KIT+ GIST and Addressing Emotional Distress:
Managing This Common Experience
Anxiety is common
For someone diagnosed with KIT+ GIST, it's common to experience anxiety. As with every other aspect of your treatment, be sure to discuss feelings of anxiety with your doctor.
If you think the feelings are starting to interfere with your daily life and your important personal relationships, here are some tips:
- Connect with other KIT+ GIST patients so you don't feel alone
- Share your experience with someone newly diagnosed with KIT+ GIST
- Continuously remind yourself of how far you've come
- Check in with your caregiver, doctor, or therapist about your feelings
- Try deep breathing and relaxation exercises
- Keep up your favorite activities and hobbies
- Don't forget that the important people in your life are there for you
As with every other aspect of your treatment, be sure to discuss feelings of anxiety with your doctor.
One of the biggest concerns of cancer survivors
Fear of recurrence is one of the most frequently reported sources of distress in cancer survivors and their families. Because KIT+ GIST is a cancer, there is always the risk of recurrence.
When fear of recurrence becomes excessive, it can lead to anxiety and preoccupation — as well as issues like misinterpretation of harmless symptoms, limited planning for the future, and panic attacks.
How can I deal with emotional distress?
Different approaches for dealing with anxiety and distress work for different people. Some options to consider include:
- Deep breathing and relaxation exercises like guided imagery, meditation, hypnosis, and biofeedback
- Support groups
- Learning a new hobby
- Putting your thoughts down in writing or keeping a journal
- Individualized and group therapy
- Frequent and moderate exercise, including yoga