How do you cope with those panic moments?

Since being diagnosed l have gone through so many different emotions, never realised l had so many! And while l am a lot better, having now had my mx and just started chemo. I still get those feelings of panic, well to be honest shear panic!

I would love to be able to handle them better, l really don’t want to go down the road of taking tablets, because at the moment l feel as though if l could just get myself a ‘little’ more together then l could cope, for the time being anyway, who knows!

I don’t go to bed until about midnight, because l know l am only going to get 7 hours sleep, which is a lot better than it was. And when l go to bed l plan what l am doing the next day, and before l have sorted it out, it is morning, so that works.

But it is the day time, when l am alone, (husband works long hours) you can’t spend all your time with friends and family, or on the phone, or shopping!
I can be pottering around and all of a sudden this panic comes over me. I usually have a little cry and try and get in control, but l am really getting to the point l don’t want to keep crying. But what is the alternative? If there is one?
Hoping someone has an answer! or do l just live with it?
Sandra xxx

Hi Sandra,

I think you just need to take 1 day at a time and let your emotions do want they want to.

I was diagnosed in Sep, and I have just finished 6 months of chemo and 23 sessions of radio therapy, and my emotions were all over the place. I have had the panic, the tears, the why me, the how lucky am I so why am I getting upset, but also the :I’m half way through, yeah I managed to read a book and remember what happened!!, it’s over, it’s all done, woo-hoo party, celebrate.

With all the treatment your body just doesn’t know what to do. I found that I was better when I tried to keep busy. I went for small bike rides, or played games on Facebook, bejewelled Blitz past so much of the day but needs so much concentration it does take your mind off things.

There is no right or wrong way to feel, but remember you’ve just started your chemo and this may have a big impact on your feelings.

It also helps to talk about things and get things out in the open, which is where this site helps so much.

I hopes this helps a bit.

Take care of you, and I’m here if you need to chat, moan or just have ago at someone. I have broad shoulders, which are now broader after the chemo and weight gain, …Lol :slight_smile:

Jo xoxoxo

Hi Sandra

You seem like a lovely lady who always has something positive to say to help others - I think if you need to cry then you should because better to let it out. We all have good and bad days. I lost my Mum just over a year ago, four months after her passing I got DX - boy have I cried!
You still have a long way to go and I personally don’t think there is an alternative to crying, no point carrying that pain, better just to let it out.

Love and best wishes to you


Hi Sandra.

It is still quite early days, and I think that emotions are all over the place until treatment is completed. It sounds like you are coping very well, but I agree that it can be so frustrating not being where you want to be in all this. Takaing things one day at a time sounds a sensible suggestion (easier said than done, of course!). Also using the forum as a sounding board and knowing there is always someone to chat with has helped me.

Take care of yourself,
Eliza xx

Hi Aqua,
Pleased to see you are still around. I do hope you are well.

What can I say that I’ve not said before. One day at a time, take the tablets, you will not need them for ever, keep busy, but not too busy as I did and had a wobble for a week probably from exhaustion. May be you need something to look forward to, like a holiday or a new kitchen (lol) With your command of words, you could write a book. You have a wonderful way of putting things. I’m glad you sleep 7 hours. I need 8 (I’m a bit of a sloth) but can only manage between 4 and 6 hours. Panic is normal and will continue forever (although less and less as the years pass) I know 'cos since 2003 my 6 monthly check ups were hell, but less and less so. Panic, has it come back? Panic has it spread? One year I had to take a week off work, it was so bad. So how do you cope ? Good question. !! Sorry I cannot help better than this.
Keep some hugs in your pocket

Hi Sandra

I think going through chemo is such a rollercoaster of emotions, trying to come to terms with everything and having a treatment that is not the easiest. I can’t believe where all my tears have came from at times and there have been moments i have been terrified and don’t know who to turn to. I do think the drugs amplify an already overwhelming experience.

I have tried acupuncture and cognitive behavioural therapy and found that they both helped me a lot, physically and emotionally. I didn’t start using them until i hit rock bottom, chemo 3, but wish i had earlier.

Tears are a good thing though we are entitled to cry and feel how we feel and eventually regain a sense of balance.

Lots of love to you Sandra

Jayne xxx

hello Sandra,

I have read so many of your posts and like Aqua says, you are always there for others - and sometimes we all need support ourselves. I agree with Maria that I don’t think the panic goes away, but I try to develop strategies for dealing with it … not always successfully but more so than I used to be. My main one is to be busy - I work part time asd i know that when I set foot in there, i will not panic or even think about IT as i have so much else to think about. I gave up full time 3 years ago, and I feel better for it, but like you, the panic and worry is worse when i’m not doing much. I don’t think you work, but I do think that distraction is the best way of reducing the bad times - it may be escapism but it does help me. Even a good and gripping book can do it sometimes. I guess what distraction we use is personal to us… what works for me won’t necessarily work for you, for me it’s work, going on holiday (or just out for the day), reading and going for walks.

