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Does anyone get physically ill from stress?


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Hi. I was wondering---does anyone else make themselves physically ill, like headaches, fatigue and nausea, from stress and thinking about cancer?

I hate it, I wish there was some way to control it. I had to skip the Relay meeting tonight b/c I was feeling soooooo sick I had to come home. It like comes and goes in phases.

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Oh, Andrea. I know exactly how you feel. Yes, I was and still am physically sick from thinking about cancer. The only thing I can tell you is, don't waste the time with your Mother feeling sick. I regret that the last years with my father, I was run down and sick and depressed and irritable from worrying about the cancer. I know it's hard, but please don't waste your precious energy on it. I look back now and realize that is all it was, wasting of precious energy and time. It didn't change anything in the end. I wish you better days.

Karen

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I was physically ill ALL the time in the beginning of my dads diagnosis. Vomiting, loss of appetite, headaches, dizzy and tired constantly from the worry and sadness and utter feeling of helplessness against such a big disease- you know? I thought if I fought hard enough beside him, was a big enough activist, did as much as I could, visited him every free second I had and loved him so very much, that he would not die. I put that on me-and that was a heavy (and impossible) burden I carried.

Now, when things seem to be on a downward on the message board, friends taking a turn or feeling low or have bad news, I get the absolute worse headache that just throbs for hours and no matter what I take it doesn't go away. I'll get pain inbetween my shoulder blades or a piercing pain in my neck that makes it hard to move from side to side. It's all stress related, I am sure. And I can even recognize my depression at its onset. It comes and goes with good news or bad news. It comes and goes when I miss my dad- and it comes often in the middle of the night when I am still awake thinking about and praying for those that I love here.

I don't know if there is ever anything you can do to "prevent" it, but you can try to make time for yourself away from all the stresses a few times a day to rejuvenate or recharge.

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Thanks :) It is nice to know I am not alone.

All weekend I was sleepy. Today in Court I suddenly felt overwhelmed about cancer. During lunch it was hot and I got really really nauseous and headachy. I drove home and threw up a few times (too bad you can't get rid of stored fat that way) and felt really bad. My mom was excited, she asked if I was pregnant :) I said NO. I wish, but Brian is not ready for that yet ;)

I laid down on the couch and suddenly almost felt like my breathing was odd. I managed to get up and take a xanax. Brian then came home, made me frozen pizza and suddenly I am 90% better.

Wierd:)

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YES!!!YES!!!YES!!!!!!!! Stress CAN make you physically sick. Since my Dad's diagnosis, I have had really bad headaches.........in the back of my head. (coming from my neck and shoulders being so tense) I have been sick with something it seems since he was diagnosed in January. (Right now I have strep throat) :evil: It seems that my immunity is WAY down and my doctor says it is STRESS.......plain and simple. I have caught every bug that is going around. Now, the fact that I have been sick stresses me because Dad is doing chemo. If his counts drop, he is more likely to get what I have. (He lives with me) If his counts are too low, it would be really hard for him to get over things. It is a vicious cycle. I stress, I get sick, I stress over being sick and giving it to Dad, then I get sick again........see what I mean?? Now, I could tell you not to worry and stress, but it wouldn't do any good would it.........my neurotic friend. :lol: (That is coming from another neurotic also) It's tough, I know. Hope you feel better soon!

Angie

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Yes. Physically ill from stress....and then more stress adds on....and just when I think it couldn't get any worse, well, I'm proven wrong! :roll: (So I've stopped thinking like that - not borrowing trouble.)

Andrea, try yoga. I've heard that it helps to relieve pent-up emotions (read: "stress") and in my limited experience with yoga, it is relaxing... Give it a try with an open mind and comfy clothes....can't hurt!

Becky

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OK

stress is something I know about. I will share what I fealt when mom was sick and now that dad and spouse are sick.

when mom was dx. FEAR gripped me inside like a vise grip. I could not think past the fact that 'MY MOM HAS CANCER AND COULD DIE" how was i going to live without my mom. NOT MY MOM, take me but not mom. I put everything I had into getting her new cutting edge treatment. researched till all hours of the night for something to make the cancer go away. for the first 3 months mom did great on chemo then in month 4 it turned around and nothing went our way. she failed a little more every day.

my realtionship withevery one else in my life was strained to the point of heated arguments daily with hubby about him not understanding how deeply i loved my mom and she was my best friend and when she dies i would die. with dad it was, you don't love her as much as i do so you can't know how much more this is painful for me.

with my sister it was, i do more for her than you do and your never around so i must love her more and there fore i hurt more than you do over loosing her.

