Anxiety During Radiation Therapy to the Head and Neck

Dear Eva,
5 down and 25 to go! I’m having a lot of anticipatory anxiety before the treatment and am fine after it. Some of my appointments are at night because I haven’t gotten into an earlier slot soon enough. Waiting all day gets to me, mainly nauseous. Any tips for me ? I need to calm this stomach of mine. I’m thinking of taking half a Xanax to see if that helps. Thanks for any helpful hints.

Dear Alyce,
Do something you love everyday that brings you joy. Call friends to pass the time. Plan an activity for everyday, preferably with a friend like a walk, shopping or listening to a meditation tape together. Ask friends to recommend funny videos. Laughing is medicine. Ask the children in your life to share a joke with you as often as possible.Treat yourself to a manicure or to something you don’t normally do.

Actively find ways to distract you from thinking about your treatment and keep you engaged in life!
Wishing you success!

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Comments 5

  1. Try eating candied ginger. Its not as strong as raw ginger and has strong stomach calming effects. A piece the size of a pat of butter has been shown to be as effective as the standard seasickness medications and its a great digestive aid.

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  2. I found another way to cope with my anxiety during radiation treatments. I ask the technicians to tell me the different steps to the procedure. For example,first they are getting me in position, telling me when they are taking the scan, when they are starting treatment and counting down the seconds 90, 60, 30, until they are coming back into the room because I am finished. Going step by step has helped me get through.

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