Whether you have an upcoming CT scan or are expecting news from your doctor, waiting can cause anxiety, worry and stress. You might have trouble sleeping or feel impatient with your loved ones. All of this is completely normal. Here at MD Anderson, we call that scanxiety.
The good news is there are many ways to deal with scanxiety. To help make the waiting game a little easier, we asked our Facebook community how they cope with the stress or anxiety before an important scan or appointment. Here's what they had to say:
- Pray. Many of our patients and caregivers said they found comfort in prayer. Because they feel a loss of control, praying allows them do what they can and then let go of those anxious feelings.
- Have faith and confidence in your care team. Know that our doctors and the rest of your care team will take care of everything. That's their job.
- Listen to your favorite music. Whether you're in the waiting room, in your car or at home or work, music can help you escape from the realities of cancer, or find the strength and determination to face them head-on.
- Find humor. Nothing eases tension like laughter.
- Keep busy doing something you enjoy. Whether it's shopping, spending time with friends or dining out at a favorite restaurant, having a little fun will help keep your mind off the upcoming appointment.
- Exercise. Not only can exercise help you stay healthy and strong, it produces mood-boosting endorphins that may help chase away your worries. Be sure to talk with your doctor before starting any new exercises, and make sure you choose the exercise that's right for you.
- Relax. If you're waiting at MD Anderson, take advantage of some of our Integrative Medicine Center's classes, such as yoga or tai chi. We also offer massages and acupuncture, all of which have been shown to help cancer patients relax.
- Meditate. Practicing mindfulness and meditating can help you stay calm during the tough times. Through meditation, you can learn to relax, manage stress and develop a deeper awareness of your body, emotions and surroundings. Not only can it help you get through this next appointment, it can help improve sleep, memory and cognitive function.
- Stay positive. Focus on positive thoughts, positive mental images and a positive outcome from your appointment.
- Help another patient. Befriending another patient in the waiting rooms can help take your mind off your own troubles -- and make a difference to someone else.