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Now back to reality

julieanne
Posts: 12
Joined: May 2002

I finished my final treatment for breast cancer on 01/10/2002. My hair is coming back nicely and full and curly. Things are getting back to normal except for what they call chemo/radiation recall in my breast that had the cancer. It is twice the size of the other one and nothing is helping. My problem now is depression. I found exactly who really cares for me and it wasn't my boyfriend after 1 1/2 yrs. I was diagnosed with cancer 2 months after we met. I feel so overloaded with work and personal life and I feel I am sinking down further. I try to think about what I went through and to be happy that I am alive but I feel that I really don't care. My 12 yr old son even said to me today, "mom, you are all jacked up, what is wrong with you" I think now that I am done with treatment I have to deal with the realities of life and I was never good with that anyway. The cancer gave me something to think about and work on and now it's back to the game of life. Guess I just need some works of encouragement. I have been through alot with 9 surgeries of various things including a recent knee surgery in the last 10 years. I am 41 yrs old and I just need someone to tell me that it will be okay. I can't quit smoking and when I,m alone I drink. Thanks for your time. I am glad to be a BC survivor, really I am.

jmears
Posts: 270
Joined: Jul 2001

Everything can be okay. I had these same feelings ... I'm 44 and after treatment felt like I was over whelmed with "real life". I was depressed mor than I even know and finally my husband told me I had to see someone. I got on Zoloft and feel 100% better. I discovered I may have had mild bouts of depression all my life. I'm really worried that you are drinking alone and strongly suggest you see someone ... would your Oncologist talk to you about your depression ... mine understands and has been helpful. Please, take care of yourself ... life is worth it ... and your son needs a mom. Just think how strong you are to get through the treatments .... Good Luck ... keep us posted. Jamie

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

Hi Julie,
I too was a single parent for most of my sons life, he is now 20 and better able at giving me a swift kick in the pants that is sometimes needed. I am 41 but was 36 at the time of my diagnosis and your right we sure do find out who our true friends and sometimes who our true lovers are. I was fortunate to have my love by my side during and after my cancer journey. Many spouses haven't been able to handle the stresses that breast cancer brings so it is understandable that your boyfriend would have some difficulties. Remember he too has his own fears to deal with. I quit smoking only after having all my chemo treatments through and I knew that it was something I had to do to help myself.
I am sorry for all your pain, it isn't easy but then not much of life is easy so it seems. You might want to take a look at quitnet.com I know some women who have found this very helpful when quitting smoking, you might want to try it if you are willing. I know you can quit because I did. I have smoked off and on since I was 5 years old and knew I would do myself a favour if I quit and I hope you could see you would be doing yourself a favour as well.
I hope this note finds you coping with all you have been given. Know that we are here for you and my only is wish is that you don't be so hard on yourself. It takes time and depression is so common after everything our bodies have been through. The many fears we harbour aren't easily forgotten after it is all said and done. Be good to yourself and know that there are many things out here to help you along the way, to finding a new life better than what we had previous to our cancer. I wish only this for you.
Tara24242

nasa2537
Posts: 317
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi Julieanne...please don't give up on yourself. Depression is very normal post-treatment, because suddenly, you are no longer actively doing anything to prevent cancer. You have gotten close to the people who have been a major help to you, and now you don't see them any more, or at least, very infrequently. It's good that you found out the boyfriend isn't right for you....at least you weren't 10 years into the relationship. You don't need extra baggage right now. You have just gone through the fight of your life, and you can get through the rest of it. If the depression appears to be a real problem that you can't shake on your own, make an appt. with your oncologist and tell him/her everything. Years ago, my husband's (he was then my boyfriend) daughter moved in with us. She was pregnant, did nothing at all around the house, while we worked 8 to 10 hr days. I started drinking a lot of beer. One day, my boyfriend said that he thought I needed to start going to AA meetings. It really woke me up. I dumped all the beer, and bought diet coke. I'm still addicted to diet coke, but only have beer once in awhile. Remember, alcohol is thought to be a contributing factor to breast cancer, so try really hard to just not buy it. If it's not there, you can't drink it. When you are alone and feeling down, e-mail me. I know it's not instant response, but sometimes putting your feelings in writing makes them easier to deal with. Your doctors are there to help you, so please let them know how you're feeling. And please, e-mail me any time...e-mail me often...I'm online quite a few times most days, and will write back right away. Do you have AOL's instant messenger? If so, my screen name is millionairs2...put me on the buddy list, and let me know your screen name. If you don't have it, you can download it free at aol.com whether you have aol or not. I wish you all the best, and like I said...don't give up now...you should be very proud of yourself that you've come this far. Best wishes, Cyndi millionairs2@aol.com

eliana
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2002

Hi Julieanne, I am a 2 time BC survivor. I think depresion is something we all go through. What seems to help me is to tell myself it won't last forever. I allow the depression in and say oh well here we go again and get through it. I used to be depressed for weeks at a time. Now I usually go for a day or 2 once in awhile and then kick myself in the but and get on with life. I quit drinking (which I did a lot of) before I had cancer. I know it's hard to believe but it was one of the best things I ever did. I was missing out on a lot by making alcohol my good friend. I quit smoking the day prior to my first surgery, 11/27/1994. You will do what you need to do when your mind and heart tell you to. Don't beat yourself up over it. Are there any support groups where you live. It's great to talk (in person) to women who have been through the same thing. I think you would really benefit from going to one. Your son might benefit if they have a group for children of survivors. As for the boyfriend part...I was married and divorced twice and that's when I began my drinking. I just felt I had to have a man in my life or I was not going to be happy. WELL, here's the good part, at the age of 43 (see there is hope) I met the man I am now married to. We are very much in love and I feel so fortunate to have met him. Well enough for now. You MUST hang in there and it will be OK. Sometimes it just takes time but it will come. My thoughts are with you.

shirlann
Posts: 235
Joined: Oct 2001

My dear dear sister, you have more than your share with precious little help. Get thee to the doc and get anti-depressants. If you try Welbutrin, it is the perfect one for people who would like to stop smoking, we have two nurses in our complex who had tried everything and couldn't believe how easy it was to quit with this anti-depressant. But whether you try that or not, you need to get help to get you thru the next year or two, then you can stop them. They are not addictive and when I was diagnosed, both my husband and I both started taking them, thanks to a very kind, knowledgable doctor. Make haste, no reason to suffer when you don't need to! God bless you, dear sister, hugs and kisses, Shirlann

baldaunt1
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2003

I had my last radiation treatment in Sept. 2000 and still am having a hard time being NORMAL. Husband and family have been great but I still drink , smoke and worry. My biggest problem is that I am constantly tired, but life is sweet and the alternative really sucks. Please try to remember what you have been through and the rest may seem a little easier.

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