I went to get a picture of my brain yesterday (how I describe it to my young kids): my MRI to see if the glioblastoma brain cancer tumor in my head is growing. Today anxiety is rearing it’s ugly head. The cancer world calls this scanxiety. I used to have gripping anxiety in the gap between MRI and results. Now, since my anxiety is more under control, it’s not so overt, rather it is sneaky. It’s low grade and smoldering so I didn’t fully acknowledge my anxiety yesterday until my husband brought it up when I was accusing him of being snippy at me. ” I think we both are. ” He replied and it was true. I was short with him and he with me because we are on heightened emotions, the lurking question of what will the results be? We have a mindset that all will be okay whatever the results say. And there is no use worrying about tomorrow’s uncertainties today. This helps alot. But it cannot fully eliminate our human nature, and the weight that these results hold: life or more imminent death.

So what do I do to make the most of today? What will I do this next week as I await my results?

From all I have learned this past 3 years since my diagnosis about anxiety, this is how I am dealing with it today and for the next 6 todays. (Ps. after step one I don’t think the steps necessarily have to go in order).

Step 1: I acknowledge it, “hi anxiety”. This weakens its power over me, eliminates the shame of my anxiety that lurks if I try to bury it. I tell a trusted friend my struggle so I’m forced to verbalize it.

Step 2: After I’ve acknowledged my anxiety I tell it that it doesn’t have the final say. I am not going to give it the driver’s seat. I’m going shove it in the trunk, and hopefully suffocate it to death. It might kick and scream from back there, that’s ok.

Step 3: I’m going to be kind to myself. Anxiety is an energy zapper. I will be kind to myself if today I do not do as much as I had hoped. (You know anxiety’s kinda like having fighting kids, it’s exhausting, even if they’re in the other room and you’ve told them they are old enough to start sorting out their arguments themselves. It’s only once they’re in bed asleep that the exhale and calm truly comes. Be kind to yourself if the fighting is still going on, just keep telling anxiety to fight in the other room – and remember “bedtime” will come, sooner or later if strategic plans are employed.)

Step 4: I employ strategic plans. These are some of my strategic plans: practice gratitude, exercise, give thanks to my higher power, request help from my higher power, create “art”, write, make space for relaxation and mindfulness, meditate, pray, ask others to pray for me, listen to uplifting music, visualize the outcomes I desire, and add “enjoy life” to the top of my to do list. Even if life is trying to shove shove shove me forward, I try my hardest to take 5 min here and there to employ my strategic plans.

Step 5: Remember, today is a good day. (I say it out loud so I convince myself).

Step 6: I congratulate myself for my progress no matter how seemingly imperfect it is (remember perfection is not the aim).

Step 7: go and have a really good day.

Repeat any or all steps as necessary.

Step 8: Share my anxiety journey stories.  Stories of failure, wisdom, insight and vulnerably real life (my upcoming memoir will share these in detail).  Other people’s stories have helped me so much, I want to pay it forward and invite you to do the same. So…

What are some of your strategic plans to combat anxiety? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below. And have a really good day!



PS. Prayers and well wishes for excellent scan results are appreciated 🙂


photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/bwwh_OoEEAE