BUT what it really was is that i had lived away, overseas for 11 years with spouse on a military base and only saw mom 1-2 times a year. I fealt guilty about not being there with her, doing things with her, spending time with her. i realized it was me who cheated myself out of time with her.

i could not face the fact that mom was dying and I could not save her. All the love i had for her and I could not save her. it was just wrong. somehow somewhere mean people were living and my beautiful mom ws dying of cancer. i hated everything. i wa sconsumed with anger which made me depressed and just awful to be around.

the day mom died, (god i know this sounds sick) the fear was gone, the scared feelings were over. there was no more worrying, it was a sick relief that the unknown and fear of cancer was gone.

now all i had to do was miss her. just that one thing.

then dad got sick, here we go all over again i thought. i try to remember what i fealt like the day mom died so i prepare myself for dads death too. I know i survived somehow, i woke up the next day still breathing, people were still doing things and i was still doing things.

yes i fear dads death, to the dept of my soul i fear it. and that causes me so many symptoms. headache, nausea, anxiety attacks, depression, dred feelings, crying jags, all of it.

my point, .... make these moments count, live the seconds one by one, because even though your mom has LC and may pass in the future someday, there is still living to do today. I dont' know how to tell you not to worry cause I cant do it either, but mixed in with the worry, LIVE. make them balance somehow so you dont' let these moments, this summer, today pass by.

sorry for the book.

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Andrea,

I was so-o-o-o lightheaded and tired at the beginning of my husband's diagnosis, I could hardly make it through each day and accomplish anything. My doctor ran blood tests and nothing was wrong. So, he prescribed a mild anti-anxiety med. It makes an enormous difference expecially with my ability to focus. Please make sure it's not just stress and do have tests run.

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Heck, yes!

It blew my immune system to shreds, so that not only did I manage to catch Strep Throat from my kids--but my then even more compromised immune system succummed to bacterial pneumonia.

Yippee!!!

And the stress from not being able to be with/tend to family members, do housework, go to the grocery store, and missing work on top of everything else, well... Shall we say that it is just a spiral?

You are FAR from being alone, Andrea.

Melinda

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Andrea,

Sounds like we have an overwhelming agreement here... Stress makes us sick -- especially the stress of someone we love having cancer.

The day David was diagnosed was the day everything shifted... From that point on, I woke up every morning with this new hideous visitor, lung cancer. Sometimes I feel guilty -- Why him, why not me? I'm older. I don't have a child. Etc., etc. This is my LITTLE BROTHER... He's not supposed to have anything wrong with him!!! How dare cancer come into our family, and especially to HIM? Especially NOW? Etc., etc.

It's like a constant weight around my shoulders. (Like I need any more weight?! :roll: ) Sometimes I physically feel it there in my shoulders, sometimes in my neck, my back (major pain, not just a little) -- or my stomach, my breathing, etc. And then I think -- You wimp -- YOU don't have cancer! What must HE be feeling, and of course this just makes me feel worse, still... and wimpier, still... etc.

Since David completed treatment last fall, my stress (and therefore the illnesses) have decreased, but as you all know, it doesn't go away. So every morning I wake up and "it's still there" -- even though he's cancer-free. (Of course this week it's, "When will we get those results from the scans? They WILL be clear, won't they?")

Then, of course, I have stress about other things (job, etc.), and that just adds to it all -- And I feel like, "What right do I have to stress about things so insignificant, in comparison?" But, of course, I do. I wake up with headaches or an upset stomach. I come home from work with asthma. (I used to get horrid, vicodin-requiring sore throats, but some major medical intervention has taken care of that, to an extent.) I've been in physical therapy for the muscle/back aches, but I know that letting the stress go is the main thing I should do. But how?! I'm taking care of some of the stressors, but how do you make lung cancer just "go away" (or better yet, how do you make it never have shown up, to begin with)? Anybody come up with a magic wand, yet?

I also highly recommend yoga... So why don't I go to yoga class? It's SO good for me... and in a twisted way, maybe that's why I don't go? Ugh. Somebody wanna go with me? I know a good place in Pasadena :?

BeckyCW

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for Becky -- and Andrea --

The hardest part of all of this for me was learning to live (or try to)

the Serenity Prayer:

Lord, Grant me the Courage to change the things I can,

the Serenity to accept that which I cannot change, and

the Wisdom to know the difference.

That small prayer keeps me teetering on the edge of not hysterical

about Life with a capital L.

It also in a way, absolves me of guilt for NOT stressing about things I

can't change.

Go figure.

XOXOX

MaryAnn

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Coming from the "Other Side" of things:

My Mom always used to tell me that it does NO GOOD to worry about things YOU CAN'T fix. All it does is take away time from things you DO need to care about. I have tried to live by that as much as possible by giving those things over to God cause he CAN fix anything!

I do worry about my family but I also know that they will survive without me and while it will hurt them when I am gone they have wonderful memories to get them through till we meet again.

The love you all have for your family members is evident in the posts you have all done. They KNOW you love them and would do whatever you could to take this dam* beast away if you could. What you need to do is spend as much QUALITY time with them or talking to them as you can. I have to say I HATE it when my son (27) comes over and acts like I am going tomorrow! I would rather sit and talk to him or watch him fix something or even just watch a tv program with him. When I have to spend time making him (or anyone else) feel better about ME having cancer it takes away that little bit of extra energy I have to fight it with. Now that may not be the case with your loved ones, this is just MY opinion, but I would rather have people in a good frame of mind around me than a down in the dumps one. I know we all need a place to vent and I think this board is a great place to do that as long as it stays HERE and doesn't go to the one's you love.

Like I said, just the opinion of a hard headed woman who is fighting this beast with everything God gave her!!

God Bless you all,

MO

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Yes, I've almost passed out and thought I was going to get sick in the hallway of the hospital, gaining weight like nobody's business ...

But to add a lighter side to stress. I was gargling and worrying about my hubby and swallowed the Listerine instead of spitting it out. Bottle said call poison control. Called poison control, they said don't worry, mostly alcohol. Then I sat around waiting to see if I was going to be drunk. Nope.

Recently I stopped at a red-light, looked both ways, then went on through as if it were a stop sign. Realized that, looked both ways again to make sure no police cars were in sight.

And I can't find my onions anywhere and I know I have at least 2 ...

But we are all of a lot tougher than we know, look at what all our ancestors went through. We can and are doing it, come what may.

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Dear Andrea,

The answer to your question is a resounding, YES! When my mom was diagnosed I remember thinking, "how can I lose my mom, why her". Then the anxiety of helplessness, the unknown, the pain of watching a loved one suffer, getting good news one day and then bad news a week later, the endless tests and dr. appts. Cancer has a way of not only affecting the patient, but the loved ones as well.

My mom too always said, don't let worry run your life. She never did with cancer and I thought...if she doesn't how can I. I took comfort in doing all I could do for my mom and enjoying each day with her. I didn't wallow in self pity for her or for me. And I can tell you that to this day I don't have ANY regrets of how we spent our last year together. We made the most of each day, even though cancer was a huge shadow in our lives.

Now that my mom is gone, I feel it is my time to grieve for her and allow myself some of that self pity. She would never want me to let it run my life...but unfortunately there are days it does.

Like Shelly put it so well, the anxieties of cancer are gone, but now for me I am dealing with the huge void in my life. The physical sickness can get the best of me sometimes. But remember to take time for yourself. I find journaling or finding a quiet place to collect my thoughts really helps.

Hugs to you.

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Andrea,

Stress can be very hard to control. Since my latest developments (possible new tumor after 4 years) I can't seem to concentrate at work. Fortunately I am married to the boss. I notice my husband is more quiet than usual and even our dog Mollie is throwing up. It just seems to reach out and touch everybody around me.

I have heard that Yoga is good. Becky where is the place in Pasadena? I need to do something positive.

Andrea, try some relaxation tapes (deep breathing, imaging) maybe that might help.

Take care,

Nancy

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yes I am so stressed from all this and wondering what is next that I had a thyriod doctors appointment yesterday and my blood pressure was 155/97 and because I had a family doctors appointmet today he told me to mention it and when they took it today it was 160/102 so he put me on a blood pressure med and I am already on wellbutrine. He said my pressure is up because of all the stress of going through this cancer stuff with my husband. he said he know what i am going through because he is going through the same thing but double , his sister has breast cancer and his mother has breast and ovarian cancer, so he under stands. Then theres all these medical bill even though we have insurence they dont pay for it all so theres that to worry about because we are on a fixed income since he retired in August. Stress just keeps mounting up.

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Totally agree with everyone about stress making one sick. I also suffer with panic attacks which stress brings on, so have ended up in hospital on more than one occasion.........often as a result of stress. I think the really important thing to exemplify here is that STRESS IS VERY DAMAGING. Stress increases the amount of cortisol circulating in you and therefore lowers your immune system, causing you to be much, much more susceptible to a wide variety of disease states. It is so important to get stress under control otherwise you could do yourself serious damage. I believe this is why meditation is so crucial to many people curing themselves of cancer. There is fantastic books out there by an Australian psychiatrist called Ainslea Meares and he delves right into the topic of meditation and stress and relaxation. These teachings were what Ian Gawler believes helped cure himself of his cancer. I would urge anyone sufferring with stress to seriously look at how to get it under control. in fact, all of use would benefit from this. I, too, find it very difficult to do this whilst dealing with my Mum's diagnosis, but I am trying.

Hope this helps.

Jana

xxxxx

PS: I also found subliminal tapes to be useful.

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Im with you. I feel sick everytime I start thinking of everything going on. I just remember that no matter how sick i am of dealing with all of this, talking about all of this, and living and breathing all this, it is minimal in comparison to what my Dad is feeling. I feel like sometimes I worry more about his health than he does! But Im thankfull to do it. The fact that you get sick worrying about everything is evident in all you care about. Everything else aside, be good to yourself, your a needed advocate. Take a break if you need it., I know I need it sometimes.

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Stress definitely can make you ill, because it lowers your immune system. I also do yoga--I have video tapes, which I bought at Target, so I can do the yoga at my own pace, with privacy. Also, I see that you live in So. Calif.--we're blessed by good weather, and I've found that a walk, doesn't matter how far or how fast, is very soothing & calming & life-affirming. Best wishes to you & yours. :)

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