Emotional Support Treatment Starting Soon

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Bunnymom
Bunnymom Member Posts: 212 Member
edited June 2014 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

To all my new found friends on this board, thank you so much for all the support you have given to me. I feel very blessed to have found a place where there are others who can truly understand what I'm going through.

With all the surgeries, it feels like my energy has been drained. Now, as I approach the begining of my rad & chemo treatment on June 8th, my emotions are all over the place this weekend. I know this will get underway soon.

Last week, I had my mask made and breezed through it. I honestly, didn't think it was that bad and felt that I was in good hands. The only thing that bothered me was the mouth guard because it seemed like a lot to fit into a small mouth! Surprised I saw the treatment room and that was okay too.

Today, not so good. Just worried, anxious, apprehensive and tired. I know this is something that I must do, something that I must get through but the thought of it is now begining to feel overwhelming again. Up until this weekend, I thought I was doing pretty good and staying strong. Now...well, maybe not so much. This has been a very hard year. 

I can't put my finger on what the problem is exactly. I guess it all seems so daunting. I'm looking for emotional support.

Thank you all so much for your kindness.

 

BunnyMom

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Comments

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,723 Member
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    getting started

     

    BunnyMom,

    Feeling anxious can’t be helped, to you it is all new and unknown, but very soon you will be versed in the ways of a H&N professional.

    At the beginning of my treatments my mind would occasionally race (at bedtime).  When that happened I would take a Lorazapam to calm me.  As you get use to what is happening to you, you will calm down. 

    With things being what they are, you are following a path with your best chances for success.  Soon this will be behind you and you may get on with your life.

    Don’t forget to drink lots of water and practice swallowing.  Also, a reminder to check the superthread for a list of must haves.

    Good luck,

    Matt

     

  • katenorwood
    katenorwood Member Posts: 1,912
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    one day at a time

    Hello BunnyMom !

    Emotional support you have here always !  Some times we need to walk this trip one day at a time.  I can only tell you from experience you can and will do it.  Come here often, and ask as many questions as you want.  For me, I guess anxiety of the unknown was overwhelming.  Have you talked with your primary about any of this ?  Meds like Matt wrote, do help us through some of the worst parts.  I'm sorry for all your going through right now, but know your never alone in it.  We will be here for you !  Hugs sent !  Katie   

  • Guzzle
    Guzzle Member Posts: 710
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    CivilMatt said:

    getting started

     

    BunnyMom,

    Feeling anxious can’t be helped, to you it is all new and unknown, but very soon you will be versed in the ways of a H&N professional.

    At the beginning of my treatments my mind would occasionally race (at bedtime).  When that happened I would take a Lorazapam to calm me.  As you get use to what is happening to you, you will calm down. 

    With things being what they are, you are following a path with your best chances for success.  Soon this will be behind you and you may get on with your life.

    Don’t forget to drink lots of water and practice swallowing.  Also, a reminder to check the superthread for a list of must haves.

    Good luck,

    Matt

     

    one day at a time.....

    BM, I start my final four rads and one chemo this week. It has gone by very quickly. I feel weaker and have a sore throat but I have just cycled 15 miles and had a coffee. I can still jog 3 miles. Gentle excercise has helped me. I sleep a lot i.e. Go to bed early but it has honestly not been as bad as I feared so far. Keep pain meds on hand for when you need them. Be proactive about this because it is the key to eating and drinking. Ask about side effects. Some meds may cause constipation . Others may cause slight nausea as chemo may. Get the advice and take a preventative approach. Treatment will be the centre of your day. If you have a distance to travel do something nice on the way their or back. Have company if possible. Treat yourself at the weekend when the day is your own. Be organized and listen to good clinical advice. I was advised to put aqueous cream in the fridge. I did and have no neck burns (yet). I have no ulcers and minimal phglem (?) so far. Try not to be isolated and stay in contact with friends, family, colleagues. Let other people worry about details i.e. Insurance if you can. I have arranged via my employer to convalesce for a week at a state of the art centre in Yorkshire to get my energy levels up. I don't know if this is possible for you but it may be worth looking at. In short I am just an average bloke. If I can get through this you can. The clue is in your name here. You have been through child birth! Good Luck, I will be here for you, G.

  • Guzzle
    Guzzle Member Posts: 710
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    one day at a time

    Hello BunnyMom !

