New pacemaker member

Hello all. I'm trying to cope with having a pacemaker installed this week due to a 3rd degree block. I've now developed a decent case of anxiety. I'm 59 and thought I was healthy in the cardio world. I was also diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer and wondering if this newly installed PM will delay my treatment plans?. Does anyone have similar experience? This whole this is scary 


9 Comments

Hi with a gentle hug

by Lavender - 2022-12-24 21:08:18

Of course you're anxious! You're going through a lot of unpleasant surprises and your brain is in panic mode. It's thinking you're in danger. Truthfully you're being saved. You were in danger, but the pacemaker is now keeping your engine going. 
I have third degree heart block. I was terrified when I kept fainting and finally they decided that I had not only left bundle branch block, but my AV node was fried as well. 
I have had my pacemaker almost two years. I was so scared when I got it that for a while I was very afraid to leave my house. I was sad too and felt like staying in bed with the covers pulled over. 
My friend is a noted psychologist. She told me to use headphones and lie comfortably and listen to Michael Sealey meditation tapes on anxiety. He has a calm voice. I also listen to calming sounds like flute music. I had to retrain my brain and tell it all will be well. 
 

Here is one-copy and paste, but you can can see other choices on youtube:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rCGGIK0oPkQ

You're also dealing with early prostate cancer so your world is shaken.  I know two guys who had early prostate cancer. One had radiation seeds implanted and he's now cancer free. Another had some other treatments and he's ok too. They can do a lot to help! Ask your oncologist if the pacemaker interferes with treatment they're thinking of for you.

The important thing is that nothing is sneaking up on you! The problems have been discovered and now you can pull out your trusty sword and fight back!

Be sure to look at the sky often too as therapy, even if it's out the window on a cold day, the clouds and sky are mesmerizing and always changing. God is still on His throne and hasn't let go of you.  You matter. 
 

I had to force myself to go out more on my own and now I'm fine.  I don't think so much about my pacemaker. When I feel anxious, I pray and ask for help. May God richly bless you and fill you with hopeful courage.

Dear Father, you are the Prince of Peace and the great I AM.

You are our Helper and our Redeemer.

Today I pray for SDC63... He is carrying an especially heavy burden right now and needs help for his medical issues and anxiety. I ask that you provide your power and peace that goes beyond understanding. Remind him that you are greater than anything he faces.

Thank you for the comfort and rest you give even in hard times.

In Jesus' name, amen.

 

Thank you!

by SDC63 - 2022-12-24 22:01:57

Your comforting comments and prayer mean the world to me. My whole world has changed and I need to recommit to my faith and deeds. These things happen for a reason I'd like to believe. I ask our Lord to carry this burden for me and guide me in this journey.

All will be well

by Lavender - 2022-12-24 22:22:37

I agree with you in prayer. "When two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20 

Merry and Blessed Christmas💗

I'm 59 and thought

by AgentX86 - 2022-12-24 23:10:20

Welcome to adulthood. 😊 As a friend told me, "Getting old isn't for sissies.".🥲

I highly doubt that your pacemaker has anything to do with your prostate cancer beyond the 59 part. You're stressed and have every right to be but as Lavender said, you got it fixed.  It's better to take your car to a mechanic and find that it needs a new framishandle, and have him replace the faulty framishandle, than being out in the middle of nowhere at 2:00AM when the framishandle decides to become to pieces of a framishandle. You just had your framishandle replaced and are good to go.

I can only imagine how scary cancer can be.  My brother just died of pancreatic cancer.  Fortunately, your diagnosis of prostate cancer, particularly in it's early stages, isn't nearly the death sentence that is pancreatic cancer.

As I understand it, there are many different forms of postate cancer, none of which are very fast growing and some are so slow that nothing is done (other than watch) because you'll die of old age before the cancer will get you. In all cases, treatment success rates are very high, particularly of caught early which apparently yours was.

Anxiety, sure, but don't let anxiety change your life.  Other than the triviality of a few more doctor's visits during the year, your pacemaker won't.

Take it slow

by doublehorn48 - 2022-12-25 11:19:47

There's no correlation between your pacemaker and prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is slow growing. Get comfortable with having a pacemaker and then take care of the prostate cancer. I urge you to Google Healing Well  Prostate Forum. Those men have prostate cancer and give great advice. Early stage prostate cancer means you will probably do active surveillance. You will watch the prostate cancer but do nothing hence active surveillance. I was diagnosed with, unlike you, an agressive prostate cancer. That was 7 years ago and I'm undetectable. So have a merry Christmas you're doing great.

