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I'm new to this and am having a severe bout with depression

lil_pea
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2010

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in Nov. 09. Just had my 7th of 8 chemo treatments with herceptin. I dread the few days after the chemo treatments because I get so depressed. I have dealt with depression for a long time but it seems to be getting worse. I go see a psychologist but he can't be with me 24/7 and weekends are especially hard. My husband left me and it seems like I have had so many let downs since with relationships. I really have noone to talk to right now. I feel very alone. I have 3 sons, they are supportive in some ways but the emotional part they expect me to be the strong one which I have been until now. I feel like a child and ashamed and yet again I feel fortunate because I know they're are alot of others who are going through so much worse than I, my heart goes out to them.
I feel angry that I've been lied to so many times by men and I don't know why this is all coming out right now. I must need to get this off my chest. Maybe if I do it will help with my healing. I don't have any close friends to talk to or I don't want to impose on them. How do I comfortably discuss this with them? I honestly feel alone in this and feel my cancer will not be cured if my mind and heart aren't happy. So sorry to complain but having a really tough time right now.

halsons's picture
halsons
Posts: 76
Joined: Apr 2010

I am sorry you have had such a hard time with your cancer and everything else. I haven't had cancer but just lost my husband and best friend of 25 years 4 months ago. I know all about depression and know it can really take you down. I have started classes in grief share and I think they have been helping me. Might I suggest a support group? I am the first one to say I didn't like the whole support group and talking about my issues with others I didn't know kind of scared me. I think it really might help get you in a better way to fight your cancer. I know that one group I went to suggested I be honest and even cry if I have to around my kids so they can see I am human and am hurting like they are. Not very comfortable with that but I know they need to see us break down once in a while. I have some close friends but no one has delt with what I am going through with my husbands death and dealing with the loss of my four kids dad. Journaling also might be something for you to channel your energy too. Also know there are many people in here that can be a good motivator and an ear to listen. Know we are here for you!!!!!! You can fight this you just need to vent, cry and get back up and fight. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Haley

lil_pea
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2010

Hi Haley, thank you for replying. I'm so sorry for your loss. Yet, I'm so happy for you that you had a happy life together, how wonderful. Your story makes me cry not only out of sympathy but out of happiness to hear that someone has had a good life with their partner and best friend. Towards the end of these chemo treatments have been the worst as far as the depression is concerned. My sons, especially my older son has seen me fall apart a couple times. He's been very supportive but I am embarrassed that he has to witness this. My husband left me about 5 years ago and always told me he was going to divorce me. We were married for 28 years and stupid me stayed in the marriage that was abusive verbally and physically. I knew he was going to leave me and wanted to better myself by going to school but financially I wasn't eligible for anything so I had to drop out. I cared for my sons basically alone for he wasn't home hardly at all and had no interest in the boys. I felt so alone and trapped. Everyday I was threatened with divorce for some reason or other. He finally left me after our youngest graduated...he had another woman. In the last few years I have met a couple men who I cared dearly about but like before they have lied to me and made me feel desirable until they traveled somewhere and were led astray by other women. I honestly feel like a freak. Especially now after my cancer diagnosis and the mutilating surgeries. I guess I feel the need for someone strong in my life but cannot accept the fact that that person may possibly be me. I am looking into a support group this week as a matter of fact. I'm scared to death but will give it a try. I care so much for people I'm afraid hearing their stories might make me more depressed. Thanks again for replying and I hope you grow stronger with each new day and you are in my thoughts and prayers, also. Sorry, if I got carried away here and ranted too long.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1635
Joined: Aug 2009