    Emotional support you have here always !  Some times we need to walk this trip one day at a time.  I can only tell you from experience you can and will do it.  Come here often, and ask as many questions as you want.  For me, I guess anxiety of the unknown was overwhelming.  Have you talked with your primary about any of this ?  Meds like Matt wrote, do help us through some of the worst parts.  I'm sorry for all your going through right now, but know your never alone in it.  We will be here for you !  Hugs sent !  Katie   

    Great Minds

    Katie , I picked The title of my post without seeing yours, Weird!

  • hwt
    hwt Member Posts: 2,328 Member
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    Guzzle said:

    Great Minds

    Katie , I picked The title of my post without seeing yours, Weird!

    BunnyMom

    I think we all felt better once the show finally got on the road and we had that 1st session under our belt. The anticipation can be overwhelming. Your feelings are normal. 

  • debbiejeanne
    debbiejeanne Member Posts: 3,102 Member
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    bm, I'm sorry you are feeling

    bm, I'm sorry you are feeling so anxious but i think that goes with the tx  :0(  we all had that feeling to some degree but it will get better.  once it actually starts, your days will move quickly and you'll be half way thru, then in the single digits!  we will all be here for you whenever you need us.  please keep us posted on your progress and we will travel this road with you.  good luck and God bless you.

    dj

  • donfoo
    donfoo Member Posts: 1,773 Member
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    still a few days to wait and spin

    The waiting is the worst part of certain. Since you some days to go, call your oncologist and get some anti-anxiety meds, Lorazepam/Ativan or similar. Something to get the edge off is perfectly a fine thing to do in this situation. Once you get going knowing how well you did during sim, you'll be fine during the daily sessions. You are doing great!

  • Robyn64
    Robyn64 Member Posts: 124
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    Hello there

    Hi Bunnymom,

     

    I know mostly what you are going through, I had my mask made last week. I didnt have any mouth guard though. I am not sure I would have coped with anything else, that was all becoming overwhelming for me. It was the mask and they stack other things on or around it, may have been ct scan, I had ct scan and mri both done same day with new mask. I was in the tunnel for about 30 minutes with loud hammering sounds. I just hope from now on the radiation treatment is less ovewhelming , I believe it is.

    I have been advised by a couple of my friends now to take up meditation, I have never ever thought of myself as doing this ever. But my friend sent me a link to a cancer council site here in Australia , on it it had 4 tracks of meditation to listen to . I have been told to pretend you are somewhere else whilst in treatment, leave your body behind, I am aiming to give it a go.

     http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/901/cancer-information/general-information-cancer-information/complementary-therapies-general-information-cancer-information/meditation-and-relaxation/cancer-council-new-south-wales-meditation-for-people-with-cancer-their-families-and-carers/

    I have heard one track , it is a very peaceful and calming track, havent heard the others yet. You never know, it may help. I just hope I can pretend to be somewhere else during treatment.

    My treatment, they aim to start me on the 23rd June. I have an appoint with chemo dr today , to find out all about that side of it. I have a dentist on wednesday and Im really hoping sooo bad that they take no teeth out.

    I only just turned 50 and I was hoping for a better year than this :-(

    You can do this Bunnymom, I know you can. There is no other way but forward. As my husband says, just focus on the end and not the in between. I am terrified too, you are not alone, we will both get there. XXXXXXXX

    Robyn

  • KTeacher
    KTeacher Member Posts: 1,103 Member
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    Mouth guard

    As treatment went on, it was more difficult to get the mouth guard in place.  Techs let me wet my lips and I needed to sit up and look down before they could lock me down.  Support is here.  Ask any questions, someone has gone through something similar.  I found this a good time to close my eyes and pray.   You will get throught it.

  • PJ47
    PJ47 Member Posts: 376
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    Hello

    I can almost feel your weariness and can recall how it felt after only 2 surgeries (I count the neck dissection and the TORS as one , because they were done at the same time) but in reality it was 2 surgeries, so I really had 3.  Then getting the call from my Doctor's office 4 weeks later saying that I would need to have radiation.  Very daunting and overwhelming.  I have no doubt you are strong and will get through this although it will be tough and seem like forever.  It is amazing how much the human body can tolerate and bounce back from.  So cry, be angry, or whatever you need to feel and then get into warrier mode.  You are doing good, you are human.  You have my support and prayers,

    PJ

  • PJ47
    PJ47 Member Posts: 376
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    PJ47 said:

