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Psychological effects of chemo?

BioAdoptMom
Posts: 358
Joined: Mar 2011

I am wondering 3 things. I realize everyone is different but I guess I am asking in general.

1. Is the following psych response normal or should I talk with my nurse or doctor?
2. Do these feelings go away, or are they here to stay forever?
3. Can I get past these things while I am still in chemo? If so, how?

What seems to be happening is that everything I previously liked which I have used, eaten, done, etc. during chemo or right after when I am in a state of exhaustion, queasiness, itchy rash, pain from Neulasta, etc. now has a very negative connotation. I don't even like to get into bed now unless I have taken something to relax me because I associate bed with that irritable tired feeling I have on day two. I look at my favorite fleece blanket that I have taken to chemo, and want nothing to do with it. I want nothing to do with strawberry smoothies because I had them everyday for a week after my first treatment. Our younger son and his GF gave me an iPod and I am afraid to load my favorites onto it and take it to chemo for obvious reasons now. Is this normal or have I gone off the deep end?

Thanks!

Nancy

aisling8's picture
aisling8
Posts: 1253
Joined: Feb 2010

Nancy,

I didn't have chemo, but while I was waiting on the OncotypeDx results to find out if I would or wouldn't be having chemo, I read a book, I think it was something like "Just Let Me Get Through This," something like that, and she said don't take anything you care about to chemo because it will end up making you feel sick and/or you'll hate it later.

Hope that helps.

xoxo
Victoria

Texasgirl10's picture
Texasgirl10
Posts: 668
Joined: Nov 2010

but I will tell you that I can't stand the cracker barrel now nor do I ever want another baked potatoe, both of which I loved before chemo. I had too much of both during chemo. I hope things get better for you real soon. I am so sorry that you are having such a hard time. I'm sending you big cyber hugs.

Dawne

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3101
Joined: Apr 2009

I didn't have chemo either Nancy, but, I am praying that you will get thru it with no side effects.

grams2jc's picture
grams2jc
Posts: 756
Joined: May 2011

Hi Nancy,

For me everything had a cycle. Finished chemo 5 weeks ago tomorrow and now doing rads. During chemo I would be craving something, tuna for breakfast, chocolate milk all of the time, vienna sausages??!!!, yogurt, salmon,slushes from Sonic, and then I would be done with it. Leaving 12 cans of tuna in the cabinet or a gallon of choc. milk to go sour in the fridge. I just ate and drank what I craved and didn't sweat it, even though some of the stuff I HAD to have I hadn't had for 30 years and didn't really like. Music doesn't have negative chemo vibes for me and EVERYTHING smelled bad so I don't hold that against my favorite lotions, etc. and I can use them now. I am hoping that chemo is a lot like labor and delivery and will just fade over time so it is a fuzzy memory, seems to be happening already.

Hoping that for you those negative feelings will ease, and if they don't, maybe some new bedding or a new lamp, or something like that can switch it all up so you can at least rest easier. Heaven knows we all need as much rest as we can get during this battle.

Good luck,

Jennifer

P.S. it all sounds very normal to me

mamolady's picture
mamolady
Posts: 795
Joined: May 2011

Nancy,
Mostly the smells of things remind me of chemo still and I have a little trouble with some. Foods I ate I still eat. The music, I don't think that will always remind you of chemo if you have other memories associated with it.
You have not gone off the deep end. Or maybe you have but it is to be expected. For me Tuesdays were my favorite day. I had chemo on Wednesdays and always felt my best on Tuesday! I thought I would always hate Wednesdays but I don't.

Cindy

Rague
Posts: 3277
Joined: Aug 2009

Have not had those feelings at all! For me - everything that was important before DX and TX
is even more important today. Depression has not been a problem for me. Talk to your DRs.
Susan

wndringmnd's picture
wndringmnd
Posts: 44
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi Nancy,
I thought I was nuts. I am in radiation now, having finished chemo about 3 weeks ago, and am beginning to feel better psychologically, but I did talk to a psych. and was put on a antidepression pill as well as an anti-anxiety pill but prior to that I craved foods, and after chemo was over I couldn't stand them, During chemo I couldn't sleep in my own bed for weeks,I slept on the couch for weeks and then only within the last few weeks am I starting to in small increments.. I don't want to smell my favorite flowers, and the list goes on. some of the things have gotten better and some have not. I am trying to not over think it.there are enough other things to worry about. As many things things as there are that I don't like any more there seem to be new things that I want to try, which is pretty cool. I hope this helps.

