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Post Tramautic Stress?

truejoy8's picture
truejoy8
Posts: 41
Joined: Jan 2004

Please off any insight you might have into this:

I've just recently completed 6 months of chemo after being diagnosed with Hodgkins disease last April. All throughout treatment I was fine and had a great attitude, which helped a lot. But now that it's over and I'm "cured" I'm having problems. I get nervouse over little tiny health things, I cry easy and often think back on how hard the whole thing was and cry. I feel scared even though there is nothing to be afraid of anymore. I think I've cried more in the last month or so than I ever did during treatment. Could this be some kind of Post Tramautic Stress? And how do I get help? Thanks.

jsabol's picture
jsabol
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

I read your posting with interest, as I am now only in the first month of chemo following stage III colon cancer, with surgical resection. Before my last chemo session, I was asking my onc what happens after the 6 months, since my pre-op CT scan was negative, but I did have micrometastasis to one node. When he said we schedule our follow up exams and just wait, I found myself weeping softly at the thought. Right now I feel I'm doing everything I can, good diet, rest, positive attitude, meditation and visualization....then to think that after all this I just WAIT and watch and hope makes me anxious already. Hope you can hook up with others who are in the same place; sounds pretty understandable to me; just the diagnosis of cancer is traumatic, let alone treatment and continuing to live past all this. Hang in there and be kind to yourself. Judy

rosyglo
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2004

Hello, truejoy!

I am experiencing the same symptoms, 6 months after all my treatments for breast cancer have ended. During the last year I have gone through cancer, separation, divorce, trying to sell my house, and working full time as a labor/delivery RN and lactation counselor ( ironic). I've been busily jumping through all the hoops. Now that my mammogram is clear, the portacath is gone, I have a full head of thick, wavy hair, I am strssing out and becoming irritable, forgetful, edgy, teary, and unable to sleep for more than two hours straight. I think we develop a sort of tunnel vision in crisis situations to help us focus . When That focus disappears the exhaustion hits. Is this how you feel?

rosyglo

ceezhar's picture
ceezhar
Posts: 12
Joined: Jan 2004

truejoy8: You helped me on Tuesday far more than you will know--I was having a crying jag and couldn't stop. Yes, this could be Post Traumatic Stress, any shock can haunt us at any time, regardless of the time span (look at the Viet Nam vets). I've even had flashbacks and the pit of my stomach just drop and had to go to bed and lie there shaking. Everything is either enhanced or less emotional than before. I'm surprised at my lack of compassion at times and then surprised at my outrageous gratefulness and overly heart-wrenching sympathy at other times. I want my husband to hug me and when he does, it's not right--I wanted him to do it because HE wanted to, not ME wanting him to. After all, if he really loves me, shouldn't HE read MY mind? Having an anniversary and a birthday last week, when last year I didn't think I'd ever see either again was very sentimental. Why? Because I had them or because I didn't think I WOULD have them? I suddenly feel like damaged goods; I fear abandonment; I feel overwhelmed by the possibility of being killed in an auto accident after beating the cancer--what a shame and waste of energy that would be; I fear them finding cancer somewhere else in my body when my CT & PET were great in December. Now, I ask you...Is this cancer-nuts, hormones, post trauma/shock syndrom or mild depression? I think a bit of all! And we are entitled to it. I'm out of "fight mode" and having to re-adjust and let my hair down and relax. Yes, I may have to go on an anti-depressant if it keeps on or gets worse, but hey, I'm still here 18 months after they gave me only six months to live and were not even going to treat me at all--and in clinical remission. Of course, that is rational speaking and a normal way of looking at this, but sometimes I just want to cry too, feel for myself, remember the past and sort out what went on outside the fog that I was in earlier.

Also, hearing of other deaths, expecially when people are younger, is hard on us too. I've had seven friends and relatives to die this past year from cancer, and three of them were encouraging me that I could make it! Two died only two months after diagnosis. Scary? Very much so.

People that are reading this and having these symptoms, it is normal. The medical community is just now merging with psychologists and discovering that there is a problem after cancer they HAVE to address.

God's blessing to you truejoy, and everyone else going through this! --Ceezhar

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