Aug 26, 2013 - 3:32 pm
Hello from a new and U.K. member who needs help.....
I was diagnosed in late March with NHL, which presented in my tonsillar bed. It was a total surprise, because a) I had my tonsils out 50 years ago and b) I wasn't aware of any symptoms beyond a bit of a virus (or was it?....)
I started chemo in mid April. I only had 3 cycles. I was hospitalized in Cycle 2 with a neutropenic episode. I began to feel a bit "odd" then but it went away in the 3rd Cycle, and was OK for most of the 15 radiotherapy sessions.
However, a few days before the radio ended I had a melt-down at the hospital, was in floods of tears, and was sent home with a strip of Diazepan and the phone number for the Samaritans.
They gave me Zopiclone sleeping pills. They knocked me out but made me feel dreadful the next day, and magnified my anxiety.
They changed the pills to Temazepam but they made me very tired the next day, plus my anxiety broke through them 2 nights out of 3.
After a week of me being so weird, my partner of a year left, saying he couldn't cope but that he'd keep in touch to make sure I was ok. 4 texts in 6 weeks....what a pal.
I see the oncology psychologist once a week for talking therapy.
Currently, I'm not on any sleeping pills, and generally manage 6-7 hours, although I remain anxious every night in case I don't.
I'm not on anti-depressants: neither the psychologist nor my GP (family doctor) think they'd not be in my best interest: I don't seem to react well to meds; they say I'm not clinically depressed. I don't know what I am then but many, many days I feel very, very low - and then there are days when I feel like I'm being poured down a black pit, while being crushed by a big, black rock.
I've always had only a very few friends, and that's always been fine but now I've had to beg/ask colleagues to come and visit me on a rota basis (the hospital have encouraged me to make a weekly timetable to try and make sure I have things to do all day, so that I have less time to think; I've found that the only thing that really distracts me is company).
For 4 weeks I couldn't drive, due to lack of sleep and the meds. I'm driving short distances now.
I'm off meds, and sleeping (though fearful I won't).
I don't have the massive adrenaline surges of anxiety that I had for 4-5 weeks. I don't know if that's a general improvement, or due to Propranolol 80mg slow release that the GP switched my hypertension med to.
I'm on a very slow phased return to work but very far off full time.
I'm trying to build up my exercise - now on 2 X 10 minute walks a day. I know it's not a lot but I started at 1 X 3 minutes.
I am in remission, in fact the whole cancer was taken by the biopsy. I found that out at the start of my 2nd chemo Cycle.
I suppose, when I read the above, I can see an improvement but it is So Slow! Some part of every day, I feel dreadful. Some days I feel dreadful throughout. About 2 weeks ago I started being able to cry again. Yesterday the ex came round to collect something he'd left. I was out but cried in 'our' bedroom for a very long time afterwards. I've had about 6 patches of crying today too, and feel very low and very sad.
I do apologize for the long and dreary post but I just feel so awful. I cannot imagine ever feeling 'normal' again. I know what people say about life after cancer being a different normal to before it but I just can't imagine anything beyond endless days of feeling grim.
Any kind words would be much appreciated.