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Emotional turmoil

Teacher03
Posts: 10
Joined: Jan 2003

I finished my radiation treatments one month ago today. During the treatments, I started experiencing some really strong emotional reactions, and the doctor put me on anti-depressants "to get me through a rough time." I seemed to be doing pretty well until this past weekend. Since then, it's been like I had never taken them at all. I felt worse than I did before I started them! My mind wants to dwell on sad stuff - all of the people I've lost to cancer and my feelings about losing them. And I tend to over-react and get my feelings hurt when no offense was intended. I'm not understanding this at all!

What might have triggered the negativity in me was visiting my radiation oncologist and the ophthalmologist who diagnosed my cancer and receiving mixed messages from them. The radiation onc. examined me and then told me that another biopsy of what's left of my tumor might be necessary to see if what is left is still active or not. He mentioned that I'd need chemotherapy if it was active. He said it might turn out that I have something besides lymphoma! Then he talked about these things happen in a very small percentage of cases, and that they'd still keep an eye on my for awhile to see how I'm doing, and he wanted me to come back in four weeks. From his office, I went to the eye doctor, who examined me and mentioned that he could tell that I'm still experiencing effects of the radiation (sunburned tear ducts, for one) but he didn't seem overly concerned about any of it. He wants me back in six weeks. I guess I started dwelling on the negative stuff I was told and then worrying about it.

I saw my hematology oncologist Monday, and she assured me that I'm doing fine at this stage and wants me back in three months. In the meantime, I am to continue seeing the other two doctors and keep my follow-up appointments.

Anyway, I'm feeling a little better today. But I'm still wondering why I went through this upheaval like I did. I know I had several people wondering what the heck was going on with me when I blew up at them over (what they thought was) nothing. The way I heard them was NOT what they meant. Things have been resolved and there are no hard feelings, but WHY ON EARTH DID I DO THAT???? Has the cancer made me crazy?

sassysally's picture
sassysally
Posts: 150
Joined: Mar 2003

No, the cancer has not made you crazy. You are perfectly normal. Everyone who has ever been thru radiation can attest that you get sunburn or worse. This is an emotional time. It seems that from the time of diagnosis to surgery to chemo radition is all a blur and it will take you time to process. Yes, it is easy to dwell on the negative... I've been there, but I've also seen the good side. As a 3 times bc survivor, and I emphasis the word survivor, depression and hostlility at times have been my friend. You are so lucky to be alive. Your story breaks my heart, but in it all I get the feeling that you are a strong, determined inddividual that will not give up. Yes, this bad thing happened to you, but you will triumph and things will be brighter in the end. When things get you down, think of ( I guess as I do) the homeless person, the person with no food, and no one to love or love them. Life hands us all a different basket.I choose the one of optimism, know that we have all been there. It is not unusual or crazy. Yes, we all get mad, and yes it seems never ending, but I'll help all I can and be here for you to cheer you on and have a shoulder. Thanks for beign honest with your feelings and know that there are people here just like you waiting to help you carry the load. Been there. Keep smiling, you are a survivor.

dolores
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2003

Sometimes I feel that there is noone else in the world but me, I feel so isolated. Ever since my cancer was discovered I feel that everyone has left....but I'm praying that God has not forsaken me and I will pray that you will come out of this depression..

KiKiMontoya
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi, I am KiKi and am a single mom of 2. I am now one year into my recovery and have joined the ranks of Cancer Survivors. What you are feeling is normal. I was not aware of most of the things that was told to me during treatment. My mom took notes and we kept a journal of all doctors visits and the results of each. Make sure you take someone with you to each appointment to take notes and ask questions that you need answers to. That way you can go back over your notes to remember or quote what ws said to you during the office visits of each doctor. (including any medications subscribed) Make sure you write questions down a day or two before each appointment. Remember that God will not give us more than we can handle and the fact that your still hear means it's ok! Make sure you tell every-1 around you how your feeling and when you want to cry do it!! I made the mistake of keeping it from my family and children for more than 6 1/2 years before saying something. Trust me they may be scared too, but they want to know what your going thru so they can and will understand when you lash out or just feel the need to cry. I just walked thru it on blind faith that God would see me thru and it seemed as if He really spoke to me and let me feel His presence at all times. I was numb all the time inside and reeling with pain on the outside. And somehow I just knew it was still ok, because it was what I had to go thru to get better and live. I let it run it's course and knowing all that would be going on with me and my body helped when things did happen and now it has been since 1/10/02 and God has given me a new outlook on life and what it has to offer me. I feel really He was trying to get my attention back on Him! I am still emotional alot of the time, but at least I'm here and with that it isn't all ways an emotional disaster. Alot of my emotions are tears of joy and laughter of overwhelming happines to just be here. I never knew why people think that to know your not the only one to go thru something is supposed to make it all better or make you feel like your not alone or something like that, but for me it doesn't help to kow that there are others suffering too. Think about it, how does it help me to know that and how can I help them to not go thru it. I can't!! We can't!! All I can do is tell you I'm here, I know, I hurt, I pray!!!. And if you really need to talk about ANYTHING not just your medical condition, I am KiKi Montoya and you can lean on me. egunhillrd@aol.com Always True-Harted
Your New freind and Sister in Christ!

kamehameha6470
Posts: 33
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi Teacher:

Talk about preaching to the choir. I thought it was odd too that just when I was finishing all my treatments, I started loosing it. Some of it was from the tamoxifen, which is being sorted out now, but a lot of it was just what I like to call shell-shock.

I mean, think of all you've been through in the past months: exams, scans, radiation, drugs, poking, prodding, this doctor, that doctor--of course it is enough to make your head spin, and temporarily nutty.

I've spent some time now with two different types of councelors, both familiar with cancer patients, and I can't tell you how much better I feel. Believe me, the last thing I wanted was another office to visit, but it's been worth it for both myself and my family.

Find someone to talk to: minister, priest, councelor--get things off your chest, including all the annoying things the doctors do, even as well meaning as they are. And remember, these docs are human just like you and me. They are trying to do the best by you, and they can only go by the experiences they have already had. My docs make me loony too when they seem to not be in agreement, but they've got this thing right so far, and here I am raising my children and living my life.

I've only been coming to this site for a short time, but there are a lot of good people here, some of whom (including me) would send emails with you, or chat with you in the chat room or discussion area.

In the meantime, don't beat yourself up. Find the things that make you feel better (walking, working out, writing) and do them. Good luck to you and God Bless.

Aloha,
Sonja

grettasmom
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi Guys...I'm pretty new here too. Long story short, I'm a 58 year old Realtor (female). Knew I was sick for the past 8 months or so, but couldn't get a handle on it. Turned out to be colon cancer (surgery 4/15/03). They took lymph nodes and I'm told it's gone to liver. The surgeon's partner told me and my family (while I was still quite groggy) "We removed baseball sized tumor, lymph nodes and it's spread to liver...you'll become more and more nauseated, get terrible diahrahhia, lose weights and it's terminal. You have about 3 months to 1 year. This is just about the way he said it too. I feel absolutely TERRIFIC, although I start chemo tomorrow morning and I'm nervous about that. My biggest problem is that I feel like a voodo doctor but a spell on me. I keep imagining I'm nauseas, but then I get busy with something interesting and the felling completly goes away. Very normal bowel movements. I am so angry with him for the way he presented that to me. There must be a better way. Also, I'm afraid to ask what level of cancer I have.....I don't want to hear it!! I'm working very dilligently with some positive stuff, and it feels so right.

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