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Hitting A Wall

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For some reason yesterday I started having panic attacks. I was staying at a hotel and suddenly I woke up with the feeling of complete restlessness. It almost feels like restless leg syndrome, but over my entire body. I ended up taking some relaxers and FINALLY passed out. I awoke the next day to the housekeeper banging at the door. I was dying of hunger and thirst and because of the hotel I was in there was nothing they could even offer me except for vodka on the rocks.

So with all my might, I pulled myself together and headed out to scavenge for food. I still couldn’t shake the feeling that I was having and I just felt that something was wrong. I finally called CTCA and asked what they thought I should do and they wanted me to come in. I guess they were concerned about all of the various pills I had taken and none had worked.

Shortly after I was back in the in-patient wing. It had been so long. The first comment I received was, “Melissa! Is that you? We hadn’t seen you in so long. It looks like you have gained some weight!” Great! Apparently, that’s supposed to be a compliment.

They gave me a small amount of Ativan which seemed to help a little and then organized a room down the hall in the “hotel.” I awoke in the middle of the night with the same panicky feeling and headed back to the in-patient unit. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but at some point I did fall asleep for a short time. I was exhausted arguing with the doctor and trying to get him to help me get something to just temporarily relax me through IV.

The next day continued with more of the same. This time I was able to see Dr. Mulad. It did make me feel a little better to see him, but I think more than anything else I just felt completely and utterly alone. I just felt like nobody understood and they were trying to get me to see a psychiatrist that could prescribe some sort of long-term pills.

I kept telling everyone that this was NOT what I needed! This panic attach is a temporary thing and will be gone shortly. I felt like we were going around in circles and nothing was moving forward or going to help me!

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Melissa - As I was reading your post I had the strangest feeling because what you're saying is exactly what I have been thinking, and feeling, and experiencing on many occasions. No, I'm NOT saying I know exactly how you feel because no one can. But boy can I relate to feeling all alone in dealing with cancer, having anxiety that makes no sense, and being utterly exhausted sometimes from doing things that I used to not even have to think about doing and more or less did automatically.

Of course you're upset! And you're going to have many other upsetting days! The truth is no one ever prepared us for what it's REALLY like to have cancer. And so much of dealing with cancer is just very hard to put into words so even when you do talk about it, at times, it still feels like you haven't really gotten out what you want to say and no one will ever understand.

I find that one of the hardest parts of all of this is losing what used to be "normal" and not knowing what the new "normal" should be. I hope that makes sense to you because I think that may be part of what you're dealing with too. Sometimes dealing with all this abnormal stuff just builds up anxieties and becomes so frustrating that you just have to let it out - I wouldn't worry about anything you said while frustrated because most caregivers understand where the comments come from and that getting them out is helpful.

Melissa, I'm so glad you're comfortable sharing what you're going through with us. There will be people in the future who are going to learn so much from what you're sharing - the good days and the bad ones too. All of it is valuable. We're looking forward to your next post, no matter what kind of day you've had and no matter what you need to tell us. We're here for you. Take care, Pat

January 5, 2010 - 5:29pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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