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Feeling a little down and out

luella
Posts: 26
Joined: Mar 2001

I am 40 years old and had a radical mascectomy along with reconstruction on November 2, 2000. I went through the surgery like a trooper and also my first few chemo treatments. Adriamycin was a bear! Of course, I lost all of my hair. That really didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. It started to grow back, but they said Taxol would make it fall out again. I will be getting my second Taxol/Herceptin on Tuesday which makes my whole body ache, but mostly my legs and back. I was doing great until I found out I have to go to the hospital(30 miles away)for 10 days in a row and five days after my next three treatments to get a shot to boost my white blood cell count which was low. I will also be receiving herceptin once a week for a year. Its seems as soon as I start feeling positive, something comes along and gets me down again. I know this is a small price to pay for life, but I guess I just need someone to complain to. I have a 17 year old daughter who is graduating this year and an 11 year old son. Also, a wonderful husband who has been very supportive. I try to stay very positive for my family and friends. I've had some down times, but I have been 90% positive. I have not been to a support group yet, but I think maybe I should try one to vent a little. I feel that when I discuss how I feel with my family and friends, their going to get sick of hearing about it. I wondered if any of you have gone to support groups and have they helped? Thank you in advance!

nancys
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2000

Hello Luella, This site has been my support group from the start of my cancer treatment. Strangers at first, I now feel like so many here are part of my extended family. I have considered a support group and I do think it is a good thing to do. It just helps to talk to others going through the same thing. It is also a good way to learn how others have found information and resources. Family and friends are a source of love and strength but they do not truly understand what you are thinking and feeling. Give it a try, what have you to lose? Stay in touch with us here on this site as well. Love and Hugs to you, Nancy S

luella
Posts: 26
Joined: Mar 2001

Thanks for the reply Nancy. I will stay in touch. This seems like a great place for support.

luella
Posts: 26
Joined: Mar 2001

Nancy S.,
Thank you so much for responding to my message. I am feeling much better now, but I am still going to try the support group. I have my next Taxol treatment tomorrow, but I am calling first thing on Wednesday to find a group. This seems like a great place for support and everyone seems so nice. Love and Hugs to you to Nancy. Take Care.

webaur
Posts: 114
Joined: Feb 2001

Hi, Luella!!

I cannot address the support group issue for you as I haven't been to but one--two days after my second dose of A/C, so I really wasn't feeling too good. They were discussing Lymphodema and I had to leave before it was over. I think that the next time they meet, I may attend to see if it is any different. I feel that posting to this site is much like going to a support group meeting. Everyone here is so helpful and easy to "talk" to.

I do know how you feel, to some degree. I just turned 42 and I have 18 and 15 year old daughters, a 12 year old son, a 7 mo. old baby daughter, and a wonderful husband. It seems like in order for our families to be positive about our illness, those of us with the cancer must put on the positive, brave face when we are around them. I am afraid that no matter how positive I am that, in the end, I won't make it. My husband doesn't believe it, so I do not get to really discuss my fear of not making it with any one. I have a more unusual type of breast cancer and there are really no statistics on outcome of the treatments and long term survival. (You can go back and read my first post from 2/20 if you want to know more.) Feel free to e-mail me any time you feel like complaining to someone---I feel the same way and usually complain here. As a matter of fact, I am feeling pretty dowm myself right now---and I've only been fighting this for a little over two months!!! But then I look over at my baby who is almost ready to crawl and I think of all the wonderful things that I have going for me. I think that God knew what he was doing when he gave her to us before I found out about the cancer.

Anyway, I see that I have rambled on considerably. I hope that I have helped a bit. Please keep in touch and like I said, feel free to e-mail me any time you want someone to complain to/with!! I hope that you cheer up a bit. I will keep you in my prayers.

Blessings and hugs.....Wendy

luella
Posts: 26
Joined: Mar 2001

Wendy,

Thanks for your response. I am feeling much better now and your right this is a great place for support. It really sounds like you have your hands full with four children. I give you credit for having the time to even answer messages. I am new to this site and I would love to read your story, but I can't quite figure out how to go back to 2/20. I could always blame it on the chemo. I am so sorry to hear about your fear of not making it, but even though I have not read your story yet, I do believe with a positive attitude and faith in God, we can make it through just about anything. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, my girlfriend bought me a book about Lance Armstrong. He had a different kind of cancer than us, but also more than one kind. It was and still is such an inspiration to me. Everytime I feel down, I think of him and the struggle he went through. If you get a chance, it is a wonderful book. If you get a chance let me know how to get to your story, so I can understand your situation a little better. God Bless and thanks again!

