A child psychiatric-mental health nurse clinician discusses her experiences with anxiety during chemotherapy for ovarian adenocarcinoma. There is a paucity of literature available to assist nurses in assessing and intervening with anxiety in the cancer patient. The purpose of this manuscript is to share personal experiences with oncology nurses and to offer suggestions for easing anxiety and making chemotherapy more bearable. Dorothea Hays' concept of anxiety is the theoretical framework utilized to describe the crippling effects of anxiety. “Emotional cushions,” or concrete tasks, are discussed as supportive measures that nurses can use in providing or assisting the patient who experiences anxiety. Relaxation techniques and emotive imagery, in addition to mobilizing family supports and using past coping mechanisms, are discussed.
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