Social Question

syz's avatar

Your best cure for anxiety?

Asked by syz (36002points) 1 month ago

I got a call this morning that yesterday’s mammogram showed a mass. They can’t get me in until next Wednesday for repeat mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy. I know that there’s every possibility that it’s nothing of concern, but that’s not where my mind is going.

Any suggestions to help me chill the f out?

(The cherry on top – the chick who made my appointment told me to “have a good weekend”.)

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

32 Answers

chyna's avatar

I’m so sorry you have to go through this. What a terrible way to tell someone potential bad news.
Surround yourself with the people you love and the animals you love to help you get through the weekend.
Good luck with the follow up test.

jca2's avatar

For me, in a situation like that, I would try to keep busy all weekend.

I would also keep reminding myself that chances are, it will be ok.

I also wonder (this is just me), why they say this kind of shit to people on a Friday. Couldn’t it wait till Monday? About 18 years ago, a doctor called me on a Friday about my thyroid biopsy and said “it’s probably cancer. Go to a surgeon and he’ll remove your thyroid.” Long story short, I never went back to that doctor again, it wasn’t cancer and she’s lucky I didn’t give her a bad review. Her pathologist’s report was shit compared to the one I got from the better endocrinologist, and so my point is, try to reassure yourself that chances are, all will be well.

LuckyGuy's avatar

You asked about my anxiety. After my diagnosis and subsequent prostate removal I had to have PSA blood test regularly to see if I had a recurrence or to check whether or not it had spread.
I’d have blood drawn on a Tuesday and then wait until Thursday to get the results. (Now the results are posted in MyChart almost immediately.)
Guys call that uncomfortable feeling between the test and the results:“PSA Anxiety.”
I tried to keep busy and pretend to all around me that it didn’t bother me. But it did.
I was silently screaming inside until I got the results.
So… what was my cure? Fake it until you make it.

I’m sorry you are going through this. May butterflies flutter away your troubles.

canidmajor's avatar

I just ran the gamut in the last year and a half of not one, but two cancer scares. Something to find comfort in: if they want a more involved test, yes, that’s somewhat concerning, but if they had real reason to be seriously concerned, there would be immediate testing, no waiting til next Wednesday.
I imagine you have at least a couple of friends that you can be a bit freaked out at. Get together with them and be silly. Drink a bit too much together, or do karaoke, or have an extravagant dinner, and vent or rant. That helped me a lot, the distraction.

Be well, @syz, and if you are comfortable doing so, please keep us apprised. All my digits crossed for you.

LifeQuestioner's avatar

Wow! I’m sorry that you’re going through this and on top of that, I have to wait so long to find out more. And I get what you’re saying about the person on the phone telling you to have a nice weekend. I’m sure they probably meant well, but I think sometimes people just say that and don’t think about what the person on the other end is going through.

One of the main ways I handle my anxiety is to pray, but depending on what you believe, that may not work for you. Some other more mundane ways would be to sleep, to read, maybe watch a movie on TV. So basically just trying to find a way to distract myself. I’ll be thinking of you this weekend as you wait to find out.

filmfann's avatar

I’m sorry about your troubles.
When I get stressed, I take a three pronged approach:
1) You can’t be stressed while wearing Hawaiian shirts.
2) Comfort food. Different for everyone.
3) I watch silly things. Million Dollar Legs (with W.C. Fields).
This clip from Gumnaam is great!

janbb's avatar

I’ve got no cure for the summertime blues but here’s a hug and lots of sympathy.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Meditation helps me a great deal. I also use guided visualization. I sit and feel where I’m my body the anxiety is exactly, and I remove it and give it to an angel. The visualization helps me.

Smashley's avatar

The best way to cure cancer anxiety is to get cancer. Then you’ll have to deal with it plainly instead of all this worrying. You will know death is on the table, and your choices will have profound consequences. You will rise above the fear, and take hold of your own future, and hopefully gain a bit of grace about the uncertainties of life.

Best wishes, and I hope so much that it’s nothing. Just believe that even if it’s not, you’ll rise to the challenge.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I have frequent anxiety/panic attacks. They get worse when I try to stop it. Then I worry about worrying. Pizza sometimes helps, but just letting it happen works for me. As It is out of my control.

It will let go on its own, in its own time.