I don’t know if this helps a bit, I hope so.

love Mo x

Sandra - it is still very very early days for you. In my experience I have found that not fighting my emotions is a good way to go. I allow myself to feel anxious/upset in the knowledge that it will pass and once I have had a good cry or rant I will feel a bit better. Bottling this stuff up or trying to supress it or distract myself really doesn’t work for me.
It’s a tired old cliche, but time is a great healer. As the days go by it gets easier. I am now 2 yrs since dx and when my surgeon told me I now didn’t need to see her for a whole year I could have danced out of the hospital. I know it is meangingless really in regards to whether the cancer will come back or not. But those milestones mean a huge amount.
Take care.

Hi Sandra

Just before I left hospital the breast form fitter came to see me and she said to me “when you get home pamper yourself and if you feel like having a cry let the tears flow”. That was excellent advice. I have found having a good old whinge helps release the tension and makes me feel better. I have a good howl then wash my face and get on with what I was doing.

I always prefer to have a cry on my own because if I cry in front of my husband or son it freaks them out and then I feel guilty. They would be horrified if they knew how many times I have sobbed when I am on my own but it is better than holding it all in.

Tears are great so keep having a good cry when you want one.

Maude xx

Hi Sandra,
I was diagnosed over 2yrs ago now and i well remember the fear i had.
I have 3 children and the yougest was only just 4yrs oid.I feared i wouldnt see them grow up.
People have said to me how well i coped with diagnosis, treatment, and afterwards,and i have,but i never would have if it hadnt been for this site and others like it.
It was reading other peoples stories, some much worse than mine that gave me the strength and courage to face my own illness.If they could do it then so could i,what i got was hope and you will to.
I always feared my life would never be the same again,that i would always fear the cancer returning,but i dont,and i know the reason i dont is because of people on this site who despite their problems,live life to the best of their ability,they are my inspiration to live as full a life as possible.
You are raw at the moment but in time you will come to a more peaceful place,just take one day at a time until you feel stronger.
Take care

Hi Maria

Oh yes, I’m still around! Good luck with your next chemo, I hope it isn’t as harsh as the last one was.

love and best wishes


Hi Ladies,
Firstly l would like to apologise for my wobble yesterday, not sure what that was about! sometimes my thoughts take over my mind a bit too much! So many ladies on here going through so much more than l am, today reading through what l had written l felt quite ashamed!

Jo, Thank you for your words and your broad shoulders! l will remember them for next time! Yes more games. busy, busy. busy xxx

Aqua, l only had a wobble to see if you would come out of hiding! really pleased you are well. Thank you xxx

Eliza, Yes my emotions are certainly all over the place! Frustrating is just the word, l have always been the one to cope in the family and with friends, and then it has all gone, l feel as though l can no longer cope, and l find that really hard. I had a hospital appointment on Monday, and a friend phoned at short notice to see if l would go to a meeting with her, l said l had a hospital appointment, she said “you are the only one l would want to take, you have always been there for me” l felt as if l had let her down. she understood l had an appointment, and her meeting was a last minute meeting, but l felt bad for her. xxx (love your photo)

Maria, my friend, how many times do you have to tell me? l know, but sometimes it gets hard! feel guilty for my self pity when l read what you have been through! and many others! still got some hugs in my pocket xxx

Jayne, oh l know that feeling, when you don’t know where to turn to! that is what l mean about my panic, gets to such an extreme sometimes! really want to try and stay away from drugs at the moment, l have never liked taking tablets at the best of times!
Pleased the acupuncture and cognitive behavioural therapy have been helpful to you, l have a massage booked for friday week, so will see if that helps me, although l do feel better today, just one of those days yesterday, that we all know about. Yes l do cry and l think it helps. Keep Well Jayne always read your posts, to see how you are xxx

Mo, Sometimes it is easier to be there for others! blocks your own pain out, or at least l try to! I dont go out to work, but my husband has a shop, and l do the accounts, l have a Mum l see and shop for everyday, and to be honest by the end of the day, l have never done what l had intended, never enough hours in the day, but still my mind wanders! l have two dogs, so walk every day! so l do keep fairly busy. Thank you for your words xxx

msmolly, yes early days, l do try not to bottle it up, and i agree, time is a great healer, l am more relaxed than when l was first diagnosed, when l would wake from sleep in a panic, now l wake and can relax a lot more, so yes it is easier. The milestones are something to be treasured, well done on your 2 year dx, wonderful news xxx

Maude,I do so agree with the good cry, although l cry in front of my husband, just cant help it, and l know he would sooner l did that than cry by myself. Both my sons have left home now, and l find the eldest l ‘try’ and hide my tears from, because l know he finds it harder, although he tells me if l need a cuddle and a cry he is there. my youngest is like his Dad, would sooner l cried all over him, than by myself. So l feel lucky to have three men to blub over!
My two daughter-in-laws and my mum get upset, so l put on a brave face for them, not always easy, but l try xxx

Tracey, Just cannot imagine what it must be like to have been diagnosed with young children, and l feel so ashamed to be such a wimp, when you all have little ones.
Yes l have always said, l don’t know how l would have coped without this website, it has been a life saver at times. And yes l feel very raw at times, so pleased you are two years down the line, have a wonderful life with your 3 little ones, or not so little now! xxx

