Last updated: February 2020
How do you deal with stress daily? We know what scanxiety is and that happens every few months, but how do you deal with it on a daily basis. Your health may be good enough that you can go about your day without many hiccups but there are many who are in treatment that deal with daily stress and anxiety trying to complete their treatment.
Our stress is everywhere
There are side effects, logistics of getting to and from treatments, being available for family, offering explanations to "you used to" comments, and so many other personal reasons why you may feel stressed out and nervous. A friend recently wrote in her blog about how do we deal with knowing we will die from this disease and getting our affairs in order. I, myself, may feel well at this point, but we know things change in an instant with lung cancer. That statement alone causes anxiety for me. I know my cancer will take me someday but I refuse to let it affect my daily life.
How do I keep my stress in check?
I take baby steps. I literally find a special day or event every month of the year to look forward to. I try to think about that and not about the fact that I have cancer. For example, it was my second grandchild's 1st birthday party recently. I looked forward to it all month. In May, my sister, myself, and my seven children (and their families) spent Memorial Day weekend at a home on Lake Erie with a private beach and pier. I could hardly wait to be under the same roof with my seven babies again and my three grandchildren.
I realize I am just tricking myself in my mind, but that is how I deal with stress and anxiety and it's how I manage it. I can't change how things are. I can't change that my children have two parents with severe life changing illnesses. They deal with the fact that either parent could have a severe medical event any day, and both have chronic life-threatening illnesses. As I type these words, I realize my children really have more stress than I do.
Stay thankful and blessed
I keep my family fully informed about my illness - the ups and downs - but I try to remain thankful and blessed. I am still kicking and driving my kids nuts since my diagnosis over 5 years ago. I recently had a scare when I had sepsis. My children were told I wouldn't make it and I actually was unconscious for almost a week. Upon waking up and seeing the looks on their faces scared me. I put my big girl panties on and decided to concentrate on regaining my health but also at the same time I showed happiness to my children with my little accomplishments during my rehabilitation. By concentrating on this, it took my stress away.
Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 28, 2020, Jennifer Toth passed away. Jennifer was a passionate advocate for the Lung Cancer community. She will be deeply missed.
What healthy habits do you use to improve the quality of your life?