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anxiety after surgery

Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2002

Hi I made it through my second but with breast cancer on Nov. 5 with a lumpectomy and no node involvement (1 cm invasive)..after surgery that night in the hospital, developed panic/anxiety attacks despite the good news...insomnia since and being treated by counselors and GP for anxiety with zoloft and sleeping pills...any one else experience any anxiety after diagnosis or treatment...due to start radiation and tamoxifen soon but oncologist has wanted to treat this issue first...I don't know if I don't believe my diagnosis or just afraid that my body has let me down despite the good diagnosis...had anxiety before surgery but not to the level where i get the heart palpitations and hot flashes....working through this but hard and want to feel like myself again.

soullight's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2002

I too had/have anxiety with doctor appointments and treatments etc. I would brak outin hives at allmy appointments but it the anxiety has greatly diminished.

I found anxiety elevated whenever I was future focused(worrying about future survival) When I focus on the moment the anxiety diminished. Sometimes, I simply while waiting for my appointment I simply focus on breathing. It really helps I also avoid caffeine on appointment days. I am 4 years out and while I am not as cool and calm as I would like the hives are gone and the appointments are easier! Good luck! Think about just being not doing breathe, listen to music whatever calms you!

hummingbyrd's picture
Posts: 961
Joined: Sep 2002

Hi harmi, just missed u in the chat room. I know what u mean about the anxiety, I agree with soullight, focus on today (easier said than done). It helped me to remind myself that even before 'the diagnosis' today was the only day I was promised, I'm just aware of it now and use that as a blessing to make the most of each day. Yes, I have stage 4 BC, but I may get hit by a truck tomorrow. See what I mean. I must admit in all honesty I too get help from antidepressant med and xanex (antianxiety) also helps me sleep. At first I would take the xanex thruout the day, that was over 2 years ago, now I just take it at bedtime. I have to say the one thing that has helped me the most is learning to give my problems to God. "Get prayed up before you go into an anxiety provoking situation." ie: rad/MD appt/x-rays. Also memorize scripture it helps to go over something encouraging and it gets your mind off what your doing. Mine was Psalm 23/Joshua 1:9/Mark 10:23...and my final suggestion, "if you're going to get down, get down on your knees and pray, and don't get up till you feel better." Sometimes I'd fall asleep, but I felt better. Always give honor and glory to God and rebuke Satan 'in the name of the Lord!' God bless and you'll do fine. Hey, what a great diagnosis! I mean if you gotta have one you did good girl! hummb

Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2002

thank you ...you re very inspirational and I know that I can deal with this if I just give it and myself time....not very good with patience....I like what Mother Theresa said...god never gives us more than I can handle...I just with he didn't trust me so much..

iris48's picture
Posts: 92
Joined: May 2002

Hi Harmi,
I've been there too. What I chose to do was get a massage with a very skilled individual that knows body work. Ask if they have been recently trained in BodyTalk, energy work, myofascial release, cranial sacral work so you know the skill level of the therapist. Since i am one of those therapists I knew how I wanted to be worked on. It helped me release the built up tension in the soft tissues to release all those toxins and allow myself to let go. Drink water before you go and definitely after. Two or three sessions should get you back in touch with your body and feelings.
I've also had this level of massage done prior to my surgeries to have both conscious and subconscious on the same healing wave length.
I also do a gentle yoga. The AMC has a free video you can use.
Music works .. there are a lot of CD's that have soothing sounds. I like one called Fairy Rings by Mike Rowland, Perfume Steve Rhoads. Treat yourself to a musis store that lets you listen before you buy.
I have also decided to play another instrument and chose the violin because I can carry it wherever I go. My thoughts are just on the sounds, reading the music and getting lost in the moment. No room for fear, worry, doubt, unrest.
I have not needed anti-depressant drugs just what I've mentioned. When you mind and body has been through so much it tends to overload and the out-of-control feeling builds up to such a point that it plays out as anxiety attacks. Try doing some of the above and know this phase is very temporary. Lots of light, love, laughter, hugs and caring.
One of your new sisters,

Posts: 1416
Joined: Mar 2001

I have learned through my ordeal, that seemed to continue for the better part of the last 5 years, learing coping skills to live with all the changes. Coping comes in all shapes forms, finding, learning and using them is key in getting on with our lives. One must always be aware of the existing risks to our beings and learn to live with all that we are, not comparing ourselves to what we were. Menopause reaching out to us, sometimes at very young ages because of our treatments. Having to go through it twice, knowing what we are facing this all needs our attention and acceptance. I have said this before that life is has been for hard but it has all been worth it because the alternative is just one breath away. Living in the moment, being there in everything we do is all that we can do. I have learned to accept the tears that flow, sometimes without any reason, realizing that is all they are and simplifying my thoughts. I now know it is I that complicates my world, with every thought beyond the moment. Life is EVOLUTION at its finest. I have found myself and seen her like I have never before. I feel like I have reinvented her many times now, through many phases many experiences. If that is what it takes to get through then it has been worth it. Life is just HARD.
Being good to ourselves first,

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