    Hello

    I can almost feel your weariness and can recall how it felt after only 2 surgeries (I count the neck dissection and the TORS as one , because they were done at the same time) but in reality it was 2 surgeries, so I really had 3.  Then getting the call from my Doctor's office 4 weeks later saying that I would need to have radiation.  Very daunting and overwhelming.  I have no doubt you are strong and will get through this although it will be tough and seem like forever.  It is amazing how much the human body can tolerate and bounce back from.  So cry, be angry, or whatever you need to feel and then get into warrier mode.  You are doing good, you are human.  You have my support and prayers,

    PJ

    Oh and the mouthguard issue;

    I hated it but found using a swig of Magic Mouthwash to numb my mouth a few minutes before treatment and then I took a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide with me to clean it off each time before and after treatment and then rinsed it off with some water before I put it in which helped make it more tolerable.  The techs did not steralize them so I did it myself and they loved the peroxide spray and wanted to use it for others.  

    PJ

  • Bunnymom
    Bunnymom Member Posts: 212 Member
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    PJ47 said:

    Oh and the mouthguard issue;

    I hated it but found using a swig of Magic Mouthwash to numb my mouth a few minutes before treatment and then I took a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide with me to clean it off each time before and after treatment and then rinsed it off with some water before I put it in which helped make it more tolerable.  The techs did not steralize them so I did it myself and they loved the peroxide spray and wanted to use it for others.  

    PJ

    Weariness

    that is a great way to characterize the feeling....weariness. You are right. Fatigue..weariness. Four surgeries and all the time of anxiety waiting in between for scan results is certainly a recipie for fatigue. Mental and emotional fatigue. Now facing this next step on the road to regaining my health. 

    I am very lucky. I'm going to an excellent hospital with excellent doctors. I am lucky in many ways. 

    I do have a question about the hydrogen peroxide. Did you use it straight or diluted in the spray bottle?

    thank you for the support And the tip!

    BunnyMom

  • Bunnymom
    Bunnymom Member Posts: 212 Member
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    donfoo said:

    still a few days to wait and spin

    The waiting is the worst part of certain. Since you some days to go, call your oncologist and get some anti-anxiety meds, Lorazepam/Ativan or similar. Something to get the edge off is perfectly a fine thing to do in this situation. Once you get going knowing how well you did during sim, you'll be fine during the daily sessions. You are doing great!

    Better Today...

    Don,

    doing better today. Ups and downs. Today a little more on the up side. I'm thinking the anxiety is coming from the wait and the unknown. 

    Thank you once again for your kind words of encouragement and advice. 

    BM

  • PJ47
    PJ47 Member Posts: 376
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    Bunnymom said:

    Weariness

    that is a great way to characterize the feeling....weariness. You are right. Fatigue..weariness. Four surgeries and all the time of anxiety waiting in between for scan results is certainly a recipie for fatigue. Mental and emotional fatigue. Now facing this next step on the road to regaining my health. 

    I am very lucky. I'm going to an excellent hospital with excellent doctors. I am lucky in many ways. 

    I do have a question about the hydrogen peroxide. Did you use it straight or diluted in the spray bottle?

    thank you for the support And the tip!

    BunnyMom

    I used it straight from the spray bottle,

    But before I put it in my mouth I rinsed it off with water.  It disinfects the mouthpiece and some people even use it as mouthwash but I would think it too strong for us head and neckies.  Do you have Magic Mouthwash Yet?  That helped me a lot because I had mouth sores and the mouthpiece was so annoying.

    Yes the surgeries wear one out, but I know you will get through the next phase.  And alway count the many blessings that come your way,

    PJ

     

  • Bunnymom
    Bunnymom Member Posts: 212 Member
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    PJ47 said:

    I used it straight from the spray bottle,

    But before I put it in my mouth I rinsed it off with water.  It disinfects the mouthpiece and some people even use it as mouthwash but I would think it too strong for us head and neckies.  Do you have Magic Mouthwash Yet?  That helped me a lot because I had mouth sores and the mouthpiece was so annoying.

    Yes the surgeries wear one out, but I know you will get through the next phase.  And alway count the many blessings that come your way,

    PJ

     

    Hydrogen peroxide

    PJ

    did you buy it in a spray bottle or put it in ine of your own? I don't think I've seen it available in a spray bottle. 

    I don't have the magic mouth wash yet but I'm sure I will get it. Does it numb your mouth? Yes, I have many blessings! 

