Anxiety : Hello, Anyone dealing with... - Prostate Cancer C...

Prostate Cancer Caregivers

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Cleodwoman profile image
23 Replies


Anyone dealing with anxiety? A new diagnosis, going through treatment and the uncertainty of it all can bring anxiety on the caregivers. I remember experiencing an anxiety attack for two weeks. I had never felt anything like that before. I could’ve pulled my hair out. My doctor put me on medicine and that helped tremendously.

Besides medicine, any tips on how to deal with anxiety?

23 Replies
Darryl profile image

Hi. You certainly are not alone regarding anxiety. I have tried most of the commonly recommended things like yoga, exercise etc. Everyone finds different things helpful, and different things can be helpful at different times. For me, I wake up early and walk around my kitchen island for 1 hour. 30 minutes clockwise and then 30 minutes counterclockwise. Sometimes I talk to myself and sometimes I just focus on the steps. This clears my head and gets me through most of the day. I will also do long walks before public talks or critical meetings. Best advice for you is to try different things and find whatever it is that works for you. And ignore advice. Your gut will guide you best. I hope that is helpful

Bethpage profile image

For 34 years, I managed anxiety with (over) exercise, walking 8 miles/day or riding a bike for 2+ hours/day until I was exhausted. An accident took that outlet away from me in 2017, so I'm looking for another way to manage. A counselor has suggested mindfulness. I've been trying, but so far have not come close to "getting it". I'll keep trying. My husband has both PCa and aggressive CLL (result of radiation associated with PCa) along with squamous that must be removed 3 or 4X/year.

spw1 profile image
spw1 in reply to Bethpage

Hi Bethpage, I feel your pain. When there is a reason for anxiety, it is natural to feel it and you do not need to resist it. Cultivating mindfulness is difficult at a time when our anxiety is acute. It is possible but a little difficult. Otherwise it is like starting to dig a well after we are thirsty. In one of Deepak Chopra's books, he advises a young anxious girl to sit in a room and watch her anxiety. Similarly, there is a lovely monk who had anxiety and his speech made at the London School of Economics is worth a watch on You Tube - I like his way of dealing with it too. If you have not already seen this video, maybe worth a try. Good luck and I am so glad that you keep trying the mindfulness. Hope you find a way forward that works for you. 🙏

Bethpage profile image
Bethpage in reply to spw1

Thank you for the vid. I will definitely watch it. Anxiety is part of my inborn personality. I could no more resist it than I could resist drinking water, eating, or sleeping. I have had to find ways to manage it all of my 68 years. I've mostly been successful, but the addition of CLL to the PCa just about did me in for a while. I will continue to pursue mindfulness.

spw1 profile image
spw1 in reply to Bethpage

Good luck and take care. I will pray for you. 🙏

spw1 profile image

Hi My husband (dx 2020 July) was doing v well on Enzaluamide and Zoladex with decreased PSA from55.4 in July 2021 to 0.92 in Nov 2021. The next test was 17 Jan and PSA was 2.3. Having had a chat with MO who described him as castrate resistant, he immediately took stock of options (realistically chemo as the NHS does not re-try Enzalutamide or Zytiga). The other options are like LU177 in India (assuming it might be relevant) and Ra223. Immunotherapy is not offered on the NHS and is v expensive. Having had 5-6 months out of every type of therapy tried the anxiety and stress as well as depression of his possible prospects is not limited to him alone as we all find it hard to keep a sense of proportion. It is the prospect of imminent decline at some point that is frightening and so is the thought of putting him through chemo sooner than we had expected. The thought of not being able to complete some projects and dreams quite apart from the overwhelming nature of leaving family behind without his help and love - all of this is sad for him. I understand it and I let him feel the grief of it. Weep and hug together. Love is a good medicine. We do walk outdoors a lot. That helps. After 2-3 days of feeling low, we both took up meditation again. That helps too. Dealing with uncertainty is not easy and we do it all the time in small ways in our lives but PCa does send a rollercoaster through life. I showed my husband the video Irun shared on this site. Coincidentally, Kevin, the guy who runs, was in a nearby city this weekend. My husband went to speak to him and found it very helpful to talk to a guy who has stage 4 PCa, and has managed to find a way to deal with it. Kevin is down to earth and inspiring at the same time. I think that there are different modes to deal with anxiety and some help at a time and some at other points in time. I, as a carer, think of us in a boat in the sea of life and accept that storms will come our way; some we might be able to avoid by changing our course and some may have to be lived through by battening down the hatches. Either way, it helps me to think of the futility of worrying as the winds and waves are not in our control - only our thoughts are. Faith helps. Focusing on breathing while I think of some higher power is a good thing and my husband is practising this too. Ironically, his wellbeing and fitness is good at this time and I am grateful for that.

Cleodwoman profile image
CleodwomanModerator in reply to spw1

I was there too, when “we ran out of cards to play.” So many emotions at once. You described everything so eloquently. Your metaphor is perfect, at times all we can do is control our thoughts. I’ll try to remember this. Thank you for sharing some words of comfort. Please keep us posted.

rollout profile image

Hello. May I ask what medication your doctor prescribed for you?

Cleodwoman profile image
CleodwomanModerator in reply to rollout

When I had the anxiety attack, I was prescribed Hydroxyzine on top of Escitalopram. Once I was over that episode, I stopped taking it. I have been on Escitalopram for two years now. I take it every night and it has helped me a lot. It is also a mood stabilizer. It is an SSRI. Everyone reacts differently with SSRIs but it has been my experience that the majority of people do pretty well on Escitalopram.