Thank you. Doublehorn48.

by SDC63 - 2022-12-25 12:11:29

Thank you I was working on the treatment decisions for PC and the pacemaker emergency came up. Crazy! I have 2 grade 1 samples and 2 grade 2 samples along with 3 potential positive samples out of 16. Yes early stages. Waiting for genome tests within a few weeks to undertand how aggressive it is.  I'm just a worrier and life has been majorly disrupted and I'm trying to deal. I've always been active and trepidation set in this week since I just had the implant surgery 12/19. The PM makes me nervous with respect to treatment or if I decide surgery to remove and hopefully eliminate most chances of reoccurrence , margins etc. I did all the protocols of an MRI and fusion biopsy.  I'm nervous about radiation also. So much going on.

Welcome aboard

by Good Dog - 2022-12-25 13:02:01

You came to the right place for support if you have any general pacemaker questions or concerns. I received a pacemaker just like you did after a 3rd degree (complete) heart block. That was 36 years ago. I can tell you that the purpose of your pacemaker is to provide you with a completely normal life. Aside from a few painless and brief periodic checks throughout the year, having the pacemaker should not change your life in any negative way. It is all good! Actually, it can improve your life since your heart is one less thing to worry about. Pacemakers are generally trouble-free and don't even require any significant care. After I got my PM, my life has been completely normal in every way! 

As far as the prostate cancer, I can't help much except to say that I have had many friends and relatives that have survived prostate cancer without any serious problems. All of them without exception. I don't claim to know much about prostate cancer, except to say that it seems like one of the most treatable and survivable cancers out there. So that is good!

Try to relax and enjoy your life today since none of us are promised tomorrow. In all likelihood, you have a long and full life ahead of you!

I wish you the very best!

Sincerely,

Dave

Prostate Cancer and Now a Pacemaker

by rmarkley - 2022-12-25 14:57:36

I have had prostate cancer (PCa) since 2014. Did things like FLAs (Google it) and had MRIs to see what was going on. Finally had an Auxumin scan and a full body ultrasound. Found a few mets on hip as well as prostate. I was put on 2 months of Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) with Firmagon an antogonist-more heart friendly, and abiraterone, and then some radiation and then ongoing ADT. Went from firmagon-injection, to Orgovyx-a pill. Continued abiraterone. A few months ago I was taken off the Orgovyx and continued on abiraterone. All these meds kept my PSA unmeasurable and my testosterone at <7.

We looked for a heart friendly med, since I have been line AFIB for years.

The downside of ADT is low T and associated lose of strength. My bikingspeed has dropped fro 15+ mph to 10 or so. I finally succombed and bought an Ebike.

On top of this I had a couple of syncopes. Gentle falls backward so no damage. Both followed by CT head scan since I have been on thinners since the lone AFIB. Lone AFIB became not so lone and almost continuous. My EP did a very thorough ablation and that fixed things for a while. I continued to complain of weakness and finally an echo stress test on a treadmill was ordered. I flunked due to chronotropic inccompetance. EP said I was due for a pacemaker(PM). Pacemaker inserted on Nov. 28, 2022, and now it is a matter of tweaking it for me. In a couple of weeks I will have a bicycle stress test, with all kinds of technical folks around to tune the PM, including a rep from Boston Scientific(BS), For biking, the accelerometer is not all that useful, and the RightRate Minute Ventilation feature must be tweaked. My PM is a BS Accolade MRI L331.

Wanted a MRI resistant PM because many diagnoses of PCa are done using MRIs.

So I think PCa and pacemakes can play well together.

one box checked.

by dwelch - 2022-12-29 14:15:40

If you have to have a heart condition that needs a pacer, heart block is the one you want.  Can be completely fixed with the pacer.  So check that box off of your list, you are done with that one your heart is now normal...done.

Cancer, that is the one to worry about now, the pacer should not affect it, your chart will show you have a pacer so if you have surgery or other procedures they will see the pacer and be able to act accordingly.  you are not much older than I am and my dad found out about his at 50 and survived over 25 years after.  from a heart perspective you are still going to be one of the younger if not youngest patient your cardiologists has.  likewise from the cancer side, not youngest maybe but prostate is one of those, (half of) everyone gets it if they live long enough.  

I have a buddy in his 40s that is fighting prostate cancer right now and they caught it late, and so far they are winning.  You focus on that your heart is good now.  One box is checked, lets get that other box checked off as well.

You know you're wired when...

Like the Energizer Bunny, you keep going.

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