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    Old 03-16-2008, 02:39 PM   #1
    osteoblast
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    Difficult news...

    I went for a routine u/s of thyroid last week and a one inch tumor was found in my mid neck area-lymph gland not thyroid. Soon they will do a fine needle biopsy. So, I have my fingers crossed. In any event it seems because the size of the tumor it will have to come out-though doc said it is soft and moveable. My recent blood tests and ferritin have all looked ok. Anyway, not too long ago on this board we had a discussion about white coat hypertension and just general doc office anxiety. Flowergirl and Christine, did you say your docs gave you Xanax for these times. I am pretty stressed out and I suppose it is not a surprise , my sleep is troubled. I think the times ahead are going to be a challenge, I know that I am challenged now.I have never taken a sleeping pill that was helpful , so I am not thinking about that at all. It really is the strain and stress of further diagnostic work , waiting for diagnostic results , doc appts and surgery. During this time would something help?What does xanax do to you? I do not want to be fuzzy in my thought processes at all, I need to maintain a clear mind.Thanks for any help on this.

    Last edited by osteoblast; 03-16-2008 at 03:17 PM.

     
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    Old 03-16-2008, 04:45 PM   #2
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    Re: Flowergirl-Christine- difficult news

    Osteoblast-sorry about the "bad" news and hoping it turns out to be nothing.

    Anyway, when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, my GP gave me a one month supply of Xanax and said that I would probably need it here and there while I was going through all the tests and such.

    He gave me 30 tablets that were .25 mg each (the smallest dose available). Get some of those and split one in half. See how you feel after about 30 minutes. If you don't feel fuzzy but still not better, take the other half. A .25 tablet is usually enough for me. I don't get "fuzzy" until I take two of them and even then it isn't too bad. I think it takes a full milligram tablet to really knock anyone out. I think that is what they prescriber (1 mg) when people go in for MRIs and tests like that. I function quite well on .25 mg. Keep us posted.

     
    Old 03-16-2008, 09:00 PM   #3
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    Re: Flowergirl-Christine- difficult news

    Hello Osteoblast--I'm sorry to hear about your news. I recently had a friend that went through something very similar but it was in the ear area. Everything for her turned out to be fine. I'm sure that you will be fine too, it's just a matter of getting it out. Good luck with the biopsy and keep us posted. You will feel better after you get those results. I hope you don't have to wait very long. Know that my fingers are crossed for you too!

    My doctor prescribed Xanax .25 mgs because I was having high BP at office visits. It also ended up not being enough for me. I would still go high so he prescribed the next dose .50 mgs. I have to take it well before the visit, like 1-2 hrs or I'm still high (BP)when I get there. I learned this through trial and error. I did take the lower dose .25mgs for 6 months due to muscle spasms in my neck and head when I was anemic and it worked for that also. I can't tolerate meds very well so I took the lower dose and the first dose was great, I felt like WOW. Then my body got used to it by the second and third time it was not so WOW anymore. Like my doc said it is like drinking a glass of wine. Recently I went in for new lab results and I took the .50 mgs, drove myself (my Hematologist recommended that I would be fine) and I did great. Filling out the paperwork was a little difficult at first but I relaxed and that was fine too. Even at that dose you really can handle things and I am very sensitive. It just allows you to go with it, whatever it is and not care so much. You are still of normal cognitive ability. It is a blessing to have when you need it. Know that it can also be addicting. Wishing you the best of luck with everything. Let us know how you get along. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 03-16-2008, 09:09 PM   #4
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    Re: Flowergirl-Christine- difficult news

    Christine and Flowergirl-Thank so much for the help. I wonder if the doctor will do a .25mg script if it is addictive. Well, because of my anxiety I do think I will need to call tomorrow and at least request it.. Also I have heard the fine needle biopsy is painful.Christine did you have the FNA and did it really hurt ? I have heard some bad stories on the thyroid board of 40-60 minutes of bad pain.

     
    Old 03-17-2008, 02:05 AM   #5
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    Re: Flowergirl-Christine- difficult news

    Hi Osteo - so sorry to hear the test didn't go smooth sailing. Maybe it's all for the best and there isn't anything seriously wrong and all it will take is to simply remove it.

    Keep us posted on your progress and i'll keep you in my prayers

     
    Old 03-17-2008, 04:38 PM   #6
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    Re: Flowergirl-Christine- difficult news

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by osteoblast View Post
    Christine and Flowergirl-Thank so much for the help. I wonder if the doctor will do a .25mg script if it is addictive. Well, because of my anxiety I do think I will need to call tomorrow and at least request it.. Also I have heard the fine needle biopsy is painful.Christine did you have the FNA and did it really hurt ? I have heard some bad stories on the thyroid board of 40-60 minutes of bad pain.
    I never had the FNA as my surgeon said that the nodule was too hard to locate (on the back side of my gland).

