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Struggling today

7243
Posts: 211
Joined: Feb 2011

Hello Friends ... I'm struggling emotionally today.

I go for my 9 month PET CT, exam and labs next week and I feel so down right now. I can't seem to get myself "living fully again" like I did pre-diagnosis. I feel burdened in some way and even 9 months out can not get this "off my back" so to speak. I hate to say it, but I seemed to take this diagnosis on as a "role" in some way and can't shift back to living as I used to ... I want to be "me" again. Where is that healthy, strong, courageous, happy me??? Do you ever feel that way?? I want her back ...

I was early stage when diagnosed more than a year ago ... NED as of my last PET CT, Labs and exam, but can't seem to revel in that good news ... I more feel the fear still more than the jubilation.

I worry that It will come back. And I worry that because I worry it WILL come back ... I never wanted this, I don't want it now and I want to erase it from my history .... but I know I can't. I know there's learning in this for me...but can't seem to GET THERE...to the learning and thankfulness.

What is your journey like? Do you struggle with these feelings? How did you get there??

Does this make sense ... a day doesn't go by that I don't "think" about "it". I want a day when I realize, "gee, I didn't think about it!" Does that happen?

Do you have days now that you are "thought and worry free?" I worry less ... but its there still.

Input dear Friends??? xoxo

9 months out ... thinking I should be further along emotionally ... what do you think?

Phoebesnow
Posts: 447
Joined: Apr 2011

Yes, I know exactly how you feel. When the9 month mark came, I did become depressed. I was expecting to be much further along physically and emotionally. I still had the fatigue and I had expected it to be gone. I still had side effects, that I thought would be gone. I certainlY did not expect new side effects, but I got some. Every time I lost a few pounds I would think IT'S BACK, and still do. (that was my tip off, I could eat the world and still lost weight). I really was just sad.

Then the 10th month mark came and I felt a little improvement in my energy level and I started putting together a few good days in a row and then I would start sliding back a little. So it was really up and down, until the past few weeks. on Dec8th it will be a year. Every day I feel more like Carrol.

remember the radiation continues to work for 9 months to one year, so in a sense you are still in treatment. Everyones time table is different, sometime it would hurt me when I would read about someone here doing so well and that would get me down too, especially when they just came out of treatment or were just a few months out. Of course at the same time I was happy for them and it gave me hope that I would improve.

Have you checked your vitamin b12 and D, had a bone density, how are your rbc and your white blood cells. exercise will improve your rbc. Are you taking vitamins. Do u drink enough water? these are the things that helped my recovery move along. The water for me is very important. you will be so grateful when you feel better, it will feel like a new world. Everyones timetAble is different.

You will get back to you soon!

mxperry220
Posts: 357
Joined: Mar 2011

I am 34 months post treatment and had my colonscopy Friday. I had anxiety a week before test not knowing if they would find evidence of cancer. My test came back fine with no evidence of cancer only two polyps which the doctor removed.

I do not think the anxiety is ever going away prior to tests since we can associate the pain we went through when the doctors first discovered we had anal cancer.

There is not one day that goes by that I do not think about my cancer due to the fact I have some minor side effects as a result of the treatments to cure me from anal cancer.

I will say the further out I get from my final treatment the less it is on my mind.

Mike

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 502
Joined: Jun 2011

7243, I'm so sorry you're feeling so down. You seem like such a nice person - so caring and just plain nice - I hate to see you down. That healthy, strong, courageous, happy you WILL come back.

There's a feeling of lack of control and helplessness that goes along with a cancer diagnosis, or any serious illness. It takes a long time to get over something like that. I think it's only been in the last year (and I'm three years out) that I really started feeling like my old self again. I won't say that I don't think about the cancer, because I do, but it's on a much less frequent basis than before. And I've started to be myself - confidence is returning and the cancer, while it is part of my history, is just that - history.

Are you taking something like Xanax or Ativan? I never did before, but with the diagnosis I'd get these 'dark' feelings and the medication did help, a lot. It doesn't make you woozy or wacky or anything, just gives you a sense of well-being that you might need right now.

Please don't beat yourself up for feeling the way you do. Time will take care of things, really.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2851
Joined: Jan 2010

7243--I think what you are feeling is normal, considering everything you've been through. We all have "scanxiety" to a degree, some of us worse than others. Everytime I have a scan or exam coming up, I turn into a crazy person--just ask my husband! And I think the reason it's hard to celebrate good news is the reality that "it" can someday return. Unfortunately, that's the nature of this beast, but I like to live in the moment and celebrate the fact that today I am here and cancer-free. I believe the emotional side of this disease takes the longest to heal and presents the biggest challenge. Don't let it get you down--as you get further out from treatment, it will get much easier.

melbas's picture
melbas
Posts: 43
Joined: Jul 2010

My dear 7243, u can ask anyone on this board about my mood swings with depression, and I am 14 months out. I still struggle, but the people here are wonderful at advice and encouragement. I still have side effects, many painful and life threatening, so I plug along with appts and tests and then I come here for comfort. You hear some amazing recovery stories. First thing is...don't give up hope. We are all here for you. God Bless. Melodie

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

"Life with Me is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties."
--Two Listeners

I think that you are perfectly normal. I had an 8th month PET in September and on Thursday of this week I go for a lovely DRE with my rad onc, who likes to see my VSA every 2 months.

Some days I feel like kicking butt and taking names. But when I have a little pain in my rear or abdomen, I become as meek as a little lamb. And I always get anxious the week before an exam.

What do I do? I turn to my faith and find pleasure in things I love to do. I especially like the quotes from Two Listeners (example above) that seem to speak directly to me when I need them the most. I can send you a collection of quotes if you like. They remind me that I have to surrender all and have faith. Worrying creates stress in my body and I don't need that. Neither do you. :)

May peace be with you!

Angela

I also wanted to add that I was so ready and anxious to get back to my "old self" I took on a big job a couple of months ago that turned out to be a disaster, but opened my eyes to the fact that I don't need or want to be my old self again.

I have a new self. One that is more loving and tolerant. One that doesn't need a big title, big money, big responsibilities or the big headaches that come with it. One that does stop and smells the roses and doesn't sweat the small stuff. (And it's pretty much ALL small stuff.)

I celebrate the new Angela.

I hope that you find and celebrate the new you, tooooo!

7243
Posts: 211
Joined: Feb 2011

I got so much comfort from reading all of your notes ... and relate to each of you and what you shared. Yes Angela I love the quote ... I'm learning to "be there". Peace in difficulties is something I'm learning .... it is my greatest lesson.

Funny ... I'm going back to my somewhat stressful job that entails travel and such. So I will be interested to see how I respond to the demands. I told my sister-in-law, I'll know if I want to go back or not immediately. I agree ... as I was writing in my original note that I wanted the old me back, I also know that there are parts of the old me I don't want back ... my anxiety and such. So, I have come to some learning through all of this ... I'm on my journey and appreciate my Faith and learning to let go more and more.

I do love each of you ... and thank you so much for your support. It's wonderful ... send any quote or support you find helpful!

xoxoxo

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