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Horrible Anxiety!

danbren2's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: May 2013

Anyone else out here having anxiety problems.  I just can't seem to get a grip.  I was first diagnosed in 2011 and had right kidney removed.  Had my second occurence in March or 2013 and had my right lower lung removed.  Scan in June showed no active cancer and my next scan is October 11.  I have been having horrible anxiety attacks, been to the hospital a couple of times because of chest pain and was released.  I am scheduled for a stress test tomorrow, my GP wants to make sure everything is ok.  I have been reading some of the posts and see that RCC goes to the lungs, heart, and or brain.  That just kicked my anxiety up another notch or two.  Anyway, my GP wants to put me on Anti-depressants that help block anxiety, I was just wondering if anyone else out there was having these kinds of issues?

Limelife50's picture
Posts: 460
Joined: Nov 2011

Maybe you need some medication to help calm you down.I had my right kidney removed in 2011 only to have a recurrance in my left kidney 6 months later.October 11 is almost 1 month and a half away which by the way is about the same time of same month for my next scan,i usually dont stress until about a week before my scan.Just a thought you know cancer does not worry lose sleep or care about how you feel so try not to let it bring you down to the point where it is affecting your health.

Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2013

So sorry to hear this...I am a newbie to this whole ordeal but I am eternally thankful to my doc for introducing anti-anxiety meds along with the diagnosis. His thought is the more you can rest and not stress the better you are able to fight this. Body and Mind connection stuff. I have never taken Zanax  before but it has really been a lifesaver for those times when my mind wants to start spinning and playing "what if" at 11 pm. I hope the medication can help relieve some of your worries. 


Posts: 108
Joined: Apr 2013

I'm sorry you are having anxiety attacks. I too have anxiety issues which are completely random. I could be going about my day just fine and I'll look at something or read something that sets me off. It's terrible. My ONC gave me a prescription for a nice anti-depressant that I take each night. I also have Lorazepam that I take as needed for suddens bursts of anxiety. This is simply too much for a person to handle without a little help. There's no shame in it either. This is by far the worst period of my life. Then again there are some positives. I know that I am human and that my time very well could be limited. I don't take for granted the small things. The bedtime kisses from my two sons really mean a lot to me. Talk to your doc and get some help so you too can enjoy the little things and not spend all your time freaking out.

Take care,


Djinnie's picture
Posts: 947
Joined: Apr 2013

The last thing any of us need is to be constantly in a state of severe stress. I know from past experience that panic attacks can take on a life of their own.I hope the antidepressants ease your anxiety, they do take a little while to take effect though. Maybe your doctor could also prescribe some Xanax to give some help in the interim.

I often think of you, I know you have had to go through so much. The Xanax should help you a lot, it will also help you to sleep at night, and allow your body to get some much needed rest.

All the best


Djinnie x




Galrim's picture
Posts: 305
Joined: Apr 2013

We are all so very different when it comes to our mental wiring and this disease has affected us, so I can only re-tell my own story and hope it may be of some use.

I had severe bouts of fear and anxiety in the first 6 months after surgery, pretty much due to the same reasons as you. Fear of the future. Fear of possible recurrence of the disease. All of that. At one point i worked up so much stress, that it gave me chest pains strong enough to actually get hospitalized and checked out for heart problems (kinda frames the level of anxiety huh?).

What helped me to get rid of it was in the end quite simple. My local cancer patient org has free psychological counselling. I contacted them and went to roughly 6 or 7 sessions with a psychologist who has a very extensive experience with cancer patients/terminally ill patients. She gave me a range of tools to use to counter the fear and get rid of it. 

Drugs isnt a permanent solution in my eyes (though I never tried them) to this. I would go for some counselling to learn how to handle the fear/anxiety.

Just my five cents on the subject.


foxhd's picture
Posts: 3040
Joined: Oct 2011

It is surely worse in the beginning months after diagnosis and nephrectomy. None of us wants to die, and that thought is so scarey. But you'll get scanned, recieve some treatments, and soon months and years go by. Fear may remain but it diminishes. It really becomes "just the way it is." Many here have had metastatic diagnosis' yet live healthy productive lives. Some of us have learned that any negative thoughts and worries are time spent which will never be recovered. (Time is a little more valuable to cancer patients). So, not every one here needs drugs to cope. But they can be very effective. There can be few other indications that Docs will be in favor of medication to help control fear. Ask for it. It will help until your defense mechanisms kick in. Then go buy a Harley.

