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Depression

JaneyH
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2004

I survived my lymphoma and have been back to work for a year. However, in my desire to live better I cannot cope with some of the realities of my life as it was. My family has also had long term emotional effects from the experience. I have done support groups and psychology, but my family won't participate in these things so I haven't gotten far. Anyone else in my position?

jerzfam
Posts: 15
Joined: May 2003

Hi Janey,
I too have had bouts of depression during and after treatment. I have been out of chemotheraphy for almost 2 yrs. and have been taking Welbutrin (anti-depressant) which is helpful. The experience of surgeries and treatments has been hard on my family as well, and there are times I wish my family would participate more in dealing with these feelings, but I find by treating my own depression, I am better able to cope with theirs. I'm not sure if that makes sense or helps, but I will pray for you and your family. You are not alone in this battle. Best wishes to you.
-Cathy

tiggertoo's picture
tiggertoo
Posts: 31
Joined: Mar 2003

I think that depression should be on every list of side effects of cancer and treatment. Fortunately for me I was diagnosed with depression 2 years prior to getting leukemia in 2002. At diagnosis my meds were increased to help me deal with the stress -- add a little xanax too and I was one happy camper! :) almost! The impact of the changes in my life did not hit me until after treatment when I realized that the meds were not enough. I ended up seeing both a psychiatrist (prescribes drugs) AND a psychologist (doesn't) which was great since I only get 15 minutes with my psych and 45 minutes with my psychologist. Learning to accept our new "normal" is difficult for both us and our families. Since our families felt so very helpless and worried about us making it they are facing different types of stress than we do. If they are not willing to work out their issues, there isn't much you can do. The best thing is to accept the things you can change and the things you can't -- old saying I know, but it has been key for me in accepting my life as it is now. I am still ticked that radiation gave me heart & lung damage, leaving me with asthma and increased lung problems and illnesses. I have 2 leaky heart valves and have to take antibiotics prior to any dental work. I have real bad memory problems, memory loss, etc. My 8 yr old remembers 10 X's more than I do. I am left with numb feet from damaged nerves -- but I remind myself that at least I am alive to experience these things, at least I haven't relapsed like many of my friends have and I haven't died like other friends... It is a daily struggle sometimes to accept where I am and remember the blessings. Don't give up because we can find happiness again!
Blessing on your search! tiggertoo

manna1qd's picture
manna1qd
Posts: 48
Joined: Dec 2007

I immediately needed medication to help my anxiety when I was diagnosed. After treatment, I ended up on a few meds before I found something that really helped. Keep going to counselling and ask your doctor to help you find an appropriate medication. You need to take care of yourself and the rest of the family will be better off. If they choose to, they will be able to live better life and get help if they need to. You may go very far without your family. You do not need them along for you to enjoy your life and feel good again. My husband was not able to cope emotionally with my cancer. I know now how important it is for me to get it together for myself. If I wait for the family, I may never get there. Keep the faith! You will get better.

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