Collarpurple profile image

I have notice my anxiety is starting to creep back up like when we got that dreaded news.My thoughts start up and I have to get up

around 3am and walk and walk around kitchen island and breathe. I will keep what medicine

You take down for I know when it gets bad, I will need it. I Lost both my parents six days apart in December 10 years ago .That deep dark hole that you go to when someone dies it’s very hard to crawl out of. I can’t imagine what it would be like When my husband is gone. I have been married 47 years that’s almost all my life

spw1 profile image
spw1 in reply to Collarpurple

Losing parents in succession like that sounds like a nightmare. Waking up at 3 am is a classic anxiety time - if one wakes up around that time with any worry, it is impossible to go to sleep. Alternate nostril breathing can give something for the mind to focus on.

It's typically on again off again anxiety. The closer we get to a oncology visit the more anxiety my husband has which spills on to me. I get out each morning and attend an exercise class and try to get out with friends at least once a week. It's heartwarming to have friends that are either going through the same problem or have been widowed at a young age that are able to speak freely. My husband and I flew to Vegas last week and renewed our vows at the Graceland Chapel. The experience was hilarious and it reminded us that we need more laughter in our lives!!!

Be well!!!


GrizzlyMama profile image

Thank you for your post. This is a difficult journey we are on and any insight into our lives is very helpful and encouraging to know we are not unique in what we are experiencing.This is my experience: Throughout most of my life, I have not been a fan of taking meds. However, when circumstances beyond my control made life extremely difficult and natural remedies were ineffective, I temporarily took anti-anxiety or anti-depressant meds. These meds allowed me to function without crying.

I currently take Sertraline (Zoloft) daily. I also take Alprazolam (Xanax) on days when I’m feeling very emotional—usually when we have his monthly oncologist appointment. Again, both of these “situational anxiety” meds allow me to get through the day with out crying.

FYI—It’s okay to try different meds and dosages until you figure out which one works best for you.

Cleodwoman profile image
CleodwomanModerator in reply to GrizzlyMama

I have heard good things about Xanax too. Thank you. One day at a time.

dadzone43 profile image

safe bet we all are. One of the strengths of this group is as a place to park some of that anxiety.

Scoofer33 profile image

Dear Cleodwoman, My heart continues to go out to you during this time of loss. You are an amazing woman with great resources to draw from. I pray that you will find your way through this and come out the other side with love in your heart for cleodman, as well as others around you. You are loved and thought of often.

Yadifan profile image

Thank you Cleodwoman and all here that have replied. My anxiety level is so high before tests and waiting on results. I had trouble catching my breath after we saw the last labs results. We both tend to calm down a little the next day and start working on our next step. But as we get closer to running out of treatment options I know everything will get harder. It's helpful to know what helps others. I'm not afraid to try meds but haven't sought that out yet. It's helpful to know what works for everyone.

Cleodwoman profile image
CleodwomanModerator in reply to Yadifan

The anticipation/unknown kept me up many nights or would wake me up in a panic.

A few months ago, I found the tapping technique, this technique helps me now. I do it the second I start to feel a bit anxious.

Yadifan profile image

This was interesting. I did try it and it was oddly relaxing. Thank you for this.

Cleodwoman profile image
CleodwomanModerator in reply to Yadifan


I don’t say what he suggests…I just tap all over and focus on that…it helps.

longleaf profile image

Thank you for posting this. I am not naturally a one day at a time person so if I can identify things I can do to make the situation better or work on putting things in place that may help things go smoother when the shit hits the fan that helps me. I also think about what I can do to not have regret. Examples are pushing my husband to go to a cancer center of excellence and making arrangements , figuring out how to make the chemo a less horrible experience (getting his brother to come and distract him while it was going on, researching things to make it more bearable), having back up people lined up to care for children in an emergency, looking into financial situation and getting things in order . It doesn’t end the anxiety and I have been on Zoloft as well but focusing on what I can do helps me. Listing what I need/am able to do and working on it helps shift me into a better place. It also helps me greatly when people acknowledge this is an anxiety provoking situation as you have done here.

Cleodwoman profile image
CleodwomanModerator in reply to longleaf

Wow! You described how I was!

I didn’t want to have a single regret. But like you said, it does lead to anxiety. All I can say is that, we are all here for each other.

Avanat profile image

I deal with anxiety too. This year I've had a reset of sorts and feel much better. There are three things I am doing different than last year. I am exercising regularly, I started one on one therapy and I stopped participating in an online cancer support group. The support group was just too draining as it was for caregivers of spouses of Stage IV cancer. It wasn't just prostate cancer but any type. It became too hard emotionally as so many spouses died and just going through so much sadness all the time was bringing me down too. Two things that also help, which I have done since a few months after my husband's Stage IV prostate diagnosis, is weekly guided meditation offered through the cancer center my husband goes to and a weekly Zoom call for spouses/partners of men with prostate cancer. It's much more helpful being in a group with other women going through the same things. The other cancer support group I was in was just posting on the site what we were each going through. Being able to see each other makes so much difference. There are 8 of us in the group and we have all become friends. No one else can appreciate what it is like to have a husband go through treatment for advanced prostate cancer. It's definitely a couples disease as it affects us too.

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