Good luck for the 11th from me too.
I have a friend who is a Hypnotherapist. She's helped a number of people with their anxiety, some of those also with associated IBS.
Have you ever tried it or thought about it. It can usually take around six sessions, but sometimes less, and generally feel the benefits after the second. I don't know whereabouts you are in the country, but you need to make sure they are well qualified.
My treatment finished in June 2019. I now have a 6-monthly top up of biphosphonate which reduces the chance of recurrence in the bone marrow. Chemo but not quite...
Another thing that completely vanished with chemo was my IBS. Chemo was horrid and has had some long-lasting effects but I have to say there have been some gains, besides the obvious.
My diagnosis kept changing because I didn’t have a lump and people made assumptions. I just had 2 tiny blister-like freckles and, as my mum had had breast cancer twice (20 years apart), I knew not to ignore them, Plus I’d had a clear mammogram. So my GP wasn’t worried when she found a lump between my ribs (scar tissue from surgery in the ‘80s?), nor was my (private) consultant. Neither had seen anything like it and both said it was nothing to worry about (1). I even had an ultrasound that showed nothing. Then the biopsy showed the freckles were skin infiltrations of breast cancer so I’d need a lumpectomy (2) and another ultrasound by a much more thorough radiologist showed two tumours and infected lymph nodes so I’n need a mastectomy and axillary clearance and probably chemo (3). After surgery, it was found 19 of the 21 nodes were infected so I guess that’s 4 diagnoses - by that time I was sunk into a mire of anxious misery about how I would cope. I was described as “unusual.” So please don’t worry this will happen to you - you have had a thorough explorations already, from what you describe.
How did I cope? I switched off, handed myself over to my team, asked no questions, did as I was told and felt s*** for months. But no IBS, no panic attacks - just a load of loving friends and acquaintances who rallied round with lifts to appointments, moral support etc. Extra medication to make sure I wasn’t sick, that kind of thing. You'll be surprised (though I admit it will be harder given the constraints imposed by the pandemic) - even people I barely knew in my book group offered to take me to appointments! I saw a completely different world from my rather limited agoraphobic experience.
I’d strongly advise you to ring the nurses at the number above (they reopen after New Year) and ask how you get round your difficulties. It isn’t a simple trip for you. You may have to rely on taxis 😞 Alternatively, you could contact Macmillan. You really need some kind of advocate if your bc nurse was unsympathetic but it might be worth giving her a ring first and see if talking one to one about practical difficulties brings a different result. Sometimes their minds have moved onto the next thing when you’re with them and she may not have fully grasped how debilitating your MH is. My oncologist arranged for me to visit the chemo suite at a quiet time to help ease my fears and I knew I was in safe hands when the bc nurse said to her ‘shadow’ nurse that this (me) was an anxiety disorder, not simple fear about the treatment.
Imodium may be enough to reduce the fear of your IBS but you would have to check with the hospital that it’s ok to take it before a general anaesthetic. I certainly took diazepam the morning of my surgery (I couldn’t have got there otherwise) and the anaesthetist took it into account. I guess the trick (?) is to remove the emotion, stick to the facts so you can state your problems and expect them to find solutions.
I wish you all the best.
thankyou for your lovely reply, im
sorry about your anxiety and cancer, can I ask how the diagnoses changed 3 times and how your doing now ?
my breast care nurse wasn’t great I explained about my brother she didn’t reply I then told her how bad my anxiety was all she said was there’s toilets in the hospital you will be allowed to use them - I explained the issue of needing to go especially when waiting and walking to theatre she changed the subject. I have had no help from my GP thus 25 years of anxiety lead IBS last time a doctor gave me a leaflet. I’ve had private counselling CBT hypnotherapy 2 lots NHS counselling many times I’ve not been able to leave the house as it’s been so bad caused by domestic violence in childhood that was a bad case for 11 years. I contacted my GP she says she can’t give me anything as general anestic I even have anxiety waiting at a doctors and bus stops as no toilet or can’t go as what ever reason.
we also don’t have a car for appointments and I live on the Isle of Wight and some treatments are ferry trip and travel in mainland for most people this is awful but as you know with anxiety it’s debilitating.
I will look at what you suggest Thankyou and I’m sorry you need chemo xx
First a big virtual hug. You sound like you need it. I’m so sorry for your loss. When I got my cancer diagnosis (it changed 3 times, after a “nothing to be worried about”), I took in very little and asked few questions. I didn’t want to know. I was way too concerned about my phobia (vomiting), my agoraphobia which makes travel difficult and my panic attacks. I think this is one of the reasons I was virtually fearless during my treatments - I thought only in terms of my anxiety. I was terrified of a panic attack but not of cancer. Weird?
It’s now over two years since the whole thing started and, although I was prescribed a sedative by the oncologist to help me manage the chemo (they were afraid I’d do a runner and bent over backwards to accommodate my needs), I haven’t had a full-on panic attack in 2 years. I’m still waiting. It’s an odd feeling not feeling the fear I was so used to.
Anxiety is a strange thing. As your focus changes, what you are accustomed to also changes. There’s only so much the mind and body can take. Do make sure you tell your breast care nurse about how anxiety affects you, like the travel. Do everything you can to manage your anxiety so your life is bearable (I tuned into YouTube videos, sometimes several times a day, just for respite - Progressive Hypnosis’s Manifest Healing is superb) and if you can’t manage it, tell your GP. You need to be able to deal with whatever treatment is recommended and you may need a mild sedative to help you initially. Don’t be fobbed off by “any woman in your position would feel anxious” - you’re not any woman. You’re a woman asking for help.
The fact is, a cancer diagnosis is terrifying but so is severe anxiety. You’ll know better what lies ahead after they’ve done the surgery. If there is any concern about the lymph nodes, they will test more at that time. They certainly wouldn’t leave things to chance and, if a consultant overrides a radiologist, you can be sure your consultant is certain. They do know their stuff. So learn to trust your team, USE your breast care nurse and get your GP to help you with your anxiety if you can’t do it yourself. Your breast cancer has been identified early. It’s treatable, the recovery rates get higher by the year (and are already high). Yes, surgery is uncomfortable afterwards but it’s worth it. After surgery, the cancer is gone.
I wish you all the best on the 11th. I’ll be in the chemo suite having a top-up xx
HI I have DCIS level 2 and a lumpectomy booked 11/1
it was found at my first age routine mammogram - I also had a biopsy on one swollen lymph node I had a trainee her first lymph biopsy, consultant said lymph node was clear but the trainee tried 5 times and it was horrendous to get a sample and I’m worried she missed the one needing a biopsy. She also said she saw another area on my breast that was a worry but when she called in the consultant he said it was fibrous tissue.
I suffer anxiety anyway I don’t even travel as it gave me IBS so now I am so worried that my tests weren’t down right and it’s extensive.
I was told 2 weeks before my results my brother was found dead he’s only 2 years older than me and he is still with the coroner.
ive has a sore mouth painful shoulder and my anxiety is effecting my life I just can’t focus on anything.
Dreading the walk to surgery and the wire placed before being it’s 8.30am my IBS will be worse.
of I need radiotherapy that’s a 6 hour round journey daily 😞
sorry I just feel exhausted