This is a good place to come and rant. We all need to do that once in awhile. I am glad you are looking into a support group. I lost my husband in Oct., but I still go to my cancer support group. The people there really helped my husband and I through some tough times. Now they give me support. I'm sorry that your relationships have not been good. Like Haley, I was blessed with a very good marriage. We were married for 42 years. I think, though, that we can be strong. I wish you the best as you continue your battle with cancer. Come here when you want or need to. Ranting and venting are welcome. Fay

medi_2's picture
medi_2
Posts: 511
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi lil pea! Time to start again! I know it sucks not to have a significant other while going through all this garbage but your future will hold lots of joy, don't forget that. Make it your mantra. You are not a freak! You are a beautiful human being who obviously is very sensitive and cares deeply. Give yourself some credit for reaching out, that is a very good sign. There are many on this board who will be here for you, please take care!
Cheers!
Medi

dharma19
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2010

Oh Lil_Pea, I can relate to what is going on. I am a single parent and everyone expects me to be the strong one. You have always been the one to help others and be the cheerleader for them, right? I think the treatment causes depression. I also think it is hard not to have a significant other (I have the same issue). It is hard to talk to friends. This board is full of wonderful people who have been where you are. I also think the support group is a great idea. I started individual therapy because everyone always perceives me as the strong one and I didn't know how to change that up. I ended up staying in therapy because the therapist had some great resources and ideas for me. I know what you mean about being worried that our mind will hurt our body's ability to fight the cancer. Do they offer reiki at your center? I love that! Massage is good too. I am usually the last person to reach out, but after my diagnosis, I realized that I had to. I was getting in a dark place. The fact that you acknowledged your depression is a really good thing. You are in tune with yourself and know intuitively what is good for you. I know therapy helped me a lot (they also put me on anti-depressants) as well as a support group. I also told my adult kids that I couldn't be the strong one all the time any more and that I was human. They seemed OK with this. I asked them for specific ways to support me--little things but ways that made both of us feel better.
Anyway, that is what helped me. The boards are helping me through a pain issue right now, so the boards is a big source of support too. I hope you find a good local group. I made some good connections in mine. You will be amazed at how many people are feeling the same way as you. I was. God Bless. I am thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way.

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1561
Joined: Nov 2009

Lil Pea
I like that cute name! I was a caregiver for my dad who recently passed away in March from esophagal cancer with mets to the liver. I come to these boards daily. I look forward to meeting and helping new people here. It helps me to help others. Journaling, as Haley mentioned is wonderful. If you can not express yourself with words, you can express yourself with writing. This discussion board in a lot of ways is journaling. See how you got the chance to rant, rave, and vent? Now don't you feel a whole lot better? This is the place to be. Any day, any time. Take all of that pent up anger and put it towards your breast cancer. Fight this cancer with that anger. I have heard nothing but positive results with the type of chemo you are taking. Have you ever considered taking an anti depressent for your depression? There are many out there. I am on one, and am very pleased. Thanks for coming here, and keep us updated. Peace.
Tina

lil_pea
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2010

Thank you all who have responded to my plea for help. I feel better already knowing that there are people that understand what I'm going through. I'm so sorry for all of you and what you have gone through whether you were the caregiver and lost your loved or the one suffering from this disease..I SO WISH things could be different for all of you.
I have tried many different anti-depressants and the dr.s have found that I cannot tolerate drugs. I'm hypersensitive to them and they don't work for me. The side effects of the chemo have caused severe burns and neuropathy to my hands and feet, also, and my onc has had to put me on reduced dosages or stopped for a few weeks. He's talking about quitting chemo altogether but we'll see at my next appt. They don't offer massage or reiki at the center where I go, but that sounds like a good idea. Does insurance pay for it if you have cancer? I should check into that.
I'm so glad to hear that there are good marriages out there. For some reason its something that I cannot comprehend but hope to experience in the time I have left. I honestly feel like my heart is broke in two and if I die it would be of that rather than the cancer.
To be the caregiver and lose your loved one would be devastating. But having the reassurance that, that loved one loved you is one of the greatest gifts I think anyone could posess. All the happy memories you must have. Thanks again so much for sharing and God Bless you all. I hope I make sense to you all.

