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Joined: Mar 2011

What do most people take for anxiety when they've been diagnosed with cancer? I can't seem to shut off my brain and my thoughts. I don't know if this is normal but it's the most bothersome of all my symptoms and I want to know what others do to manage it.
Thank you

Posts: 633
Joined: Jul 2010

I went on Effexor ER after I was diagnosed. I also took Xanex when I started having panic attacks. It very well be that you don't only have anxiety, but depression as well. I'd talk with your doctor and maybe try something. Effexor is good for both. It was also prescribed by my oncologist because it's been shown to help lessen hot flashes brought on by hormonal therapy for bc.

Anyway, you also may want to look into a support group. They are really helpful. And...make sure you exercise! You don't have to become a gym rate. Just a brisk walk for 15 minutes really helps with the nerves!


dixiegirl's picture
Posts: 1043
Joined: Apr 2006

Sally, when I read your post I looked at the name 3 times to make sure I hadn't responded. I too take Effexor XR and Zanax as needed. I started the Effexor at the time specifically for the danged hot flashes :)

Now, I take it for both flashing and anxiety. I am getting ready to start chemo again. This round is the 4th time in 5 years. I did chemo first time, watch and wait for a few months, then radiation. The 3rd time I did Rituxan (a monoclonal antibody)and now it's back again...need chemo again. My onc is starting talk about stem cell transplant, so I know about anxiety, fear, anger. You name it, it's going through my mind at light speed.

I had a lymph node and bone marrow biopsies this last wednesday. I get the results on tuesday and the closer the day comes, the less I sleep and more I eat. I have a drain tube under my armpit and I hurt, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It's ok to rant and rave. I just keep coming back and deep breathing, walking, doing everything I can to get through a moment.

Take care,


Posts: 633
Joined: Jul 2010

So sorry you have to be going through so much! What kind of cancer do you have? I know a little about it as I'm an almost 10 year survivor of BC. But I can can't relate to having to endure all the treatments you have! You are a strong woman! Keep fighting and keep your positive attitude. And if you need a little meds to help, nothin' wrong with that!! :)


Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2011

xanax, seems to help. may make you a bit tired, but what the h- doesnt at this point right?! I am on the lowest dose, and it works.

Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

My hubby had cancer and passed away suddenly after only 2 months. I was put on Sertraline (Zoloft) and Lorazapam for anxiety. I'm sure your doctor could put you on something if you let him or her know how you're feeling. Good luck! Sorry you have to deal with this horrible disease. Take care! Let us know how you're doing! Carole

Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2011

Prayer is a great thing. Pray. Get some physical exercise, walking is great. Move. Do something for someone else, get your focus on something other than the cancer. The medication that have been suggested are all very helpful, but, pair them with prayer, and physical exercise. If you do not believe in prayer, meditate...

Listen to great music....live today let tomorrow take care of itself....

It is easier said than done, but, it gets easier with practice.

Prayers and blessing for you.

Posts: 374
Joined: Jan 2011

I do not like the way Xanax made me feel so I chose to go with lots of hard exercise, meditation, massage, reflexology and prayer. After treatment, having been thrown into early menopause, I now take Lexapro (antidepressant with a little sumthin-sumthin for anxiety) . . .which I love!! Wish I had started it as soon as I was diagnosed!

Posts: 20
Joined: May 2011

if you pray dont worry and if you worry dont pray, you can take all the pills you want,but reality is still the same. instead of trying to block out the anxiety, why not find out what is causing it and change your thinking? i had major fear when diagnosed. fear of death( which i found out it wasnt death, but the timing) and fear of everything beyond today. i am powerless over anything that isnt happening today and if i let my thinker go crazy, everything in my life will be unmanageable. so, i turn to the God of my understanding, change my thinking to positive, and get busy enjoying life.

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