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depression after chemo

cindyclay
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2001

I had my last chemo in March. I stayed pretty upbeat the whole way through the mastectomy and chemo, but lately I've been feeling a little depressed. I feel like I should be doing more with my life, yet I'm not sure what? I'm 39 years old and have three kids ages 9, 11 and 16. My husband is and has been very supportive, but it's like everything is over for him and it's time to move on. I feel more depressed about how I look now than I did when I was completely bald and going through chemo. I guess I just want everything to be normal looking again and feel normal again. Did anyone have these feelings after chemo? - Cindy

jeancmici
Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

Hi Cindy,

I think you are being too hard on yourself. With three children, a husband, and at the prime time in your life, you got cancer and had to expend all your energy attending to that and doing your best to ensure yourself health again.

There's bound to be a letdown now - and you have more time now to focus on all that is not 'perfect' at the moment.

Maybe a support group would help - maybe an anti-depressant - maybe just time.

Keep reading the messages here - I think they will help - Hope my message has been a help.

Hugs and best wishes for life to begin feeling 'normal' again. A big event like this does change life a lot and unless you've actually experienced it (which your husband hasn't), it is hard to imagine.

Jean

cat1switzerland
Posts: 119
Joined: May 2001

Hi Cindy,

I am exactly the same age as you, with a daughter 8 years old. The caregivers board just raised the same question, and my answer was this :
I too had a small bit of depression a few months after the treatment was over. I am finding out it is not uncommon. To me it may have been because I was the center of attention for my friends and families and medical team, I was in the middle of a big battle and suddenly... nothing. The fight was over, but I was not sure anything really changed, and was a bit scared that if nothing did change, the same cause would bring the same effect and cancer would come back.

What ended the depression for me was a change of lifestyles : I switched to a less stressful job, took steps towards a better life, better food, a bit more exercising... And more FUN !

Another lady on CSN mentionned to me she experienced depression as well, and that it may have been survivors guilt.

I am not sure antidepressants are good, the only thing I took was light dosage sleep pills to help me sleep at night. I feel our brains need to be awake during the day to efficiently mourn what used to be a part of us (even if cancer was a bad part of us). Making the decision of changing our lifes after cancer is also too important to be affected by medicines. That is only my personal opinion, though, and I am not a doctor.

I hope this help, don't hesitate to write me if you want to talk about it. I now KNOW that Life is great, and it is better for me than it ever was before. I hope you'll see the end of your tunnel soon...

A big hug from Switzerland,
Cathy

tcbangels's picture
tcbangels
Posts: 115
Joined: Jun 2001

cindy
I don't know if you are the same one that had an e-mail for me on my web page i lost your message it was about lymbedenma i don't know if i spell ir right but thank-you,also about your question I stay depress for the person i was before I got sick & now i can't do a lot with other complications i have degenerate disease of the disc in my back & neck they want to do neck surgery but i'm to scared because i have asthma so bad.This is how I look at it you see that cloudy day & its real cloudy with bad weather but after the bad weather ends & than you see the son start peeking up in the sky & sunshine is out again & thats how I live my life the same as weather you going to have those cloudy days but the sunshine will over turn the cloudy days God loves you Cheryl

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