panick attacks and the face mask.

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RE: panick attacks and the face mask.

by Dlynn1210 on Fri Dec 23, 2016 02:11 AM

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I am severely claustrophic and after the first treatment I told the technicians they were never getting me back in that 'cement mixer' again.  Once was one time too many.  That is when they ordered Ativan and as others have stated - it becomes our best friend during treatment.  I had to use it before every treatment but once I had completed all of my radiation I never took another one.

I wish your dad the very best and you can assure him many of us have been down that road and we made it.  I am cancer free for 9 years now!!!  The horrors of the treatment are a distant memory that I rarely think about.

Diana

RE: panick attacks and the face mask.

by Sister58 on Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:40 AM

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Hi, Fairwind. I went thru tonsillar cancer with my brother about 16 years ago. I remember the mask vividly. For a long time James had it hanging in his bedroom. It reminded him of what he went thru, and how strong he was. He went thru 31 days of intense radiation. He never used ant drugs, but that is just him. Whatever your dad needs to get thru this, use it. I have heard a lot of people use Ativan. My prayers are with you. I, like you am a caregiver. Be strong. Beverly

RE: panick attacks and the face mask.

by hisprincesstoo on Sat Dec 24, 2016 01:10 AM

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actually, I didn't know what to do with the mask after I was done.  Some talked about destroying it, ignoring it, and all sorts of ways to show victory over this part of treatment. 

I actually decided to have my youngest son hide it by taking it after the last session til I asked for it.  It took me 6 months, but I did ask for it one day.  Now it is a conversation piece in my living room.  I'm glad I didn't destroy it.   Most don't undertand what we have gone thru, this is just one of the ways we can share our story in a way most ppl understand.

RE: panick attacks and the face mask.

by Sister58 on Sat Dec 24, 2016 01:17 AM

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You are so right. I watched each day as James skin began to turn red, then blister, then turn to a large area of burned flesh and weepy sores. I think the mask is like a trophy to him. I love to hear about the survivors.. I pray for the day to come when no one will have to suffer this horrible disease. The best of the holiday season to you.

RE: panick attacks and the face mask.

by Dlynn1210 on Sat Dec 24, 2016 01:40 AM

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I told the nurses at the hosp to throw it out it but my hubby thought it was a good idea to hold onto it.  A year later while we were on a mission trip the hose broke on our washer flooding the lower level of our home.  Servpro came in to clear out the damage and one loss was the mask.  I can't say I miss it - it came with too many bad memories! 

Diana

RE: panick attacks and the face mask.

by trixie1 on Sat Jan 07, 2017 05:50 PM

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Hi, can your father take a Valium it helped me a lot with the face mask as I used to choke and froth was coming out , and ask the nurse to pay music while he's getting his treatment . That really helps a lot , hope he's fine when they do that, god bless

RE: panick attacks and the face mask.

by Dawg1 on Wed Jan 18, 2017 01:59 AM

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The nine years is music to my ears!

RE: panick attacks and the face mask.

by KyGal_KY on Fri Feb 17, 2017 07:36 PM

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Oh boy, the dreaded face mask!!  I couldn't even make it through the fitting - I was given a shot of Ativan -- didn't even touch my panic so they gave me another which finally bought me down to where they could fit me.  Right then they gave me a script for Ativan and said to take it an hr or so before I came in for my radiation.  After 6-7 treatments I was able to survive without the Ativan.  Hope this med helps your Dad!

RE: panick attacks and the face mask.

by emifriend on Sun Feb 19, 2017 09:45 AM

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I agree with all the above posts..  *** I took a Xanax before my treatments, ***I brought in an old cd that I had not heard in a while-- something I loved and knew every word too still ( Tapastry, Sweet Baby James, and Court and Spark - Dating myself here, I know) *** and before every treatment, I made the techies tell me how many of people they had treated that week and that they had not hurt anybody during the treatment.

The pill calmed me, the music distracted me and the reassurance was reassuring-- every single day. For the most part that worked for me... I only had to stop the treatment once or twice ( out of 35) due to anxiety--and even that was reassuring in a way because when I cried WOLF they responded fast.

I hope he has a better day tomorrow.

Godspeed,

Emily

RE: panick attack, face mask &afterlife of the mask

by emifriend on Sun Feb 19, 2017 09:56 AM

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Opps--I just read the date on the original post. December! Hope the issue was improved for your dad.

As for the masks, in Nashville- we donated them to artists who created things (art) out of them, that were then auctioned to raise money for HNC patients.  The evening was called Courage UnMasked--and the initiative was started in another city before  Nashville. Here's a link if anybody is interested:

https://www.bing.com/search?q=courage+unmasked+tennessee&form=EDGNTC&qs=AS&cvid=3cebe2316654459e8ad089e09fb88901&pq=courage+unmasked&cc=US&setlang=en-US

The evening really helped me reframe the experience in some small and big ways. Having the artists tell our stories, hear our angst and bring beauty to it all was a powerful thing.

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