    I really hope your PCP will give it to you. You really cannot become addicted with a 30-day supply. He should easily give that to you. If you find that you need/want more due to ongoing anxiety, it is best, at that point, to make an appt. with a psychiatrist. They are much more level-headed about using Xanax. The PCPs freak out about it.

     
    Old 03-17-2008, 06:32 PM   #7
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    Re: Flowergirl-Christine- difficult news

    Osteo--My friend had the FNA and they didn't even give her anything to numb the site. She said that it did hurt really bad. But if she can get through it anyone can! It was just a shock that they didn't give her anything before. She also took Xanax for that visit. I don't think she had 40-60 minutes of bad pain, only when the needle was inserted, I think.

    Yes, it can be addicting but as Christine said not in a short duration. I was on it 6 months and I don't have an addictive personality either but when I got off I quit all at once and I had symptoms. I went to the Anxiety board and they said cut the dose first and that worked fine. The doctors led me to believe that it was fine to keep taking but my Neuro doc said get off, so I did when I was able. It just makes me mad they don't tell you all the facts and I didn't know about it so I wanted you to know. Now I only take it when needed for doctor visits. Also, I would ask for the next dose up .50 not the lowest and you can then half the pill and have twice the amount and not have to ask for it again for a while and for one co-pay. That way you can take what is needed half OR whole. My doctors have no problem giving a 30 day supply. Good luck to you! FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 03-18-2008, 09:48 AM   #8
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    Re: Flowergirl-Christine- difficult news

    I had a fine needle biopsy of thyroid, done by a dreadful doctor, nothing to relax nothing to dull the pain, and he had one knee propped on table while trying to push the needle in. Could not move neck for a week. I hear the thyroid is like leather, not sure if that is true. Please insist that they make you comfortable thru sedation, medication or whatever it takes. PS if he tortures you on the left side, by all means don't be a naive dummy like me and let him do the right side. This was years ago and he was a doc that had just came out of the army, maybe that explains something. Good Luck

     
    Old 03-18-2008, 01:49 PM   #9
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    Re: Flowergirl-Christine- difficult news

    Thanks everyone for the lovely words of support and helpful information . The biopsy sounds so different for everyone! But, there seem to be enough people with experiences that sound real bad. I did see my pcp and she is stepping in to coordinate the biopsy and the ent and the endo so I now feel so much better about someone who will centrally control this. And, she sat down with me and went over the radiologist report. She told me the good and the really bad scenario and it helped even to hear my worst fears from her. I feel that there is now someone who will be looking out for me-and that makes all the difference. When I told her the toll it was taking on me she said she thought xanax may help both with sleep and the daytime anxiety brought on by procedures, office visits etc. I could not ask for a kinder, more cooperative and very experienced doctor. I am so grateful for this !!Thank god I had weeded through the rejects over the past year and a half. Anyway,she prescribed xanax .50 and said cut in half for daytime to be used as neeed and a full one at night if inability to sleep after half an hour. I really hope that use at night is infrequent. I also met with my wellness counselor who has been through cancer and she said that this early time of the labs, then the biopsy and if necessary further diagnostics etc etc is the worst. Once it is known what we are dealing with (and hopefully it is benign! ) and a plan formed that somehow it just is easier. Although I do not like to take drugs at all-she said take it easy on yourself and use the xanax if you are just too stressed to relax or sleep. So, that is what I will do. I want to thank you Christine and Flowergirl and Audrey B and campbell.You are dear friends and have helped me alot through this as you so kindly did with the colonoscopy.
    Christine and Flowergirl - did you doc tell you to use the xanax for sleep as well? Also flowergirl were you using .25 or .50 everyday for 6 months? What were your withdrawal symptoms? I suppose from what I am hearing that the best advice is to follow what my doctor said take .25 daily as needed for stress, during procedures, doc visits, AND take at night if I cannot sleep after half an hour.
    Once again thank you anemia board friends!

    Last edited by osteoblast; 03-18-2008 at 02:03 PM.

     
    Old 03-18-2008, 02:24 PM   #10
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    Re: Flowergirl-Christine- difficult news

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by osteoblast View Post
    Christine and Flowergirl - did you doc tell you to use the xanax for sleep as well? Also flowergirl were you using .25 or .50 everyday for 6 months? What were your withdrawal symptoms? I suppose from what I am hearing that the best advice is to follow what my doctor said take .25 daily as needed for stress, during procedures, doc visits, AND take at night if I cannot sleep after half an hour.
    Once again thank you anemia board friends!
    I take .25 mg of Xanax each night for sleep. I can stop with no problem.