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1561
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Lil pea
This is my check in call to you. Glad our replies helped you. It is too bad that your body is so sensitive to medicine. That makes it even harder on you. Do the best you can. You have yourself a good holiday weekend! Check in with us when you can. Thinking and praying for you.
Tina

LoveEnraged's picture
LoveEnraged
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2010

Pea, I may not understand completely, for I am not you, and therefore I have not walked in your shoes, but I have had a rough life, many things I have had to deal with along my path of 24 years. But I do understand how life can get you down, and how things that happen can make you question whether there is ever going to be something great out there that is especially meant for you. I also understand how depression can take its toll on our very being as I suffer from extreme bipolar. And there are many reasons to question why people do the things they do, and why they have to hurt us when we least deserve it. But though it may seem hard to believe, good things DO happen, and they WILL. I went through many bad relationships, very bad ones, even a bad marriage, before I found the man I was meant to be with, but I never gave up, and I never believed anyone who fed me bad news about myself or tried to bring me down, they are only tests in my eyes, tests and obstacles that I need to get past to become a better person and to grow as I need to.
Don't be ashamed for feeling the way that you do, it is perfectly understandable and no one judges you for that. I know it must be hard feeling like you have no one, I use to feel that way all the time, and I know it must feel like hell to see that light at the end of a dark tunnel, but you have to keep going. You don't have to smile if you don't want to, if you are hurting, don't be ashamed to show it. Hold your head up high but don't try to be something for everyone. This is YOUR time. YOUR health. YOU take care of YOU. Be the mother to your boys that they need, but give yourself time for you to start believing in yourself. I know you can do it. We all know you can. And we are here for you, no matter what.

gptm
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2010

I understand where you are coming from, I dont feel a spouse deserting feels the same as them passing away. with desertion they are still alive doing things with another person perhaps, and they left you, and w cancer left you in your time of need a dark hour.

I understand,

Teresa

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

not happy. I celebrated my 28th cancer-free year in April. When I was diagnosed, I was in an unhappy marriage and working at a job I hated and which I eventually lost. In those 28 years, I lost both my parents to long-term illnesses and my brother to suicide, which I discovered. I won't even mention my divorce and my difficulty finding a new job. I struggled through the depths of depression, especially after seeing my brother. However, I survived and so can you and all this talk about maintaining a positive mental attitude is just so much "psycho-babble".

Love, Courage, and Peace of Mind!

Rick

congoody
Posts: 74
Joined: Jan 2010

I agree and I think the research supports the notion that it does not matter one iota whether or not you have a positive outlook or not - cancer does not care - I am about the crabbiest person on earth, my family is ready to drown me if I do not die first and most of my friends are long gone - but that does not matter a bit to my survival - if I hear one more person tell me to "think positive" I will throw up on them and not just for their incorrect grammar (told you I was crabby!) - I am on the every 3 month CT scan nightmare because the radiologists always seem to see something on my scan that maybe just might be something rather than nothing so they err on the side of caution and recommend close follow-up - well, that makes for one horrid witch of a person who cannot seem to let go and live - am happy to hear that others have purchased their Harleys and are driving into their dream sunsets but I seem frozen in this awful limbo, unable to see the light (do not tell me to pray)...next scan end of August - perhaps this catatonia will lift prior to that -

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Many thanks to both you and congoody for being honest about the reality of cancer in our lives. A psychologist once wrote that people who go about their daily lives as if a traumatic experience did no emotional damage as the "functionally insane". I tend to agree with that hypothesis.

Rick

miccmill's picture
miccmill
Posts: 248
Joined: May 2010

Please site some of your collective 'references' to articles or abstracts that have research results about state of mind and cancer.

Sounds like an interesting point of view. I'd like to read more.

miccmill's picture
miccmill
Posts: 248
Joined: May 2010

There's actually quite a bit out there. Some of it with large enough groups to be statistically compelling.

All that I've read so far does make the point that as far as quantity of life goes (with a Cancer diagnosis) it's not influenced by a positive attitude.

Quality of life is a different story.

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

I think that some people feel guilty about revealing their true anger or anxieties for fear that they will make everyone around them sad or uncomfortable, so they "put on a happy face", while they tremble on the inside, exacerbating their feelings of depression. Sure, their loved ones may enjoy better "quality" lives by the patient "being strong" for them, but the patient is not getting his/her emotional needs met because of his/her fake persona of happiness or bravado.

