Five ways for breast cancer survivors to ease their checkup anxiety when they see their oncologist
Updated: Oct 30, 2019
Today, I took myself and my crazy chemo curls to my three-month checkup with my oncologist. After active treatment is completed, cancer survivors are on varied schedules in terms of how frequently they see their oncologists. While it is awesome to reach the stage where you just go in for checkups, it is also nerve-wracking. That’s because at least for me, while I feel great, you never know what blood tests, etc., may point to. Ask anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer and they will tell you their initial cancer diagnosis blind-sighted them. In my case today, my bloodwork came back good (after a scare at my last checkup because of an elevated level, which went back to normal). See what I mean, it can be scary. But, fortunately, it all worked out. How do you ease your checkup anxiety? Here are some tips • Remind yourself there is nothing you can do until you get results, and when you do, you and your care team will handle it just as you did before; • Take a deep breath into your right nostril and then exhale out of your left nostril. This breathing exercise can calm you; • Exercise! I run for stress and anxiety relief; • Take a bubble bath; or • Do whatever you enjoy that is a healthy distraction, whether it’s watching Netflix or going out to dinner with friends.