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oldafw
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2013

I am so confused. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2012, double mastectomy, chemo, no radiation. I had Herceptin until July and now for some unknown reason I am freaking out. Why now? I am teary eyed about everything. I have guilt when I am not living my life with perfect food choices, when I dont exercise, when I dont enjoy every minute of every day, when I stress over things... What the heck? I feel like I am almost paralyzed. I wont do anything for fear I will judge it, I will wonder if I am living life well enough. Oh geez, am I crazy?

Margeaux
Posts: 75
Joined: Dec 2011

No, you are not crazy, cancer survivors do indeed have PTSD.  I heard oncologists, including mine, talk about it, he explained to husband it's just like a soldier returning from war.  I believe last December at the San Antonio Cancer Symposium this was discussed as well.  Do ask your doctor if you can get some medication.  Attending a local breast cancer support group helped me a lot.  It may also help to have some one-on-one consultations, your insurance may cover at least some of the costs.  Life, as you know, is never perfect, wished it would be!  I get a lot of stress relief out of my exercise classes, it takes me away from my problems for a while and interacting with others in class helps too.  Take care, Margeaux

 

Rague
Posts: 3261
Joined: Aug 2009

Just asking for 'meds' is not the answer.  Yes,  they  can be called and do help a lot but just 'popping pills' is not the answer long term.  Especially with DRs who are UNEDUCATED in PTSD - unfortunately many aren't educated..  I hate it when some DRs will put it only in terms of WAR.  Anything major can percipitate PTSD.  

Winyan - The Power Within

Susan

Chrisie43712
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2013

Read your blog,  I also had the same problem. With exersise and a great theropist(still on going) it really helps. I also have God(Great to carry you thru the mess of cancer.

Rague
Posts: 3261
Joined: Aug 2009

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is VERY real!  There are so many blatant misconceptions surrounding 'it'.  It is amazing (in a way) how many of us actually deal with it.  It is POST TRAUMATIC STRESS - meaning what one deals with after a traumatic time in life.  I have personal experiences from childhood that I have worked through and can now 'joke' about my paranoia of getting on an ocean going vessel.  It is much harder for Hubby to deal with his PTSD also from his childhood since my IBC DX.

PLEASE seek out a DR/counselor who is versed in what PTSD really is and how invasive it is.

Prayers

Winyan - The Power Within

Susan

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4513
Joined: Aug 2009

your reactions are normal. particularly after treatment is finished and you no longer have the "safety net" of some sort of treatment to keep it away. No one eats perfectly or exercises perfectly, we do the best we can. Part of life coming back is that there are times when we are stressed about things other than cancer. Trust me , you value your life and understand what you have been through. But it doesnt change that life is stressful. Allow yourself to react the way you need to, want to. Time to let go of perfectionism. Focus on recovery and discovering what life means to you. BTW i see a therapist and take meds, it is very helpful for me, tamoxifen makes me well witchy, and chemopause didnt help. Hugs!

treecy1106's picture
treecy1106
Posts: 142
Joined: Apr 2011

Please be kind to yourself. You have been through the mill and when going through it all we seem to be on autopilot. Following the Doctors orders....surgery...treatment...bloodwork...scans....etc etc....

Now things are slowing up....and its hard to live life again but you will. 

I have found that by joining the cancer support community by where I live helped so much!

Find a support group maybe at a hospital close by for Breast Cancer survivors thats a start. SO many of us identify with others who are either going through the same thing or have been through it and it helps get us through these trying times.

You are not abnormal....you are a strong woman who went through hell for a year ..emotionally and physically.

Be patient with yourself and know that all you are feeling is normal and this too shall pass. Your life will take on such a special meaning that things you thought were important aren't and the things that were taken for granted before are now most important.

God Bless!

Patrice

Heatherbelle's picture
Heatherbelle
Posts: 1218
Joined: Jun 2010

Wow, the comment about "popping pills" isn't very supportive. 

Oldafw - what you are going through IS valid, and understandable. And scary. I am 3 years post diagnosis but I still struggle with emotional issues regarding my experience. For me, the mental/emotional healing have been much harder than the physical healing. And my major difficulties with coping started right around the time you are in, about a year after I was done with everything. 

Depressiom and anxiety even WITHOUT cancer are very scary, isolating, and confusing to deal with. But dealing with them after or during a cancer diagnosis are awful, and NOBODY should be judged for taking medicine to deal with those particular medical issues. Then you have chemo brain issues on top of it, I felt like I was losing my mind. 

I was relieved this summer when I FINALLY stared feeling "normal" again. But my doctor has worked so well with me on finding the right combination of medicines, and dosages, with tleak east dude effects. Chemo affects your brain also, and it doesn't affect everyone the same. I was so upset that my brain had changed so much after treatment. My memory was gone, I was an emotional wreck, I often stumbled over my words & could not verbally communicate very well anymore. I have a hard time remembering the words for things, I really feel "brain damaged"- for lack of a better term, and it's frustrating as hell. I was fairly intelligent, high IQ, avid reader and writer, and now the difference in me is so drastic. 

Have you talked to a doctor about how you're feeling? There are many therapies that may help you feel better, including medicine, counseling, meditation- the point I'm trying to get across is you don't have to feel bad like this and you should never be made to feel bad about any kind of support you need to get you through. 

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