lucy
Posts: 160
Joined: Nov 2000

Hi - I have been to several support group meetings and they are very helpful. There have been different speakers at our meetings that discuss all kinds of things of interest.
I like this website a little better, because I have a problem talking in a room full of people. This website lets me type what I want to say without everyone staring at me. That is only my personal shy self opinion. You will be fine as the Good Lord will help you through your treatments - and remember to keep the positive attitude.
Lucy

luella
Posts: 26
Joined: Mar 2001

Hi Lucy,

Thanks for your response. I am feeling much better now. Your right this website has been a wonderful support. I have my next Taxol treatment tomorrow, but Wednesday I think I will try and find a local support group. I am in sales, so I have no problem talking (so everyone tells me)! Thanks again and good luck to you.

ondine19572
Posts: 15
Joined: Dec 2000

Hi Luela - I was dx last year with ductal carcinoma in situ, I had two surgeries, 6 weeks of radiation and am on Tamoxifen for 5 years. I joined a support group and it helped a lot!! Sometimes it is easier to talk to people who are going thru the same thing as we are - we could all help each other thru it. Keep positive - and keep yourself surrouned by positive people and things - let me know how you are doing - we are all here for you - Nancy

luella
Posts: 26
Joined: Mar 2001

Nancy,

Thanks for your response. My next treatment of Taxol is tomorrow, but Wednesday I am going to look for a local support group. This was my first time on this website, but this has also been very helpful (Alot of great people). I have always been able to handle my problems without any help, or so I thought until this came along. I am a fighter, so what ever it takes to beat this, I am willing to give it a try. Thanks again!

mjdp2's picture
mjdp2
Posts: 142
Joined: Nov 2000

Hi Luella,
I attend a support group that meets at a local hospital once a month. We have rap sessions and speakers. Some of the speaker topics covered have been: lymphedema, chemo treatments, nutrition, reconstruction and journalizing our thoughts. I find it a great way to keep current with info as specialists come to speak to us. We also have a summer fashion show with survivors as models. We model swimsuits, dresses, shoes and hats. It is great fun and we all become permanent life-long friends. Blessings, Margaret

luella
Posts: 26
Joined: Mar 2001

Margaret,

Thanks for your reponse. I am feeling much better now. I have my next Taxol treatment tomorrow, but Wednesday I am going to find a local support group. The fashion show sound like so much fun. This is a great website and I am so glad I found it. Thanks again and God Bless!

kwame
Posts: 11
Joined: Mar 2001

Luella, I too have had the mastectomy and did the adriamycin and taxol chemo treatments for 6 months, once every 3 weeks. I know how you feel because I also had to have the neupogin shots to elevate my white blood count. It was no picnic. There were many weekdays when I would go to receive the shots in my doctor's office and many weekends when a visiting nurse would come to administer the shot to me in my home. I just completed my 6 months of treatment on Feb 16, my 49th birthday. One would think I'd not feel down now that all my treatments are completed. However, I find myself feeling down more often now than while undergoing the 6 months of chemo. I haven't been to a support group yet but am considering attending one sometime soon. Actually, I feel that all I need is ONE GOOD, LONG, CRYING SESSION. I don't want to vent to my family members. I have talked a bit about my feelings lately to my husband who has been extremely supportive and has been my ROCK throughout this whole life altering process. But I don't want to make him feel sad for me because of my feelings. So I will probably rent a really sad movie when I'm the only one at home and cry my eyes out. If that doesn't work, I'll go a step further and attend a support group or seek professional help. But one thing I'd like to share with you is that, once I began the Taxol, my hair started growing back (different texture and color.) It didn't fall out again. However, like you, the Taxol did cause pain in my lower extremities for a few days. It also made my fingers tingle. Ask your doctor for any side effects to look for and/or expect when you begin the neupogin shots. Each time I received the shots I had various sensations in my bones. But the wonderful thing about it all is that I knew it would be over someday soon. And it is. Take care and hang in there. This is just where your life is for the moment. I hope to get a response from you soon. Carolyn

luella
Posts: 26
Joined: Mar 2001

Carolyn,
Thanks for responding to my message. This is my first time in this website and it seems like a wonderful support place or just a place to vent your feelings. I'm sorry to hear that you are still feeling sad. Everyone that has responded to me says that support groups have really helped them. I know what you mean about not wanting to make your husband feel sad. Mine has been my Rock too. I think part of the sadness is all of the attention that you get when this first happens and then it almost seems everyone wants to forget about it, but you still have to deal with it. I think the movie is a great idea, but will only be a temporary fix. This has been a tremendous change in our lives and I am the type that thinks I never need help, that I can handle it, but this time I am giving in. I have my next Taxol treatment tomorrow, but Wednesday, I am going to try and find a local support group. I will let you know how it goes. If you decide to go, please let me know how it goes for you. Please keep in touch.

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