I can speak from experience as well at how destructive thinking too much about cancer. I have CML and was diagnosed four years ago. Even though I have done well in those four years, I have suffered a variety of side effects, including pleural effusion. Many of the side effects have created issues in my head which has resulted in a great increase in anxiety. I also live in a rather dysfunctional house and that has added to the anxiety. In four years I went from having minimal issues to having a doctor wanting to put me on medication for the anxiety. From there I went to getting addicted to taking one medication, successfully got off of it but still having a doctor wanting to put me on another medication. All of this I feel resulted from just being diagnosed with cancer and thinking too much every single day about my health and how I felt and what might be wrong. I am trying hard to find a way to calm my mind and stop worrying about everything. I have started taking Tai Chi but am unsure how much that will do for me.
At the moment I am suffering from vertigo and a constant dizziness that has ruled my life for months. It was thought at first that it was taking the addictive drug and then coming off of it but still the problem remains. Of course there are many reasons that this might be a problem and not all are due to anxiety or the CML. I am 69 years old and I do have degenerative bone disease especially in my neck. I've had vertigo many times as well but living with this has been hard. I do not want to spend what is left of my life worrying about every little thing and being negative. Granted having cancer has not made my life exactly a joyful thing especially as it came upon retirement but I want to enjoy what I have. I want to be more positive and I am clearly aware that we do have control over some things no matter what.
I would recommend this article to anyone who has been diagnosed and feels that being "sick" is ruling their lives in a negative way. If you have the support of family and friends don't be afraid to use it. It is a very important part of being positive and living your life rather than letting the disease live it for you. I do not have the support of family and friends which has made it incredibly hard for me and most likely has helped create the world of negativity that I have been fighting. If the cancer is in control or remission, enjoy that fact and accept it for what it is. Then move on and just deal with the other things life brings. None of us is happy all the time or positive all the time but we do need to be "mindful" of the tricks the brain can play on us if we allow it.
Anxiety can be a part of life whether we want it or not but it can be controlled to some extent without medication if we work at making it so.
I hope we will hear more comments here about anxiety, mindfulness and how it affects other lives. It is always helpful to hear what others are doing to remain on top of their disease and remaining whole in heart and mind.
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