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Recovery Depression

walt_fly
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2002

I've undergone a resection, chemo, and radiation over the past year. I was given a clean bill last month, but will still be checked every 3 months for 3 years. Since hearing the news I've felt relieved, but sad, lathargic and disinterested. Any one else have these symptoms? Thanks.

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1260
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi Walt, I'm starting year five post dukes c surgery and chemo. I still feel depressed at times. It is something I have to mentally combat continuosly. For a start at the end of treatment there is a feeling of almost abandonment. My surgeon has always viewed the opinion that I probably wouldn't make it to three years and certainly not five. My way of combating the feeling of hopelessnes is to lead as normal a life as possible,I still work and I find fishing alows me to get away from it all and even take a few minor risks that help me to feel more alive. I have avoided antidepressants as I feel I know the reasos for my feelings and that I CAN deal with them in my own way.

walt_fly
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2002

Hi Ron, Thanks for responding. I know about the abandonment feeling, although I have follow-up every 3 months for the next 3 years, so I'll keep in touch with the Dr. My surgeon never gave me any opinion, just the facts, so that adds "what isn't she telling me?" in to the equation... I still work also, and did so thru my radiation and chemo, even though I'd hardly make it thru a day. I thank goodness my boss was kind enough to understand when I couldn't make it in and was understanding when I just couldn't get away from my desk. What minor risks have you taken (if you don't mind me asking.) I agree with you avoiding antidepressants, they are not what you need. Although, I must admit, alcohol has seemed to diminish my fears a little. Well, thanks for listening.

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1260
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi Walt, I can sympathise with you on the treatment,some days were really tough. I didn't have any radiation but I didn't handle chemo too well and finished up having it every tuesday for a year. As far as the risks go most of my friends think I'm insane . I have a 17foot half cabin runabout with a 90hp honda four stroke outboard . I live on the Sunshine coast at a place called Mooloolaba in Queensland Australia. At every opportunity I'm up to 50 nautical miles offshore chasing fish. What with shipping lanes ,humpback whales ,sudden storms and sharks I have some interesting moments. My fishing companion is a Viet vet and also has scant regard for his skin. We have an agreement that if anything bad happens ,just throw the body overboard and keep on fishing. I've read in an article that cancer survivors avoid taking risks it's either untrue or I'm an exception. I'm at that stage now where I figure that I've either got it beat or the end must be pretty well nigh either way I'm better prepared mentally than I was four years ago,I've watched a lot of my chemo friends suffer and die and I've learnt a lot about how to die gracefully. Not trying to be morbid just practical ,wishing you a long and healty suvivorship,Ron.

jazzbo
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2000

how many lymph nodes pos?
what a terrible comment!>> surgeon has always viewed the opinion that I probably wouldn't make it to three years and certainly not five

howie
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2002

I have just been through my second surgery for colon cancer. The first time it was a left hemicoloctomy in 1996. I really didn't have depression then. I recovered quickly and was back at work in five weeks. I had a recurrance and just had a total colectomy in Feb. This time it has really messed with my emotions. I was on antidepressants way before I had cancer at all and will be on them the rest of my life plus I have thyroid problems. I've been told that it is normal to feel depressed especially when you've had cancer but that doesn't help much. I feel like I'll never be able to do what I used to do, just normal things, because I'm still in pain physically and emotionally. I'm sure the pain will go away but the mental scars I'm not so sure about. I've cried and cried. sometimes I cry for no reason and I don't understand why. I'm cancer free now and I should be happy. I hope you can feel better. Good luck!

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1260
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi Howie contrary to what you feel and believe,you are a survivor. The moment the surgeon removed your cancer ,you stopped being a cancer sufferer and became a survivor. You need to believe that even if it returns as it did with you ,you are still a survivor. You did what you had to do to rid yourself of it again. I had to make a concious decision to live my life as normally as possible. It could have been a car accident or almost any other disater,but it just happened to be cancer,it's now past tense . I am aware that it may return but at least I am forearmed with that knowledge and am extremely vigilant. There does not seem to be any right way to deal with cancer suvivorship .Each one of us has to work out his or her own salvation. Chat boards like this have been very important to me not only because of shared knowledge but they allow me to express my own thoughts and put them into perspective. Good luck and a long life Cheers Ron.

howie
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2002

I have just been through my second surgery for colon cancer. The first time it was a left hemicoloctomy in 1996. I really didn't have depression then. I recovered quickly and was back at work in five weeks. I had a recurrance and just had a total colectomy in Feb. This time it has really messed with my emotions. I was on antidepressants way before I had cancer at all and will be on them the rest of my life plus I have thyroid problems. I've been told that it is normal to feel depressed especially when you've had cancer but that doesn't help much. I feel like I'll never be able to do what I used to do, just normal things, because I'm still in pain physically and emotionally. I'm sure the pain will go away but the mental scars I'm not so sure about. I've cried and cried. sometimes I cry for no reason and I don't understand why. I'm cancer free now and I should be happy. I hope you can feel better. Good luck!

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