The only way out is through. It won’t last for ever, and I feel comforted that it will stop on its own, and I don’t need to try to stop it.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

As a reformed hypochondriac, I can tell you that the light at the end of the tunnel is you will know one way or another next Wednesday. Hypochondriacs don’t have the luxury of closure.
What I did for anxiety: alternate nostril breathing, it helps break the worry cycle. Cardio, cardio, cardio. The runner’s high helps tremendously. Go play with dogs, they have some happy magic that is infectious.

janbb's avatar

@Blackwater_Park Is right about the breathing. Various breathwork techniques that you can find online will help slow your racing thoughts.

gondwanalon's avatar

If you are able to do physical exercise then that may help.

I’ve suffered from anxiety pretty much my entire life. I refuse to take drugs that my doctor prescribed. Physical exercise works very well for me. Also holding and petting my cat helps me to relax.

Hoping for the best possible outcome for you.

Good health.

gondwanalon's avatar

Also when I can’t exercise I’ve found great relief using the “Emotional Freedom Technique”.

See here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKCmdHN9JX8

seawulf575's avatar

My wife went through the “mass on the mammogram” thing years ago. It is a scary thing. I can’t speak for her since everyone processes things differently, but I attacked it as I do all stressful things. I compartmentalize things. I took the information and started looking at what I could and couldn’t impact right then. Having to wait until the follow up mammogram means I couldn’t be sure one way or the other if it was the Big C, so I wasn’t going to fret. But I could educate myself on possible outcomes, what the results could tell us, what the options were on all the possibilities, etc. This allowed me to form a loose plan on how to deal with it as well as to generate a list of questions for the doctors on each of the possible results.

This all allowed me to feel less like a victim and more like a participant. I felt that the more information I had, the more prepared I could be for things. That, alone, helped ease some of the anxiety.

I will say that one source I felt very good with was the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (now the City of Hope). I went to their website to check it out, looking for options and costs, etc. Towards the bottom of the page was the little icon for “Chat with a Representative?” Why yes, that sounds good. The gentleman that hopped on the chat was very knowledgeable and compassionate. I was asking him so many questions he eventually said “it sounds like you have a lot of questions. Talking might be easier than typing. Would it be okay if I got your phone number and I called you?” I gave him my number, he called within minutes and we talked for 45 minutes. I felt a lot more informed by the end, less out of control. We did not use their services (though I wish we had) because they didn’t have a location close to me. But their information was great.

JLeslie's avatar

Compartmentalize and fake it til you make it, or pop an anxiety pill if you have them.

Hopefully, you have some things planned over the next few days, and going through the motions you forget about needing to get more tests for patches of time.

canidmajor's avatar

Fingers are crossed for you, today, @syz, that the word “unremarkable” is used about today’s scan. We love “unremarkable”!
<<hugs>>

janbb's avatar

Best of luck today @syz !

chyna's avatar

Thinking of you today @syz.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@syz, thinking of you today.

syz's avatar

Thanks, everyone. I finally got in for repeat and additional testing after a week of panic, and it’s not cancer!

This has been one hell of a summer (my Dad dying, my first experience with Covid, foster kittens with panleukopenia, and a breast cancer scare), and it’s still June.

chyna's avatar

^Finally great news for you!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Darn good news.

syz's avatar

I’m also happy to report that in spite of a mortality rate as high as 90–95%, all four of my kittens have survived. I’ve decided that I’m going to take credit for that so I can have another check in the positive column. They go back to the shelter on Tuesday for their spay/neuter surgeries and adoption.

LuckyGuy's avatar

So great to hear! Now I can stop worrying for you. ;-)

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Yay! No cancer! Yay!

canidmajor's avatar

So glad you’re not having to handle cancer, @syz, wishing much love and luck to those wee baby kittehs, yuck on the Covid, and so sorry you lost your Dad. So many <<hugs>>

JLeslie's avatar

Thank goodness cancer free. Definitely take credit for the kittens. Plan something fun to celebrate the positives.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Now, go out and celebrate!

jca2's avatar

@syz I’m so happy for your good news! I’m also happy that the kittens are doing well! A life well lived, helping others from the animal kingdom.

Strauss's avatar

@syz I’m a little late to the thread (I’ve got my own issues, but that’s another Q…maybe!). Glad your outcome is positive!

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther