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Mom freaked out today


Tree

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Mom sort of freaked out today. She was to meet with her radiologist to get marked at 8:00 am. She was up at 4:45 and was in the shower by 5:00am. She left the house at 6:15 and got to the hospital at 7:00, of cource the place she had to go was not open so she sat in her car and freaked out. She had a major panic attack couldn't breath heart racing like a train. Not good plus she was alone also not good. She came very close to just leaving the state and going to New Hampshire. She finally call my father who was worried sick about her. He called her doctor, while she came home. The doctor said that it is normal to feel like that. Pluse my mom is on xanex, a drug to calms nerves, they are like her best friend the only thing is that you become depressed after a while because you want the calmness that the drug gives you nad you don't get it. Also she has not been sleeping, it's been about a month since she had had a full nights sleep she usually only get a total of 4 hours of sleep a night. The doctor said that is also another reason why she freaked out today. She has another meeting with her radiologist on Thursday my dad is going with her this time just to be safe. She wants to start the treatments now but freaks out when she even gets close to the idea. Is this common? How does one clam themselves down and not freak out.

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Dear Tree,

I dont know the answers but I do know one thing and that is no one should go to their treatments alone. Everyone needs the support of someone that loves them and cares. My Brother went to several treatments alone until I found out about it and then I went to his treatments with him. His radiation treatments only took a few mins but I am sure he was glad I was there with him.

I know that makes things hard as people have jobs etc but someone needs to be with her. Especially because she is so afraid.

Where do you live? I am in New Hampshire. Maybe I could help you.

Goid Bless You All,

Jane

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I agree - the beginning stages of treatment can be scary. My husband came with me to all the "prep" sessions and the first few radiation sessions. At that point I got a little more comfortable and went myself each day. We all get a crash course in cancer language and treatment and until the unknown becomes more comfortable, the more support the better!!!!

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Yep, I'm the caregiver - my husband's the patient, and I don't let him go to "key" things like the set up session, the first chemo, the first radiation, or ANY appts. where the doctor is present, alone. No one should, whether they are suspectible to panic attacks or not (he is most definitely not, he is the most "in control" cancer patient ever, most likely).

Talk to your Dad about this. If he has hassles leaving work he should apply for FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) so he can take off from work when he needs to, to be with your Mom.

I have an Aunt who has lost two adult children (my dear cousins, my age) one to breast cancer and one to suicide, and she gets panic attacks just like that every now and then. It's good to not be alone at anything that could be a possible stess or anxiety cause.

Hang in there,

Karen C.

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Probably just me, but Earl has never gone to any doctor appointment or treatment or procedure without me. I scheduled his chest radiation for 6:15 so we could get there and home before I had to leave for work.

Granted, not everyone can do this, but if possible, I didn't want him to be alone.

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Tree,

My dad had a panic attack while waiting to go in to see the dr. right before going in for surgery. I know he said it was a very scary thing, and I feel so sad that your mom is going through this. Reassure her that this too shall pass, and she will be okay. I know it dosent sound like much, but being there for your mom is the best thing that you can do.

Jamie

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Dear Tree,

Sorry to hear about your mom's troubles. Panic attacks can be very frightening! One or two here or there brought on by stress can be normal, but totally frightening. If they continue, or she has generalized anxiety all the time it may be time to get on a med that has a more constant presence in her blood stream to keep the panic and anxiety away. Keep on top of that. Anxiety's ugly cousin is depression. The two can often visit together, and that she doesn't need. Make her docs aware of the attack and keep a watch out. Hopefully it was an isolated instance brought on by the extreme stress. Once she gets mapped and finds some familiarity she'll do better! All the best to you and your mom.

Nancy

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Boy, do I feel for your mom.

I went to an awful lot of things myself, and it was difficult. I am not prone to anxiety attacks per se either, but depression accompanied by a low level anxiety -- chronic.

This is a time when its fine to ask for chemical support as well as physical human support. This part of cancer is very scary, and being diagnosed as having cancer is very isolating. See if you can get her to visit us here now and then, where she'll feel less alone.

Hope she feels better....

XOXOXOXOX

Prayers always,

MaryAnn

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Tree,

I had my first ever panic attack two days after diagnosis. I have Xanax and Ambien to take "as needed"...

Here's some insider trading, so to speak, for you...

*If your mother gets the anxiety under control, it will NEVER be totally controlled. I STILL get knocked upside the brain every now and then with a tornado of bad thoughts and doubts. It's a lot like a child with the monster under the bed....the threat isn't there EVERY night, but when it IS there, it's larger than life.

*There IS better living through chemistry, but I STRONGLY recommend counselling, especially with someone who is qualified to counsel on cancer issues.

*Breathing exercises and/or yoga would be a good thing. Sometimes, concentrating on breathing in and out helps to focus on the really important things - those being breathing in and out.

*Water therapy....either a warm bath with scented/softened water, soft music, candle light or a warm shower to cry in.

*Crying. Yep, that's right...the emotions are enough to choke a person. Crying lets off some of that extreme pressure so that ya don't break down in line at the supermarket (kinda like that controlled burn the wildfire firefighters employ).

*Having a "team" approach. Don't let her go to her appointments alone, especially these first ones. My husband has gone with me for every treatment, every appointment...

*Many here swear by the power of prayer and giving troubles over to a higher power. Getting in touch with feelings about the hereafter helps.

*Having a "game plan" helps, too. Visualization is easier when you can see the playing field.

I hope Mom is doing better. Please let her know that she is not alone. I can talk to her if you'd like, PM me and I'll send my phone number.

Take care,

Becky

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Tree

My Mom is in that area and I am in San Diego CA I tried to go as much as I could. Look for a non-profit agency called the "Road To Recovery". They will take her so she won't be alone, I also asked her friends to go, she wouldn't ask them, but when they called to ask me how to help and I flat out told them, we need someone to be a friend on these dates, people were great in volunteering they wanted to be there but didn't want to interfere my Mom needed them as much as they needed her. It helped her friends understand what she was going through and Mom felt comfortable to converse openly with them. I would check with her first but I know My Mom and her needs, feelings.... My Mom used Road to Recovery a couple of times. I got the number from the social worker at Wentworth Douglas Hospital in Dover NH. Hope this helps.

Bless you and Mom,

Laurie

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Tree

All of the advice you have received sounds great. I would like to add meditation to the list. Try to find books by a psychiatrist called Ainslea Meares. One of them is called Relief Without Drugs. I have sufferred for many years with panic attacks (pretty much subsided now) and it took me a while and many visit to emergency and appointments with cardiologists to get things under control. And of course the breathing into a brown paper bag during the course of a panic attack should never be overlooked either. A simple and effective immediate treatment.

I wish you and your Mum well

with best wishes

Jana

xx

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