CSN Login
Members Online: 9

Mornings

adventurebob's picture
adventurebob
Posts: 691
Joined: Jun 2010

About 30 minutes after I wake I am hit hard with what I suppose is anxiety. I have never had it as far as I know and don't quite know what to do with it. It feels like I had about 10 cups of coffee. My stomach is restless and my mind is racing. It's hard to stay focused on what I'm doing and unless I distract myself with music, tv or exercise it is almost overwhelming. This has only been happening since I finished treatment and is so bothersome I absolutely dread mornings. It starts to fade around 2 in the afternoon and is completely gone by sunset. Has anyone else experienced this or does anyone know what it is? I realize I could take an Ativan for it and have done so a couple times with good results but would rather not. Thanks guys,

Bob

Hal61's picture
Hal61
Posts: 656
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Bob, some of what you describe can generally be attributed to post treatment "syndrome" symptoms. Lack of focus, distraction, and the need to be distracted are experienced by lots of folks following treatment. It doesn't sound like an anxiety "attack". Like physical symptoms of treatment, emotional and mental effects linger and vary from one person to another. For a couple of months I had a hard time remembering my address and phone number, those two specifically. Now I don't. My memory wasn't effected across the board, but I had those little blank spots here and there. I'll save you a few bucks. If you see a counselor they will tell you it's natural to have a period of anxiety after what you've been through. ;-)

best, Hal

adventurebob's picture
adventurebob
Posts: 691
Joined: Jun 2010

That helps a little bit. Yea, I realized a counselor would say that and tell me to take the Ativan. My working theory is that it's like getting hurt in the middle of a game or a fight. You don't really notice it because the adrenaline is pumping and the game or fight is the focus. After the fight is when you start noticing how bad you got hurt. Treatment was like that X 1000. I felt pretty good all through treatment and so strong mentally and emotionally. Now that I'm done fighting I'm noticing how much I've been hurt. The address and phone number thing has happened for me multiple times now too. I've also had the same password for my e-mail for a decade and keep forgetting it now. Weird. Thanks for the reply. It's always nice to be understood.

Bob

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

Sort of sounds like anxiety a little bit. The thing that is weird to me is that it goes away by sunset. I had suffered from panic attacks and I have had anxiety disorder since I was a little kid. (also clinical depression) There was a point in my life (before cancer) that it was pretty debilitating. Exercise and music can be helpful, as well as yoga with it's deep and correct breathing and biofeedback. I am to the point now that those things do help me. When I was really bad nothing helped but meds. (lexapro)

I would also think about checking your thyroid and sugar though. Just in case. Definitely try and work through that anxiety and try and burn off those stress hormones that are released when you have that flight or fight and excess adrenaline feeling. It's not good to have your body constantly in that state.

It is very normal after treatment or life changing diagnoses to go thru anxiety and or depression. If it goes on I would mention it to your doctor. I suffered way too many years with a chemical imbalance. Your anxiety, if thats what it is, is most likely temporary and caused by the huge amount of stress that cancer brings to our lives.

Blessings,

Sweet

adventurebob's picture
adventurebob
Posts: 691
Joined: Jun 2010

Yoga does help; considerably. I mentioned it to my doc and he said "yep, that happens, it'll clear up". He said the same thing about the low blood counts and the constant ear ringing. Nice to know all those years of schooling are paying off for him. I did ask about the thyroid as my rad doc said it would take a direct hit and eventually stop working but she said it was too soon for that to be happening. Of course she also said I wouldn't be able to taste, have saliva or stop using my PEG for a few more months. Thankfully she was wrong on that one. I'll keep working it out as you're dead on about it not being good for my body. Thanks for the reply. You're always a comfort.

Bob

ratface's picture
ratface
Posts: 1254
Joined: Aug 2009

PTSD- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Consider that you are actually suffering form PTSD. This idea was profound to me because it explains many of my emotions. The concept is that of Michael Feuerstein, PHD, MPH, a brain cancer survivor and author of "The Cancer Survivors's Guide", page 144. Mr Feuerstein had been involved as a behavioral health consultant for The Washington D.C. Police and fire Departments. He often counseled folks who had been involved in life threatening situations. "Many cancer survivors experience features of the same condition. As with the officers I have counseled, cancer survivors often relive different aspects of the diagnosis, treatment, and other aspects of the cancer experience over and over. When we hear about a survivor whose cancer returned, or even worse, who died... then come the thoughts, when will it be me? each time we anticipate negative consequences, such as a doctors's visit... a stress response is triggered. This is called "anticipatory stress" or "anticipatory anxiety". "

Certainly what you are experiencing is normal for your circumstances and now you have to learn how to manage it with whatever tools work for you, therapy, meds, exercise, diet, the new you so to speak. I think "KIMBA" captured it best in passing in an unrelated post, but it stuck with me. She casualy mentioned that cancer is a "Chronic" condition. That's hitting the nail on the head. The emotional part of this is ingrained within and we are stuck with it regardless. We have the scars to prove it, a hole in my stomach from the peg, a hole in my neck from the port, and a scar on my neck from the disection. Our only consulation was that we were under anesthetic for the trauma.

CajunEagle's picture
CajunEagle
Posts: 363
Joined: Oct 2009

Super response, Rat. I frequently get in that "anticipatory" funk prior to a checkup, but can shake it off after a while. It's the re-living of the face mask placement, and the resulting pressure on my head, that keeps coming back time and time again.

Larry

adventurebob's picture
adventurebob
Posts: 691
Joined: Jun 2010

It makes sense. Learning to deal with this "chronic" condition is just difficult. Nice to have so much support. Thank you,

Bob

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5881
Joined: Apr 2009

I too had a little of this right after treatment but was able to keep my self busy enough at work to keep it off my mind. Sometime what we eat may also play a big part in getting Anxiety.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/coping-with-anxiety/AN01589/METHOD=print

All the best my friend
Hondo

adventurebob's picture
adventurebob
Posts: 691
Joined: Jun 2010

Good article. I knew about the tryptophan but forgot. I'll try some bananas tomorrow morning.

Bob

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network