     

  • Bunnymom
    Bunnymom Member Posts: 212 Member
    Options
    CivilMatt said:

    getting started

     

    BunnyMom,

    Feeling anxious can’t be helped, to you it is all new and unknown, but very soon you will be versed in the ways of a H&N professional.

    At the beginning of my treatments my mind would occasionally race (at bedtime).  When that happened I would take a Lorazapam to calm me.  As you get use to what is happening to you, you will calm down. 

    With things being what they are, you are following a path with your best chances for success.  Soon this will be behind you and you may get on with your life.

    Don’t forget to drink lots of water and practice swallowing.  Also, a reminder to check the superthread for a list of must haves.

    Good luck,

    Matt

     

    thank you Matt. I think the

    thank you Matt. I think the anxiety is coming from the fear of the unknown. I'm reasonably versed in what to expect, but you really just don't know until you experience it. 

    Thank you

  • Bunnymom
    Bunnymom Member Posts: 212 Member
    Options

    one day at a time

    Hello BunnyMom !

    Emotional support you have here always !  Some times we need to walk this trip one day at a time.  I can only tell you from experience you can and will do it.  Come here often, and ask as many questions as you want.  For me, I guess anxiety of the unknown was overwhelming.  Have you talked with your primary about any of this ?  Meds like Matt wrote, do help us through some of the worst parts.  I'm sorry for all your going through right now, but know your never alone in it.  We will be here for you !  Hugs sent !  Katie   

    Katie. Hugs back. Yes, the

    Katie. Hugs back. Yes, the fear of the unknown. Thinking about one day at a time seems to lessen the anxiety. thank you

  • Bunnymom
    Bunnymom Member Posts: 212 Member
    Options
    Guzzle said:

    one day at a time.....

    BM, I start my final four rads and one chemo this week. It has gone by very quickly. I feel weaker and have a sore throat but I have just cycled 15 miles and had a coffee. I can still jog 3 miles. Gentle excercise has helped me. I sleep a lot i.e. Go to bed early but it has honestly not been as bad as I feared so far. Keep pain meds on hand for when you need them. Be proactive about this because it is the key to eating and drinking. Ask about side effects. Some meds may cause constipation . Others may cause slight nausea as chemo may. Get the advice and take a preventative approach. Treatment will be the centre of your day. If you have a distance to travel do something nice on the way their or back. Have company if possible. Treat yourself at the weekend when the day is your own. Be organized and listen to good clinical advice. I was advised to put aqueous cream in the fridge. I did and have no neck burns (yet). I have no ulcers and minimal phglem (?) so far. Try not to be isolated and stay in contact with friends, family, colleagues. Let other people worry about details i.e. Insurance if you can. I have arranged via my employer to convalesce for a week at a state of the art centre in Yorkshire to get my energy levels up. I don't know if this is possible for you but it may be worth looking at. In short I am just an average bloke. If I can get through this you can. The clue is in your name here. You have been through child birth! Good Luck, I will be here for you, G.

    Guzzle

    thank you for the beautiful post. Reading it helped me a lot. very good ideas and sound advice. I will be inpatient 5 days, then out 9 days, to repeat for 6 cycles. My treatment will last 12 weeks. 

    I feel that I've done as much prep as I can. I'm amazed that you cycled 15 miles and jog 3. WOW! I'd say your more than the average "bloke"!

    very inspiring. Thank you so much! You are very lucky to have the convalescence time. 

  • Goyca
    Goyca Member Posts: 220
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    5 nice things

    When you wake up in the morning or once you leave your house to start your day, please look around in your home, or on the road and try find 5 nice things.

    Those things could be anything, any human, place, plant, body organ, ability, skill, etc...

    And think of those 5 nice things for a few minutes and gratitude will fill your heart I’m sure.

    I do it all the time, its maybe simple or stupid but it helps me.

     

    Bunnymom what we are going through its not ok, and it’s not easy, nor its enjoyable... But sometimes fighting hard is what makes the ending brighter, please have faith that this will end and great days are ahead of you. when you start on june 8 please be sure that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Sending you lots og hugs and smiles:)

     

    Goyca.

  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
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    Hi Mom

    You sound normal, I think we all get feeling the same way when first starting, so don’t worry too much about that. When you first start the Rad you will feel nothing at all, the Chemo on the other hand is quite different you will feel it from the first day. But all in all just keep positive and find something to keep your focus on and you will do great.

     

    Tim Hondo