So very anxious

Morning ladies
I had a heart (muga) scan yesterday and just fell apart. It should have been so simple to just lay there and chill out but I got incredibly anxious and heart rate kept increasing so the scan just took longer and longer, and I may have to do it again now as the results will just show my heart is under stress!!
I had an appointment straight after with the chemo nurses to talk about my treatment starting on Tuesday, and I just burst into tears. I just feel so anxious and do suffer from anxiety, although this had recently been under control, and I am worried I am now going to spiral out of control and not be able to deal with having my FEC on Tuesday.
I am sure none of you have looked forward to treatment but I wonder if anyone else has struggled this much?
Would anyone be able to suggest any tips to sort out my stupid anxiety pls???
Feel very tearful and out of control.
x

Good morning Miltonno7. I burst into tears on my chemo nurse both at the planning meeting and at my first session. You are in the worst part at the moment and once the chemo starts I promise it will be better. I really think the emotional stress we go through both before and during treatment is not realised by the medical profession.
Have a huge hug I am sure some of the others will be along soon with better advice but you are not alone in feeling this way.
Jo x

Miltonno7, will it help if I tell you I’ve been sitting at home in floods of tears this morning for no particular reason? I’m recovering from my final FEC session a week ago, and I find myself bursting into tears when other people think I ought to be happy. But it doesn’t work that way.

This is a terribly stressful time for you and you are not alone in reacting with tears. If you read some of the ‘starting chemo’ threads you will see just how natural this is. Those of us who have started or finished can only promise you that we get through it. There are things you can do to help yourself with the physical end of it, and you will find lots of hints on different threads. (The top one is have plenty to drink the day before and the day of your treatment.) You may find that if you set about assembling drinks, ginger, a tub of snacks (which helps some people) and generally organising things at home that this returns some control to you. You may come back from the first session buzzing with the anti-sickness meds and steroids or you may come back just wanting a nap.

I was really scared silly before I started but it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be.

Cheryl

Hi miltonno

I am sorry to read that you are having such a difficult time at the moment, please feel free to call our helpline for further support and also ideas of support we can offer you such as our one to one support service which you can read about here:

breastcancercare.org.uk/about-us/our-services/someone-to-talk-to/one-to-one-support/

The lines are open today 9-2 on 0808 800 6000 and will reopen as normal on Tuesday after the B/H.

Take care
Lucy

Hi Miltonno
There are no right and wrongs, things to do or not to do in this situation. You’re on a journey and the start of chemo is one of the toughest times - that’s how it felt for me too. I found that once I started, things got a little better for me. I knew what to expect, which gave me some confidence. I did my prep, so had my home comforts in the kitchen cupboard and then I found FEC not as bad as I expected. Remember we all get through it! And so will you.
If you feel you want to cry, be angry, sad, laugh, scream; just do it! It helped me a great deal to meditate (not that I got it fully), but I created some quiet time where I focused on my breathing and tried to teach myself to calm down. Hey we have to try these things to see if they help. Some great tips on these threads also.
Take care
Nikki x

Hi

Firstly you have every right to be anxious, the news and then the reality of the treatment is a nightmare but what you shouldnt do is feel anxiou about feeling anxious, its normal and we all have felt it. Secondly, once you begin it will feel better, simply because its the ‘not knowing’ that is effecting you - once you know how you react you will know how to cope; the trouble with being in The Waiting Room is that ther are too many gaps to fill and so we fill them with the worst possible events we can imagine.

I have just completed my chemo after being diagnosed in Nov. I was V. scared and prepared for the V.worst of events, imagining weeks in bed and constant sickness. Im happy to tell you that there was 1 day of sickness and 2 days in bed. My main side effect was a feeling of fogginess, not great but not the stuff of nightmares. I have had weekends away, meals outand no real excuse to avoid the ironing!

My practical advice to you is to see you GP for sleeping tablets, i see that you struggle with anxirty anyway so this may not suit but i used them up until starting the treatment and then found i didnt need to. Make sure you have a say about your treatment as much as poss - i opted for my mastectomy after chemo as i thought id cope with it better that way (still have that joy to look forward to and still not feeling great about it but least i have one bit out the way). If you feel youre having an input you feel more in control this should help you.

As for tips through chemo drinking has helped me as has not putting up with anything. At the first sign of sickness take a pill, if that doesnt work get a stronger one that day - DONT WAIT TIL THE NEXT DAY! Eat lots of fruit and take a mild laxative if you feel a bit ‘late’. Clean your teeth and use mouthwash regularly and again if you do get a mouth ulcer, tell them and they will give you better stuff.

I hope this isnt too much info to take. The main message is that its doable and goes away in the end. Keep posting on here, this lovely lot have helped me tons.

As the others said, really. For my first chemo I went very, very quiet (and those who have met me will tell you that is NOT normal for me) and I just sat there in silence with tears rolling down my face for my first chemo. The poor nurse who was administering the chemo just kept on chatting away and I just wanted her to shut up but I couldn’t speak at all.

Anxiety at this stage is not in the least bit surprising. If you’re anything like me you may have found it difficult to believe that this is all real, but when your first chemo session is just around the corner it becomes very, very real indeed.

Lots of good advice from the others, and you might also want to give the helpline a ring, they are brilliant.

Ladies - thanks to you all for your posts. I have got my head in a slightly calmer place now. I know you have all managed it, and I did read someone somewhere on here say this IS do-able, and I keep trying to reiterate that. I suppose I just got ridiculous panic stricken visions of running out of the chemo suite like a loony and not being able to go through with having treatment, which is ridiculous because I obviuosly cant afford not to have the treatment!! It’s just lack of control I think and like some of you have said if I feel organised and opt for bits of the treatment I have choice about, then maybe that will seem less worrying. I think it is just the anticipation at the moment, and it took me by surprise yesterday to get so worked up because I have been so calm up until now. I guess it has to come out somehow. It’s a massive thing for anyone, and I am just sooooo grateful we have each other on here for support. You are all so lovely to have replied and I know I can do this.
Big hugs to you all - thank you lovelies x

HI Miltanno 7,

if you are anything like me, when someone says to me “now Liz just lie there and try to relax and keep calm”

Well i immediately go to pieces and start to panic!!!

the emotions you are going through are perfectly normal, it isnt something you can control you just have to go with it, the more you try to keep in control, from my experience the worse you will be,

my motto, cry, swear, get angry, laugh, spit in its eye, in fact do anything and everything you have to,

you will get there and you will beat this, be strong and if you need to get panic stricken and run out of the chemo suite at least you will give someone a good old laugh,

its easy to say dont worry, but honestly take it in your stride its all you can do.

will be thinking of you and with the very best wishes coming your way
Liz xxxx

Hi Liz
Thanks for that - it did make me smile. I flit from thinking my heart will just give out from all the strain, to feeling fine about it all. The images in my head are laughable really, and my logical head (which I don’t always wear, but should borrow more often!) knows that it will all be fine and there is no reason for any other conclusion.
I am too organised for my own good really and I suppose I live my life very much in control. I organise our household around me, and our little girl and my other half is happy for me to do that of course, so the lack of control in this situation is frightening for me.
Having said that it will be a very good lesson for me to ease up a little, and accept some help (which I never do!!).
I just think this forum is wonderful, as it just gives so much love and support to everyone going through treatment.
Hope you are coping Liz and life is being kind
Michaela x