Miashelle1's picture
Posts: 41
Joined: Aug 2013

Tell me about it....trying to control mine has been a nightmare ... But I'm trying hard xxx

Miashelle1's picture
Posts: 41
Joined: Aug 2013

I seem to feel very angry and want to kill everyone and I have been a nightmare to live with :/ still trying hard tho... :) x

cran1's picture
Posts: 139
Joined: Mar 2013

Same here, when I get scared i get pissy. Working on that.


todd121's picture
Posts: 1258
Joined: Dec 2012

I was/have been having it off and on since my right nephrectomy last December. For me, the Xanax helped when I first took it, but when it would wear off I had a rebound of anxiety that seemed to be worse than the original. Also, I was concerned because you can build up a resistance to Xanax. I limited taking it to bedtime. Later I got Ativan, and that seems to help me better and I don't feel I get the rebound effect or the drowsiness in the morning that I got from Xanax. Both drugs I think should really be taken sparingly. I have another friend who has very serious anxiety problem and he's gotten out-of-control taking his and is always running out and asking for some of mine!

I've heard some of the anti-depressants are also good for anxiety, like lexapro, for example. I tried several, but didn't like any of the anti-depressants. Each had a side effect that I found intolerable. But I've heard some people say that once you find the right one, it can be very helpful.

Exercise and meditation help me. I listen to the MAARS meditation CD when I go to sleep at night if I'm having any problems calming down. That really helps me.


BDS's picture
Posts: 172
Joined: Aug 2012

When I was first diagnosed (05/28/2012) with stage 4 renal cell carcinoma the anxiety was absolutely horrible. Let’s face it, not even people who believe in heaven want to die. For me the worse of it would hit at 3:00 Am in the morning. Many times I would just wrap myself in a blanket and curl into a ball and lose it. I was put on Xanax just to get though the night. But for me I found exercise was the best thing for it. Now I have to admit, I am a bit of a gym rat. So maybe I am a little biased, but in time I found that it really helped calm me down. I still have anxiety attacks especially after a day like yesterday when I had to schedule my next scans for Oct 7th and 8th . It’s no fun having your life measured every four months! But though exercise I deal with anxiety a lot better than before and I have not taken a Xanax in months.  Life is Good - BDS   

elpasorudy's picture
Posts: 84
Joined: Jan 2013

Anxiety is normal when life-changing events, such as cancer, come calling. The idea is to not let it get the best of you. Medications are helpful.  i have been claustrophobic most of my life so occasionally I will need an anti-anxiety pill to get me through an MRI. I am scheduled to have a partial nephrectomy 10/16 so sometimes I start projecting to all the worst case scenarious about what could go wrong during the surgery and that brings feelings of anxiety. But the feelings are short lived. I find meditation, music and visualization to be helpful. I say the Serenity Prayer: "God,  grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time." There are meditation tapes and CDs. Yoga instructors teach medidation. Sending you positive wishes (this is an Apache prayer): "May the sun bring you new energy by day.  May the moon  softly restore you by night.  May the rain  wash away your worries.  May the breeze blow new strength into your being.  May you walk  gently through the world and know  its beauty all the days of your life."

Posts: 25
Joined: Sep 2013

My anxiety has been up and down. I read this online today and I decided that I really need to practice this! 


"Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and focus on what could GO RIGHT!" 


I know it's easier said than done, though. :)

danbren2's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: May 2013

Thank you all so much for your adivce.  I have spoken to my Doctor and I have gone on meds to help stop the anxiety.  This is not really what I wanted, but, I surely didn't want cancer either, so I am doing what is gonna help me get through.  I am feeling and doing so much better, and I can actually say what will be, will be!  I am happy to be here today, and I don't have to think about tomorrow.  I can think about my Scan that is going to take place on Oct. 11 now without going into a panic attack!

Oh, and by the way Foxhd, my husband liked your idea for me to get over anxiety by going out to by a Harley!  I told him, nice try, but not gonna work!

Love, health, and prayers to everyone, and thank you so much for being here for me, it means so much to me!

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