Many thanks for all your words of wisdom and support ladies
Sandra xxx

Hi Sandra, I didn’t know you had a wobble yesterday. I think emotions are everywhere when on chemotherapy.
When I was first diagnosed (before mets) I cried and cried, usually in bed at night when the kids ewere asleep. But I have never been afraid to have a good cry in front of my friends, husband and daughters. My parents however took it really hard, I have no brothers or sisters. I was just 39 and my girls were 7 and 14. Mum went to pieces and she looked worse than me.
Now I don’t know the last time I cried. I think I am just so glad to still be here and when I feel well I feel grateful that I can do the things I like. I do like going into the garden at night and watering the plants, enjoying the peace, taking in the smells and the sounds, looking at the sky, and I just enjoy being there by myself. I find that it calms me.
Also when on chemo I found it really hard to concentrate. I couldn’t do the cryptic crosswords I usually enjoyed. Following a long film, or trying to read a complicated book I just couldn’t manage. But I found magazines easier or a lighter novel that didn’t need a lot of concentration. I know you like the word games on this site to so I see you are keeping the old grey matter working.
But I do think it does you good to have a cry and get out those emotions. I just don’t feel the need to do it anymore as I have found an inner peace that I never knew I had. Life isn’t perfect, I do get bored with the same old things but as you know I am off on holiday at the weekend and I have been busy sorting out my clothes today and loading up the caravan. I wish I could offer more support Sandra. But I think you offer great support to the ladies on this site. I love reading your posts and your sense of humour. I think it is good that you recognised you were having a wobbily and put it down in words. Sometimes just puting it down in words helps in itself. Have a weep if you need one. It never did us any harm. Love Val

Hi Val, Thank you for your kind words, l feel such a wimp at times for keep breaking down, when like yourself have so much more to cope with, l feel humbled by your words of encouragement.
Not quite into books at the moment, brain doesn’t concentrate too much, but the word games, which l have only just found! bit slow! give me other things to think about!
You must be very relaxed to have found inner peace? or is it acceptance? whatever it is l hope it stays with you.
Hope the weather keeps nice for you, oh that task of sorting clothes out! what to take? will it rain? will it be too hot? easier in a caravan though? Enjoy!
Thank you for your support Val, it is appreciated and has been on other occasions
Love and Hugs to You
Sandra xxx
PS and l keep meaning to ask, is the foxglove from your garden? looks stunning! xxx

Yes Sandra, I grew that particular foxglove last year in my tiny garden. It was a beauty and was nearly as tall as me. I ttok the photograph along with others to remind myself what I had planted where, if you see what I mean! The mock-orange shrubs smell delicious ( but smell more like bananas to me). I was pulling up rhubarb earlier but too knackered to cook it tonight.
I am covered for ALL eventualites clothes wise. I have wellies, sandals, fleeces, shorts, trousers and a couple of fancy things to wear if we go out. I have packed FAR TOO MUCH but I always do. I never learn. But there is room…hey ho.
I don’t know where this inner peace came from. I certainly didn’t go looking for it. But my Dad is a bit like that, he is 85, and still makes his own jam, cooks his own meals, walks his dog, and visitis my Mum EVERY day. He is getting much more frail and it is sad to see both of them getting this way. He came to stay for a while about a year ago when he had a stroke but is happy to be back in his own house.
I think when my husband and I were both working we were like ships in the night. He worked nights ( Charge nurse) and I worked shifts too. I think now that we have both retired early ( after I got mets diagnosed) we are doing NOW what we thought we would do when we retired at the normal time. This pace suits me better now. But I know I could not go back to work now. Unlike you, I need LOTS of sleep, around 10 hours, sometimes more. I used to get up early but by mid afternoon I was knackered and had to go back to bed, then found getting off to sleep difficult. So now I have a leisurely morning and get up late. Now I can usually last the day, but some days I still have to have a sleep. My husband is fantastic and I wouldn’t be so well if it wasn’t for him. He has been so supportive and keeps me right when I am overdoing it. The only thing I do notice is that I do not cope with large numbers anymore. Anyway enough rambling. Keep in touch. Love Val

Val, you should be in bed, you will never get up this morning! you will be shattered before your holiday!
Love the Mock Orange, l have a single and a double, beautiful!
I have an active 90 year old Mum who still cooks, washes, irons clean, shops for England, (but only with me! she needs that bit of moral support!)
Like you l have a very good husband, still works too much, but one day, we may get to do things together.
Take care, and enjoy your holiday, like you l am always well prepared for all weathers and outings!
Sandra xxx

I am not in bed yet…but not going until weekend…so plenty time to catch up with sleep etc…You not in bed yet?

No, but thinking l really should be going, so l will say Good Night
and Hugs to you
Sandra xxx

goodnight. Hope you sleep well. Hugs to you too. Love Val

Sandra, I so hope today is a brighter day for you. There is so much understanding here, it’s an amazing community, women are so strong and even when feeling our lowest we put on a brave face for our loved ones. Life is precious. All I can hope is that all that can be done in terms of treatment is being done for all of us. Big Hugx