Marilyn

mollyz's picture
mollyz
Posts: 737
Joined: Sep 2010

In a book i had that the hospital gave me "Breast Cancer Treatment Book" it actually said not to eat things that you really liked because when the chemo was over it would turn you against the foods that you ate when you where on the chemo.I am going to paint my bedroom over once i get to feeling some better i can't stand to be in there now because of laying in there sick.I really don't want any reminders of that time I put the fleece blanket up also. good luck. MOLLYZ

Arabrab
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2011

I am just beginning chemo, a week ago. I am hungry all the time and am relishing the fact I feel like eating. I never thought these positive things might turn into some negative things. While reading people's comments, I was reminded of when I lost my son eleven years ago. The day I drove home from work was burned into my memory. The songs on the radio were burned inti my memory. Seeing a police car gave me major anxiety attacks. When I went back to work I would park my car in a different direction so I would head home on a different path. Then I decided I had fallen off that horse for the last time. I was going to get back on him and change things. I drove the same way every day. I listened to the same songs. I stared at police cars as they drove beside me. I went to favorite places I had gone with my son. I built up a whole new set of memories with those same ones that hurt me. I'm thinking that might be what will have to happen with you. When you are feeling better, start eating a food you once loved but now have negative memories with. Build up slowly and change the way you eat it. Make a happy memory to connect to. I learned that time does heal. It's an ugly process that has to be traveled. You will come out on top and will begin to see new joys and pleasures and hopefully forget the negative ones. My heart goes out you.

Arabrab
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2011

I am just beginning chemo, a week ago. I am hungry all the time and am relishing the fact I feel like eating. I never thought these positive things might turn into some negative things. While reading people's comments, I was reminded of when I lost my son eleven years ago. The day I drove home from work was burned into my memory. The songs on the radio were burned inti my memory. Seeing a police car gave me major anxiety attacks. When I went back to work I would park my car in a different direction so I would head home on a different path. Then I decided I had fallen off that horse for the last time. I was going to get back on him and change things. I drove the same way every day. I listened to the same songs. I stared at police cars as they drove beside me. I went to favorite places I had gone with my son. I built up a whole new set of memories with those same ones that hurt me. I'm thinking that might be what will have to happen with you. When you are feeling better, start eating a food you once loved but now have negative memories with. Build up slowly and change the way you eat it. Make a happy memory to connect to. I learned that time does heal. It's an ugly process that has to be traveled. You will come out on top and will begin to see new joys and pleasures and hopefully forget the negative ones. My heart goes out you.

camul's picture
camul
Posts: 2017
Joined: Dec 2010

I don't think you are nuts. I wore certain sweats to radiation, now that is what I see when I look at them. Foods that I liked before chemo, have no taste now. Music was not an issue as my boys loaded all my favorites and that is the one thing that has nothing to do with chemo, just soothing!
I associate one with the other also, and I don't think I am nuts:) Others may, but that is okay too! I found out after my first bout with chemo, that all of this fades. So I am relying on it fading this time also!
Good luck to you, and talk to your doctor maybe they have a way to get past this faster!
How funny that someone else mentioned the chocolate milk, that, Kraft mac and cheese, and Big Macs are the things that I crave this time. I have always loved fish and now just the thought of it makes me queasy. Funny how this works.
~Carol

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4520
Joined: Aug 2009

I think i am nuts, as my first time i drank a lot of root beer when i was nauseated and I still love it. This time I ate mango smoothies and chicken sandwiches and chicken noodle soup from panera and I still love them. I took my ipod in it helped me block out the environment and relax. However I still get anxious when I sit int he chair. I never react to things the way one would think though LOL

dbhadra's picture
dbhadra
Posts: 344
Joined: Jan 2011

Chemo is yucky and things associated with it have that yuck factor. I;ve been eating popsicles during chemo as I was told they help prevent mouth sores, can;t stand the idea of the them now and used to like them. Raspberry lemonade or any Kool Aid looking type drink reminds me of that horrible looking red medicine they have been pushing into my body. Literally makes me feel sick to see them and brings a wave of chemo type feelings.

I;m hoping these feelings will fade in time. My last scheduled chemo is this Friday and I hope I will not have to do any more after surgery!

Laura

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

No chemo for me, but, I still think I suffer from just plain old cancer brain. My memory isn't as good as it was before my diagnosis and a few other things. But considering all that we have to go thru, I just count my blessings.

Good luck to you,

Leeza

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