Is it normal to feel this way, or is it me?

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BioAdoptMom3
BioAdoptMom3 Member Posts: 43
And, please be honest. I am wondering if it is normal to feel angry when you are facing moments of uncertainty? I had all kinds of anger issues (not hurting anyone or anything, but verbally taking things out on my family, walking out of church one Sunday and sitting in fellowship hall till service was over, etc.) between diagnosis and surgery. After surgery and re-excision were over it seemed to level off and I was much better. Now I have my first appointment with the medical oncologist this Wednesday and once again, everything and anything sets me off. I am OK if everything else is going well, but if my computer is slow, DD didn't go to bed the minute I told her to, the dog starts barking, etc., It's like it's over the top and more than I can bear. Does it sound like I need medication? I do have low dose Xanax to take as needed, but I don't want to be taking that 2 or 3 times a day and get dependent on it. Thoughts? Ways to cope? By the way, I do workout 6 days a week and I have a lot of support from family, friends, work and church.

Thanks!

Nancy

Comments

  • Chickadee1955
    Chickadee1955 Member Posts: 356 Member
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    Nancy,
    Don't feel alone.

    Nancy,

    Don't feel alone. Stress can make everything get on your very last nerve. You are not in any kind of normal situation and it would be unusual if you didn't 'lose it' once in awhile. That being said, there is no shame in using the tools the doctors have in their arsenal to help us cope during the most difficult times. You're already working out and have a support network, so if you need some further help, don't be afraid to take it. Just my opinion, and I have always been REALLY uncomfortable taking meds. I've just learned that some things can't just be 'toughed out'.

    Best of luck.

    Chickadee
  • MAJW
    MAJW Member Posts: 2,510 Member
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    You're normal!
    What you are experiencing sounds pretty normal to me, considering what you are going through...I was on edge, over the edge and under the edge!! It's anxiety, no doubt...we've all been there...fear of the unknown...dread of what the oncologist will tell you about a treatment plan...you've had surgery...anxiety, sadly, comes with the territory...I had never taken any anti anxiety meds but after my visit with my surgeon to schedule surgery, I said "bring it on!". I was given the lowest dose of the "old fashion" Valium.. It worked wonders..it took the edge off..didn't make me sleepy or zombie like..just took the edge off...I could feel my body just let down and relax within 30 minutes of taking one... I made good use of the 20 I was prescribed.

    Personally, if it were me, I'd take the Xanax! We need all the help we can get! I heard this recently....When Life hands you lemons, make lemonade...use the lemonade to wash down a Xanax!

    Wishing you peace of mind..
    Nancy
  • csr771
    csr771 Member Posts: 117
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    You're OK
    You are expecting to feel normal in abnormal circumstances. Don't be too hard on yourself. I reacted just like you. My BC was found during a mammogram in October, 2010. I did not have surgery until 1/21/11. I worked until 1/18. I used to have bad days and good days. There were times when I couldn't talk at all. There were days when I was so depressed I could hardly put one foot in front of the other. My PCP prescribed citalopram. I had previously had bouts were my blood pressure a little high, but after my diagnosis it would spike. The citalopram chilled me out. I think you are angry, afraid, sad, apprehensive and in grief all at one time. How you react depends on the hour of the day. Your fuse is probably really short right now because you are still trying to be there for others and all you want to do, all you probably have the capacity to do, is try to handle what is going on with you. I know that's how I felt. I just needed to be able to do me--nothing else, just me. My thoughts never stopped. You are in one of the biggest fights of your life. Everyone handles it differently. I learned that I was stronger than I ever thought that I was. You can do this. Blessings.
  • CypressCynthia
    CypressCynthia Member Posts: 4,014 Member
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    Hope this helps!
    If you feel that your anger is interfering with your treatment and/or compromising your life (and your family's), don't hesitate to ask for help. A cancer diagnosis increases our risk of experiencing depression and anxiety (both of which can contribute to anger). Your oncologist and other docs know this. Many of us have asked for help.

    Here is a good link from NCI with lots of tips:

    Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment
  • laughs_a_lot
    laughs_a_lot Member Posts: 1,368 Member
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    Anger and Cancer
    It is actuallly healthy to be able to admit to anger. It is much better than stuffing the feeling and ignoring the actuallity of the disease you are fighting. Formerly I was of the group who did not like the idea of taking anytype of drugs related to mental health. I think this comes from a long line of alcoholism in my family and the fear of addiction. It also tends to stem from the negative stereotypes of those who have mental health problems.

    I now am in the other camp and joined that camp about 5 years prior to my bc diagnosis. Not all brains are created equal. There are genes that influence the way one's brain is constructed. Some people have a lack of neurotransmitters in thier brain through no fault of their own. In people speak it means that instead of your brain running like a V8 engine (full power and juiced up)your brain is firing on a few less cylanders (working but not well). It cuts down your horse power and performance. You still operate as a car but not so efficiently. When you take a psychotropic medication to assist you it will go into the brain and either assist the brain to make new connections to pick up a certain brain chemical (if you are low in that) or it will make some of the connections feel already full of the certain brain chemical (if you are getting too much of it). It is like taking your car in for a tune up and making sure all the spark plugs are firing in the cylanders and the carberator has the proper mix of air and gasoline in order to maximize performance.

