. In April of 2018 I had a bad fall resulting in a concussion and repeated it in September. I now worry about falling all the time. So I only go out when I can go out with my son or friends I am fortunate that we have a free van service that escorts you to the door. .

      9 months ago

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