We understand that people with cancer are worried about coronavirus. Here is the latest guidance. We will update it regularly.

Emotional issues

Cancer can be emotionally draining, but sharing your feelings can help you and others in your situation. Talk about it here.

Anxiety surrounding COVID 19

RND20
Posted by

I was wondering if I could get peoples advice and views on what to do. so i was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2015. since diagnosis I have had 3 surgerys 2015/17/18. the surgery in 2018 was the longest of them all lasting nearly 5 hours. I havent had any chemo or radio just the surgery but since diagnosis after each surgery my OCD (diagnosed) has become worse and has got to the point where I cant even walk behind someone in the street smoking for the fear the cancer will come back. With everything that is going on at the moment my hands are raw from washing and sanitizing and every cough, ache or sneeze is sending me in to a panic attack. I have usually got everything in control and hide it all so well but with it being the only topic of conversation I cant get away from it and it is really starting to scare me. I am also classed as front line as I work in a school and the county has put us on a rota to the designated school we go in and be with the children who's parents are working. I'm so scared about getting this phone call and having to go in to work to so my bit. But the really sad thing is work is my happy place and takes my mind off everything. I just cant shake this horrific feeling and I cant concentrate on my masters study that I have started along side my full time work. Thankfully the university have suspended the saturday lectures and everything is online but I still cant concentrate to complete my assignments... help. xxxx

ownedbystaffies
Posted by

Hi @RND20

It does sound awful. Might be stating the obvious, but have you ever tried CBT for the OCD?. I would hope you had been referred when you were first diagnosed as CBT is the prescribed therapy for OCD. I am not one who believes CBT is the panacea for all ills, but there are definite advantages where your thinking is such an issue. I know most services are working by skype or phone at the moment, but they should still be operating. Your GP should have details of the service in your area ( and yes sadly there are waiting lists). Alternatively, finances allowing, there are lots of private practitioners out there who will also be moving online.

These are anxiety provoking times for everyone, but where you already suffer from OCD it is much worse. You are not alone, but you can feel very alone with your thoughts. All the best.

RND20
Posted by

Hi,  thank you for the reply, yes I was given over 27 sessions of cbt therapy (I was used as a case study hence the extra sessions that are normally used) but the practitioner decided that it was the better option that I was to be referred to a psychologist and am now on a waiting list that could take well over a year. I see my dr every month and I do keep in regular contact with my Macmillan nurse but this is just all so overwhelming xx

JaneAustenfan
Posted by

Hi RND20 sorry to hear that you are feeling so anxious and overwhelmed. It is an uncertain time and as you say it is difficult to get away from the worry. Do you know about Jo's cervical cancer trust? They have a helpline and support services. They have a whole section on their website information page about how to manage anxiety around the coronavirus. They also list some useful helplines. As regards work, it might be worth contacting your union's helpline to explain your situation and see if they can advise you. The MacMillan helpline is also very good and may help you to try to keep things in perspective. They advised me to try using the app headspace to help to manage health anxiety; it could be worth a try. I found cooking a good distraction yesterday & some of my colleagues recommend gardening & baking. Don't watch the news too much & try to set aside a worry hour each day to write down your worries. 

Take care and hope this is helpful

A