    Now throw in cancer that comes along and upsets the apple cart. It is like adding water or sand or some other substance to you gas tank. Now some may be able to run still and find a way to clean the substance out of the gas tank and do just fine. It all depends on the substance thrown into the tank and the amount.

    The crux of the matter is this. If you need Xanax to get through the toughest battle of your life, then go ahead and use that. Sure you may be concerned about addiction. However, your onocologist or other doctor can assist you in weaning down off a medication if you indeed get addicted. Some of us have a brain chemistry that is such that we actually need that medication or the cancer has changed our bodies enough that addiction may no longer be an issue. Why be battling this disease with anything less than a full arsenal. Pray about your issue and decide for yourself, as you will know what is best for you in the long run.
  • BioAdoptMom3
    BioAdoptMom3 Member Posts: 43
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    Thank you all so much for
    Thank you all so much for your empathy and for helping me to feel not so alone in this emotional as well as physical journey! I haven't been here very long (about a week actually) but already can tell this is a very supportive and caring community. I appreciate that!

    Nancy
  • Kat11
    Kat11 Member Posts: 1,931 Member
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    Thank you all so much for
    Thank you all so much for your empathy and for helping me to feel not so alone in this emotional as well as physical journey! I haven't been here very long (about a week actually) but already can tell this is a very supportive and caring community. I appreciate that!

    Nancy

    Yes, it's normal. There is
    Yes, it's normal. There is so many feeling that will come and go as you continue your journey. Most of us have family and friends who support us, and yet it's not always enough. Thats why were here and don't rule out asking your doctors for help.
    Kathy ~
  • disneyfan2008
    disneyfan2008 Member Posts: 6,583 Member
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    only real anger - had
    Was coworkers and supervisor when I really needed compassioon and kindness, I was told I could not leave to get radiation-they could not justify paying someone to cover me! It still hurts but must see them daily! So I couldn't react other then rebuttal letter toi be but in my file.
  • Lynn Smith
    Lynn Smith Member Posts: 1,264 Member
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    only real anger - had
    Was coworkers and supervisor when I really needed compassioon and kindness, I was told I could not leave to get radiation-they could not justify paying someone to cover me! It still hurts but must see them daily! So I couldn't react other then rebuttal letter toi be but in my file.

    I get upset alot
    Seems I get upset alot now too but I try my best to work it out.I never get downright mad.Getting to old for that.I am more patient than alot of people.I do worry like all of you about the bc.Most of us are within the 4 year survival.Some much longer but may be going through a relapse.If I was like a friend of mine and being a 16 year survuvor I would feel so much more comfortable and not upset and worried.

    I keep alot to myself.I never tell anyone I feel worried and depressed.To see me no one would ever think I am bothered about my diagnosis.I am finally past the crying stage when I tell someone.

    I am trying to keep to myself about things now.I feel it is no ones business about my life or my cancer.I am looking at things that way.

    Just went through lots of testing and some other medical issues and got cranky over that recently.That is finally winding down after 4 months.It was the unknown for a time that got to me. Just getting more whammies after the bc diagnosis was a bit more to take/digest.

    Thinking of taking something to get that relaxed feeling.I remember how it felt years ago taking those meds but I got dependent.Then went off cold turkey and my heart raced/had jerking too.I know now to wean myself.

    Lynn Smith
  • disneyfan2008
    disneyfan2008 Member Posts: 6,583 Member
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    is there really a normal? we all handle things differenty!
    I had to wait over month for sugery since dr away! The unknown was hard! I kept thinking how I would look etc afterwards! It took me 3 weeks to glance at my chest! I did not get mad etc just waiting nerve rackong
  • laughs_a_lot
    laughs_a_lot Member Posts: 1,368 Member
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    only real anger - had
    Was coworkers and supervisor when I really needed compassioon and kindness, I was told I could not leave to get radiation-they could not justify paying someone to cover me! It still hurts but must see them daily! So I couldn't react other then rebuttal letter toi be but in my file.

    I wonder
    I wonder if this is a failure to accomodate a disability and therefore your abscence for treatment would be a protected right under the law?
  • jendrey
    jendrey Member Posts: 377
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    I wonder
    I wonder if this is a failure to accomodate a disability and therefore your abscence for treatment would be a protected right under the law?

    ...
    You sound a lot like me in this aspect! Mostly my problem is that I've never been one to put up with people doing stupid/unnecessary things, redundancy is also a particular pet peeve of mine. Add a few lackadaisical health care professionals and yeah, I come off as seeming somewhat angry at times.

    I try not to be.

    But, OMG, it's not like I'm the very first nor will I be the last person to ever have cancer and THEY are supposed to be the professionals.
  • BioAdoptMom
    BioAdoptMom Member Posts: 358
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    Thanks to the rest of you
    Thanks to the rest of you too! Thanks for empathizing and making me feel like my emotional responses to this disease are "normal" and common.

    Nancy