approaching CAT scan

pink05 Member Posts: 550
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hello everyone,

My dad's next CAT scan is approaching (next Thursday) and I become so anxious and scared around this time before the scan. It's the worst feeling and I don't know how to control these feelings. I am a very high anxiety person to begin with. I try not to think of the worst, but so far, it seems like these scans always bring bad news. I have been told that it is perfectly normal to feel scared and anxious, I just need to find a way to not let it get the best of me. Can some of you offer some suggestions on how you get through it?


  • Kanort
    Kanort Member Posts: 1,272 Member
    Yes, you and your dad are both feeling what we all have felt waiting for the CT scan and then the results. I know for me that every phone call after my scans has my heart racing. Perhaps visualizing a good report might help. Please let us know how things go. I'm praying for the best for your dad.


  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    Breathe in, Breathe out! I have my first post-CRC colonoscopy on May 16 (it was moved one day sooner). A scopy was what found my first cancer, and started the e-ticket ride! Anxious? you bet!
    Seriously, just distract yourself with something else...go to the movies, phone a friend (take a 50-50...oh, sorry, that's how to become a millionaire...hehehehe), and, as you have already said...realize this is normal!
    But don't let it consume you. It will be what it will can't change the outcome, regardless of how much you worry or anticipate!
    How about volunteering at a Relay for Life this weekend (they ALWAYS need help on the administration side...signing in people, giving out food)? Or working in a Discovery Shop (all proceeds go to the ACS)? Man, did I get inspired after my Relay!
    Hugs to you and your dad!
  • Betsydoglover
    Betsydoglover Member Posts: 1,248 Member
    Hi Lee -

    Test anxiety is very tough to deal with. The suggestion to attempt to distract yourself is good, but I know how hard that is. When I have had PET and CT scans, I find that I jump out of my skin every time my phone at work rings or everytime I see the voicemail message light lit. This is definitely a disease that is taxing in the anxiety department. I wish there were a magic bullet, but there is not (or at least I haven't found it). I have heard that the anxiety can decrease as time goes on - in a way I relate to that because the disease process begins to seem a more normal part of life. But mostly - I still find it as anxiety producing after my 7th scan as after my 1st. I'm wishing your father well and hoping you can rent a good distracting movie to help get thru some of the anxious waiting period.

    Take care,

  • AuthorUnknown
    AuthorUnknown Member Posts: 1,537 Member
    I will share with you Zen teachings. I myself only am a beginner in it but have already discovered that it helps.

    First, like KathiM said you can not change the outcome, regardless of how much you worry or anticipate. So, with not being able to change it, you need to learn how to handle it.

    Second, meditation is the best way to deal with situation like this. Sit on the floor if you have a cushion or something like it or you can even sit on a chair. Keep your spine straight. Start breathing in and out. Put your entire attention on your breathing. When thoughts start coming in, let them come, notice them and let them go, bringing your attention back to your breathing.
    That will clear and pacify your mind. After that "go into" the feeling of fear and anxiety that you have. Feel it, become consciuos of it, put all your attention on it. Accept it. And then with the effort of your mind send it away. You can imagine this feeling to be in a bottle which you can send away in a water, or you can put it in envelope and mark it "return to sender". After doing this, return your attention back to your breathing. If it becomes difficult to concentrate on breathing, try to count your breating - 1 -in,out, 2 - in, out, etc.
    Spend at least 10-15 minutes doing it.

    The most important point to remember: do not run from this feeling but rather put all your attention into this feeling. And it will go away... When you put the light of your consciousness into it, it can not survive for a long time.

    Also, being a devoted Christian, I believe in the power of prayer. So, while you are meditating, say your prayer in your mind. And keep praying, God will help.

    Hope it helps.

    All best wishes for your father. I will pray for him too.

  • rejoyous
    rejoyous Member Posts: 259
    I'm into deep breathing/meditation as well. Also just remembering to enjoy life moment by moment. We get so greedy for more life, and it's important to notice what we have right now. Spring is an especially helpful time of year for this kind of moment by mooment appreciation!

    But I know what you mean, of course. My c-t scan is coming up and I'm right there with you, strategizing on how to stay above the anxiety. I plan to take walks by the ocean while I wait for my results.

  • goldfinch
    goldfinch Member Posts: 735
    Distraction and meditation are both good suggestions. I've used both. Don't be surprised though, if the meditation, at first, makes you even more jumpy. When those anxious thoughts come through, bring your mind back to your breath. I often think of the sound of the surf when I'm concentratin on my breath.
    Hang in there!
  • pink05
    pink05 Member Posts: 550
    Thank you all for the advice and suggestions. I will definitely try all of your suggestions to help calm my nerves.

    God bless you all!