Heart pounding since diagnosed with cancer: What can I do?

Posted by gbnana @gbnana, Nov 3, 2021

Too often throughout the day I am feeling my heart pounding. It makes me feel shaky and very uncomfortable. It must be a kind of anxiety that is bringing me an adrenaline overload. I do try to manage it with deep breathing but that is not helping enough.
Any ideas please

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Cancer: Managing Symptoms group.

You may need some better living through chemistry if it doesn’t slow down. Here are a few things I have learned about mindfulness to get me through the worst times.
When I take that deep breath, I blow it out forcefully and imagine all that stress leaving with the breath, now on to the next thing.
I also allow myself to overthink and worry for 30 minutes in the morning or at night when I am alone, I can do all of the what if’s if I want. But when my time is up the timer goes off and intentionally have something else I have to do. I find that knitting or cooking is good knitting where 8 have to count, or cooking a new thing where I have to follow a recipe.
I also believe in looking for the things I am grateful for in this minute and this hour. This reminds me that I am still here and have much to be grateful for outside of this thing.
Amit Sood has a mindfulness exercise I get every day in my email that is wonderful, I am going to go find that link for you.

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@johnbishop posted this once on our gratitude page and I just love how much it helps me to rebalance myself each morning. You have to join for it to come to your inbox everyday, but it is free and very helpful.
Can you tell me more about your diagnosis? How long ago were you diagnosed?
https://www.resilientoption.com/year-of-healing

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@gbnana, many cancer patients have to learn new skills to help manage stress. You're not alone. The good news there is help and there are tools to help you.

Mayo Clinic's Cancer Education Center just uploaded a new self-learning course to help people (patients and caregivers) living with cancer to manage stress. You can work through the modules at your own pace to help you better understand how the body may respond to stressful situations, including cancer. You'll get various tools and techniques to meet physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, as you learn to manage stress.

Go directly to the free online course
– Stress Management for Cancer https://mccmscontent.mayo.edu/LSC/stress-management-for-cancer/content/index.html#/

You might also like to take part in this online Zoom class about Tai Chi https://connect.mayoclinic.org/event/tai-chi/

See more offerings posted on the Cancer Education's blog here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/blog/cancer-education-center/

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I'm sorry, @gbana, for your cancer diagnosis. No one wants to hear these words. My thoughts are to give yourself a little patience and grace in learning how to cope, realizing these words have turned your world upside down. Learning to breathe through those moments will begin to help. I am a woman of prayer, and know full well my frailty before me in a cancer diagnosis. Twice. Living through the diagnosis and treatment, and into survivorship is a great journey. It can be long and arduous. You are still the same person as before the diagnosis. . . . but you'll need to adjust to the new normal. And you will. Thought precedes emotion. . . so getting your mind set aright will cause your body's emotional responses to follow. Talking to and with others can help you sift through the thoughts you're having, helping you to find more productive thinking in the midst of the fear and uncertainty. But most of all, I think I would offer you prayer and meditation. I have always been a believer in Jesus, and put my hope in God. Talking and listening to Him has been my greatest coping-and-hoping medicine. :). You will learn to live through this, gbana, just give yourself the time to adjust. I am thinking of the many cards I received during my cancer treatment. . . and one that helped me a great deal was from a person who had written, "You WILL get your life back." There was such hope in those words! I taped that card (as well as many others) up on my bathroom mirror, so I would see them every. single. day. It is a marathon, not a sprint, they say. And daily, you need to set your mind aright. My prayers for you to be able to do this soon.

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@rhongirl

I'm sorry, @gbana, for your cancer diagnosis. No one wants to hear these words. My thoughts are to give yourself a little patience and grace in learning how to cope, realizing these words have turned your world upside down. Learning to breathe through those moments will begin to help. I am a woman of prayer, and know full well my frailty before me in a cancer diagnosis. Twice. Living through the diagnosis and treatment, and into survivorship is a great journey. It can be long and arduous. You are still the same person as before the diagnosis. . . . but you'll need to adjust to the new normal. And you will. Thought precedes emotion. . . so getting your mind set aright will cause your body's emotional responses to follow. Talking to and with others can help you sift through the thoughts you're having, helping you to find more productive thinking in the midst of the fear and uncertainty. But most of all, I think I would offer you prayer and meditation. I have always been a believer in Jesus, and put my hope in God. Talking and listening to Him has been my greatest coping-and-hoping medicine. :). You will learn to live through this, gbana, just give yourself the time to adjust. I am thinking of the many cards I received during my cancer treatment. . . and one that helped me a great deal was from a person who had written, "You WILL get your life back." There was such hope in those words! I taped that card (as well as many others) up on my bathroom mirror, so I would see them every. single. day. It is a marathon, not a sprint, they say. And daily, you need to set your mind aright. My prayers for you to be able to do this soon.

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Thankyou. Your reply was very meaningful to me!

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@gbnana

Thankyou. Your reply was very meaningful to me!

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You're welcome, @gbnana. Someone sent me an amaryllis bulb to plant during the winter, and I was really quieted by watching the beauty of the stems and flower unfold before my eyes. It was months of wonder, all wrapped up in such a magnificent display. Watching it grow really passed some of those harder chemo months for me. It sounds too simplistic, but I found it inspiring to just take in that new life.

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Thank you. I enjoyed your pics and hugs. It reminded me of an amyrilla my son gave me years ago that I remembered the joy of watching it change each day. Hugs back to you

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I know how you feel like you’ve been hit by a ton of bricks. All these thoughts start to come into your head and you don’t know where to turn or what to do. Take a deep breath find your spiritual side and rely on it rely on your inner strength I find classical music meditation visualization helped me get through the initial diagnosis you also need the support of your family and friends who you will feel just don’t understand also talking to other people on the site I’ve gone through the same experience

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@gbnana How are you doing this weekend? I have been thinking about you and hoping that squeezing panic has let you out of it’s grasp. Have you talked to family and friends about this yet?

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@auntieoakley

@gbnana How are you doing this weekend? I have been thinking about you and hoping that squeezing panic has let you out of it’s grasp. Have you talked to family and friends about this yet?

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Thanks for asking Chris. I have been talking this through with family and friends. Still trying to breathe through this heart pounding thing though

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@gbnana

Thanks for asking Chris. I have been talking this through with family and friends. Still trying to breathe through this heart pounding thing though

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Breathing is good. I hope you continue to talk with people, I found that it kind of took away some of the power it had over me. There will always be some fear of the unknown, but if I can help with that in any way, please don’t hesitate to call on me.

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@gbnana You are brave to let us know about how you are dealing with your health journey. You have heard some great suggestions here, also. Many of us get a diagnosis and are stunned to wordlessness, right? We seem stuck in quicksand, and the world continues on its merry way all around us, while we are in a bubble of "what now? what if? what to do?".

For me, taking those deep breaths, doing something that brings a smile to your face, a joy to your heart even if for only a while, cooking an amazing meal to share with friends or neighbors, all help. Also, something I do is write it all out. Get it out of your mind, releasing some of the power it holds in your mind. Carry on a question-and-answer dialogue with the diagnosis, dominant hand asking, changing to non-dominant hand for answer. You might be surprised what is shown to you. And you never need to go back and reread if you do not want to. I hope you are feeling better this weekend, knowing we all are rooting for you!
Ginger

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