    As for the symptoms if you stop abruptly--you will mainly feel panicky and shaky. At least I did. I was taking it regularly for a few months--morning, lunch, and evening. If I missed a dose, I got kind of jittery/shaky.

     
    Old 03-18-2008, 03:52 PM   #11
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    Re: Flowergirl-Christine- difficult news

    Christine-when you were taking it am, noon and pm,if it is ok, what was each dose?
    I cannot recall, did you say that you had a total thyroidectomy?

     
    Old 03-18-2008, 04:44 PM   #12
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    Re: Flowergirl-Christine- difficult news

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by osteoblast View Post
    Christine-when you were taking it am, noon and pm,if it is ok, what was each dose?
    I cannot recall, did you say that you had a total thyroidectomy?
    Sometimes I was taking half of the .25 mg tablet, sometimes the whole one--but I did that for a few months. When I skipped a dose, I could feel it. Then I made sure I tapered it and I was fine.

    Yep, I've had a total thyroidectomy.

     
    Old 03-18-2008, 05:27 PM   #13
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    Re: Flowergirl-Christine- difficult news

    Osteo--Yes it was prescribed for day and/or night, whenever I felt that I needed it. I did take the .50 most of the time but as it got better I went down to half. I'm like you when it comes to meds I hate to take it. But I promise this one is worth taking when necessary. They told me I could take it up to 3X daily but I only took it in the evening for muscle pain and for doctor appointments. If I had a bad day I would take it then too, what was needed.

    I would try not to take it which was a big mistake, my doctors said just take it ~before~ I felt I needed it. I tried too hard not to take it for a long time. Even recently I had to take it to see a doctor and I thought that I didn't need it but I did take it and I'm glad. Now I just take it and don't get down on myself for it.

    I quit it all at once and the symptoms were feeling sick and stomach pain. It didn't last for long because I took a quarter of the dose and it quit right away. I did that for 3 days and I was fine. Not a problem at all, you just have to know ahead of time how to discontinue (if you are on it for a long period) and they didn't tell me those minor details.

    Don't worry so much about how much to take, your situation will let you know if more or less is needed. And when your at home you can try the different doses and see how you feel and what works best for you.

    I'm glad that you found a good doc to coordinate and lead you through this difficult period. Best wishes for you, keep us posted. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 03-18-2008, 05:55 PM   #14
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    Re: Flowergirl-Christine- difficult news

    Christine-sorry to hear it was the total thyroidectomy. Was it really hard for you to go through?Was you surgeon an ENT??

    Flowergirl and Christine-thanks for all the xanax info. I had never heard before that it was used for sleep-but last night I definitely had something more like normal sleep after several days of very troubled sleep. Years ago I had tried the latest generation of sleeping pills lunesta and sonata and I found them not to be helpful at all. My sleep seemed very different than normal and I felt not right the next day. I was curious about this because it seems both of you were told to use the xanax for sleep . At this time I would not even consider those sleeping pills and my doctor didn't even mention a sleeping pill just the xanax when needed for sleep or anxiety.

    Last edited by osteoblast; 03-18-2008 at 06:00 PM.

     
    Old 03-18-2008, 06:25 PM   #15
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    Re: Difficult news...

    Hi Osteoblast,
    Sorry to hear everything you are going through. I recently went through thyroid cancer and everything associated with it. I have been on the thyroid board, and then all my bloodwork came back low, and Christine told me about this site, and everyone is so helpful. I have seen and read your posts on both sites. I want to tell you a few things...First of all, I had 2 FNA's, the first one took about ten minutes, no pain shot for numbing, and was VERY EASY to go through, a tiny bit of swelling the next day, not even uncomfortable, though. It showed no cancer[was actually undiagnostic, but that is another story]. The next FNA 4 years later, was much more intense, he really went after the tissue samples, took about an hour or more, and I did have a small numbing shot. It really is amazing to me the difference in the 2 FNA's. Bottom line, you need to have it, and you will be fine, it isn't too uncomfortable, you definitely want them to get a good sample. I was also on Xanax when my mom died 5 years ago, I couldn't sleep, and it was becoming disabling to me, so my doc called in Xanax, 25mg. I took it at night to sleep, and it helped SO SO MUCH. When I slept better I was better able to deal with life, DON"T feel bad about taking it or needing it, I was certainly not addicted to it, I took it for about 3 weeks, and stopped, and was fine. It takes the edge off....I, too, hate to take meds and feel like I am hypersensitive to meds, so I was concerned, too. The doc called in another prescription when I was diagnosed with the TC, only called in 7 days worth, and I didn't feel I needed them this time, but I will keep them for if and when I ever do. They help tremendously. I hope everything turns out well for you...you will be in my prayers. Take care,
    Lori

     
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