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tone4862 09-05-2014 02:26 AM

What is wrong with me?
My husband just went through a serious surgery for esophageal cancer. That was July 10th, I have held up under the strain until now and seem to be going downhill, even though they got all the cancer and everything looks really good.
Yesterday while I was grocery shopping I think I had an anxiety attack. I had to get out of the store and quickly went to my car where I burst into tears and cried all the way home. I was upset for the rest of the day and couldn't pin it on any thing in particular.
I have been basically housebound so could it be just a need to get out when I really don't feel like going? I keep saying I'm going to find a cancer support group but haven't done it.
We stay the winter in AZ and live in CA. Since the drs are better here we chose to have the robotic surgery at Univ of AZ Med Ctr by two of the top surgeons. Our two daughters came and were there for the whole time. He was in intensive care due to a blood clot. (27) days. It is a horrible surgery and the recovery is very slow and he can't get out much yet. I would really like to go home but to CA for a month or two but can't leave from appts with drs here.
Have I said anything that gives you an idea of what's going on with me?

Dr. Joe 09-05-2014 07:23 PM

Handling trauma is often an instinctual reaction, i.e., your emotions get suppressed in order to be more effective and to be able to function. I suspect that now that everything is looking good, you (on a less than conscious level) are allowing yourself to finally react to pent-up fears and worries. Your panic may have been a delayed reaction to feeling totally powerless and out of control for so long a period. So much of your life has been challenged by your husband's surgery and recovery, all of which was beyond your control. I strongly suggest that you reconsider a support group. You'll find that your reaction isn't so uncommon. I do wish you well as you and your family reclaims the life you once knew.

Dr. Joe

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tone4862 09-06-2014 03:54 PM

what's wrong with me?
I thought I wrote back and thanked you for your reply but can't find it. That makes sense to me, but what kind of group do I look for? I feel so stuck here. My husband doesn't feel good enough to go out and I am getting very anxious staying in every day. I want to go out but yet I don't? How can I beak this cycle?

Dr. Joe 09-07-2014 01:54 PM

Perhaps you can give the state psychological association a call and ask them for a referral (here in New Jersey, we have an extensive referral program run by the NJ Psych association). For now, recognize that it's important for you to not feel powerless. You can start by simply going out for a brief walk each day...anything that begins to help you step apart from feeling stuck. If you do try to walk, it's important for you to clear your mind and not stay trapped in reflexive, insecurity-driven thinking, do this by becoming more "present," i.e., if you go for a walk, rather than thinking about all your struggles, notice the flowers, feel the breeze, the sunshine....try to give yourself a mental vacation. The more you separate from your inner frictions, the more you'll be building up your psychological resilience.

I do wish you well...

Dr. Joe

tone4862 09-07-2014 06:26 PM

What's wrong with me?
Hi, so when you mention a group you mean a psychologist? I was thinking you meant Cancer Support group or something like that. I have a wonderful counselor at home, she is a LCSW but I won't be going back to our home state until he can travel. We are snowbirds and usually go South in Sept thru May, but this time we had to stay here because of the medical facilities. At home he would not have gotten as good a care and maybe wouldn't have even found the cancer.Thanks

Dr. Joe 09-08-2014 01:43 PM

I agree that a support group would be appropriate right now. Perhaps you can inquire at the medical facility, they would be your best resource from finding such a group.

I wish you well,
Dr. Joe

tone4862 09-10-2014 05:40 PM

What's wrong with me
Thanks, I think I'll try a cancer support group. I have a friend that might go with me, she lost a dau. Thanks again,

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