"Don't cry out loud, just keep it inside and learn how to hide your feelings!"
Melissa Manchester

"Shout, shout, let it all out, these are the things I can do without
Come on, I'm talking to you, come on!" Tears for Fears

Love, Courage, and Peace of Mind

Rick

medi_2's picture
medi_2
Posts: 511
Joined: Aug 2009

i want to paint all of you. really.
medi

rose_hadds's picture
rose_hadds
Posts: 34
Joined: Jul 2010

I agree keeping your feelings inside is not healthy. I was not ready for the depression that hit when treamtments ended. For me this has just been since may 19th. I fight everyday with anxiety/depression/anger. I am finally being honest with my closest network that just because treatments are done does not mean the fight is over infact the big journey has just begun....Life as I knew it is gone and I find that very difficult to deal worth. A lifetime full of check ups and scans is not what I signed up for. My first scans since tx ended are coming up and I am a nervous wreck. The emotional part of cancer for me is much harder than all the physical. I would like to feel semi- normal again and wonder if this will ever happen. I am trying to allow myself to feel whatever it is I am feeling whether it be anger/guilt/anxiety and just let it happen without being so hard on myself.
Somedays just getting out of bed is hard. No ones gets it and I am so glad I found this site because evryone on here does. The words "be positive" drive me nuts too because the people saying them have no idea - hard to be poitive when a time bomb has hit your body.

I pray each day will get a lttle easier for us all!!

zinniemay's picture
zinniemay
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

People who do not have cancer may not always get it. I have twice been told I have cancer fisrt time 10 years ago the doctor wrote me off, My family family doctor who is so kind said"Lets get you to someone who knows" took two long weeks then a week of test and Biopsies to find I had no cancer, I have these weeks burned into my head, then three years ago again was told it was cancer, I went again and they said they did not think so but if it was there was nothing that could be done. So I have decided best for me is what is not always best for others. I will live each day. Now in 2009 my husband got the news he has cancer T-4 n-1 >E.C. he had treatment and they were inpressed with how well he did now May 2010 They said that is spread to both lungs.they said a year without treatment maybe two with. He is just finished his second round of chemo and will have a scan next week. So I have so many thoughts running threw my head. So some people do know what is going on but still words are hard to find to know what to say. I think say anything is better than to say nothing . You are right I believe the emotional part is far harder than anything else. I love my husband and I don't even know what to say to him ? How can that be?

rose_hadds's picture
rose_hadds
Posts: 34
Joined: Jul 2010

My husband has struggled with what to say through my illness. He has been there through thick and thin. He tells me he loves me and how beautiful I am. He fully admits he does not understand all the emotional stuff but he supports me. He thinks I am too hard on myself. Just tell your husband daily how much you love him...listen to whatever he has to say...sometimes we just want to be heard and are not looking for an answer or response. You both have fears that surround his illness and be honest about that. Make day he feels okay the best it can be. Lots of hugs and holding. The beast is nasty but love can get us through anything..Not knowing what to say is common and dont beat yourself up over it...you are scared of losing him so be honest and tell him your feelings as he is feeling them too.....good luck and stay strong...

rose_hadds's picture
rose_hadds
Posts: 34
Joined: Jul 2010

Also remember you need support as well as a caregiver...it is difficult to see you loves ones ill and in pain. Do you have someone you can talk to?

Posted last comments before adding this - live laugh love

zinniemay's picture
zinniemay
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

Rose_hadds I don't know you but that was the sweetest thing said to me in a long time. I have two adlut children , But can not bare to burden them I know they are scared too. I tryed looking for suport groups but most are 30 miles one way. I don't drive much!
I love your smile. I think your husband knows how blessed he is to have you too.

rose_hadds's picture
rose_hadds
Posts: 34
Joined: Jul 2010

If you like talk more my email is leahaddon@bell.net. I think we could help each other. Anytime you feel you would like to drop me a private note and we can keep in touch. I too have had trouble finding a support group close but this has worked out well. I have adult children and have been honest about everything, You need to share your feelings with them as they are feeling it too. They are probably hiding it from you so not to upset you. Sit them down and have a good heart to heart, It will do you and them good, My kids still live there lives just a little more cautious...they are scared just like me and my husband. Lets talk soon....I am here any time or as i said email me.

rose_hadds's picture
rose_hadds
Posts: 34
Joined: Jul 2010

Sorry spelled your name wrong...lol

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