I don't know if they help time pass quicker or slower, but no matter what when we encounter dates between events we tend to make a countdown. Like: there's 29 days till Christmas, it's 21 days till my husband is home.
I think we need to number the days so we can see the time diminish. I did it with chemo and radiation: one more treatment, 12 days more radiation so I'm over halfway there, a week till I see my surgeon. Seeing the days pass brings the sense of achievement when there's nothing you can do about it. You need to get through this time, you need to feel strong enough to do that. You tag the days and say, "One step at a time." And, as you see those steps wash away in the sea of time, you feel fulfilled, even if only slightly. You are doing something.
This is an important step in dealing with cancer, if you ask me, as well as various uncontrollable circumstances. One of the struggles is dealing with the betrayal you may feel with your body trying to kill you. There's nothing you can personally do other than take a stand with your treatments, be involved with all those decisions, and do you research. However, after the decisions are made and you're going through 6 chemotherapy treatments, or 25 radiation treatments, or those countless doctor's appointments, you are just standing there. Sometimes you'll be there asking, now what? So you start counting. As you near that glorious day 0, you'll feel more empowered. You can look back and say, "That was a lot, but I made it!" or "That wasn't that bad, and I can actually get through this." Or something to those extents. =)