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Stress

cati0314's picture
cati0314
Posts: 114
Joined: Jun 2014

I need help and support from anyone who is listening.  I am going on 5 yrs after suffering with invasive ductal.  The tumor was over 5 cm.  My lymph nodes were not involved.  I was HER negative.  The size puts me into a stage 2b.  I am always tortured by thoughts of a recurrence.  I have panic attacks and take .5 clonazepam twice daily.  I drink too much wine which is bad for my  cancer but can't stop.  I tested positive for gene mutation and had bilateral as well as hysterectomy.  I made it through the chem, surgeries and radiation but had steadily been falling apart since.  Lost my job last August.  I have seen psychiatrist and therapist in the past.  I don't like the antidepressants.  They don't work well.  I am forced to sell my home and am moving in with my partner on July 3rd.  I'm scared of everything.  To top it off, my almost 16 yr old cat is dying of renal failure.  I can't seem to function.  I do exercise every day for almost 2 hrs but have little joy in my life although I am a new grandmother and have so much to be grateful for.  Please let me hear from someone.  I need support.   This cancer has almost destroyed me mentally and emotionally.  Thank you for listening.

eihtak
Posts: 986
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi, and let me start with a HUG! Cancer is a nasty thing.....although for many our scans say NED or clear, (at least for a time), the emotional scars and fear of recurrance are never "clearly" gone. Sometimes we have to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward, and we each do that in a different way.

Maybe ?? being forced to sell your house will turn out to be a blessing in disquise as it may lesson some responsibilities that come with owning a home, or at least I hope for you.

I'm sorry your cat is suffering as well, pets bring such joy to our lives and to feel helpless on their behalf is a difficult place to be......but just keep the memories of the time you have had him with you.

I am 3 years post treatment for anal cancer and 2 years post for breast cancer. Although I too used to enjoy a good glass of wine, I no longer drink at all......but that is a personal choice of my own.

I have not taken anti-depressants but have a brother who had little luck with such. For him, that just wasn't handling the root of the problem. After trial and error with three different counselors, last year he finally hit on a saviour! Unfortunately that is often the case with doctors of all sorts, they are not always a good fit and we need to find one that we can connect with.....especially if your concerns are mental/emotional. Have you considered getting a recommendation for a GOOD therapist in your area? It may be helpful to get you through this tough spot your in.

Don't let cancer destroy the person you are inside.....that only fuels its power and we all are stronger than that. The fact that you are here and asking for support shows that you are a strong person too!

Keep in mind you are never alone in this fight, someone is always here to listen, and even if we don't have the answers it is a comfort to know we are in this together.

Be well.

eihtak

cati0314's picture
cati0314
Posts: 114
Joined: Jun 2014

You don't know how good it feels to have someone that understands take the time to respond.  I will write more as soon as I can. 

Cati

cati0314's picture
cati0314
Posts: 114
Joined: Jun 2014

Thank you again for your post.  I lost my husband to cancer 8 yrs ago.  It was a nightmare.  7 months from diagnosis to death.  That's when I moved from South Florida to Central Florida, for a job offer.  My cancer hit within 2 yrs.  Long story short, the job created so much stress that I began to get sick with panic.  That's been the norm for me since. The ordeal of moving (back to South Florida) in with my boyfriend is a good move for me.  I don't want to be alone anymore.  If things don't start to change, I may have to see a psychiatrist once again.  The stress has caused insomnia.  I'm up since 1:30.  Gosh, I hate to complain but things are coming to a head with my move.  I only hope the house sells.  That would be a hugh stress reliever!

 

Have a great day!

 

Cati

lynn1950's picture
lynn1950
Posts: 2573
Joined: Jun 2008

Your story strikes a chord with me. Congratulations on being a grandma.  Me, too!

I am almost seven years from the end of treatment.  I too made it through surgery, chemo, and radiation before falling apart. (My cancer is stage 3a.) I worry somewhat and not all the time about recurrence.  I see a psychiatrist for anti-depressants and I am weaning myself off of them.  I stopped the Klonopin on my own about 6 months ago, and that made me feel better.  I no longer see a counselor.  The most important thing she taught me was breathing exercises.  I also practice Yoga.

I am on Thyroid medication and my thyroid has been out of whack.  It's been four weeks on the new dosage, and already I am feeling better.  Yes!  I am feeling better.  So as hard as it is to slog through depression and panic attacks, your situation can change for the better. Don't give cancer your life.  Keep fighting.

xoxoxo Lynn

GMcD
Posts: 134
Joined: Oct 2011

I see many similarities in your post and myself.  I am also almost 5 yrs from dx and treatment if invasive ductal.  I fear recurrance also.  The difference in your story and mine is that I have been suffering from panic and anxiety attacks for over 20 yrs.  You can do this!!!  I still take Klonopin and Prozac for the attacks and have had intense therapy.  When I got breast cancer I was so concerned tghat I wouldn't be able to do the right things if I was frozen by panic attacks.  Well, I did and you can too.  You have a LOT of stress going on right now and I feel so sorry that this is all happening to you.  Take your time, breathe deep and don't give up.

 

cati0314's picture
cati0314
Posts: 114
Joined: Jun 2014

I won't give up!  How do you deal with the panic attacks?  I can't imagine going back to work in this shape.  I'm never happy but I do what I have to to function.  My boyfriend is hoping that I'll learn golf, dance and participate with clubs and functions in his development when I move in.  I should be happy and thrilled to have this wonderful person in my life.  He has helped so much with the house..painting, etc...and I know I couldn't have done it without him.  

 

Please have a good day!

 

Cati

cati0314's picture
cati0314
Posts: 114
Joined: Jun 2014

Being a grandma is wonderful.  Unfortunately I'll be moving 3 hours south of my grandchildren on July 3rd.  I'm sure I'll see them but that will be hard.

Seven years is great!  Congratulations!

 

I too have a thryoid problem.  Combine that with osteoporosis, diabetes, osteoarthritis in my neck.  On drugs for all of it including anastrozole for my cancer.

 

I never expected life to be so difficult at my age, 59.

 

Just have the blues today!  Lack of sleep makes it worse.

 

Please do have  a fine day!

 

Cati

 

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4017
Joined: Oct 2009

Copy and print out what you have written and head back to a psychiatrist.  It is time.  Noone should live with the anxiety that you are living with now.  Antidepressants are among the best antianxiety meds that we have.  However, saying that you don't like antidepressants isn't necessarily giving them a chance.  There are now over a dozen and they all work a little differently.  A good psychiatrist will hear what you are saying and help you find the right med or combination of meds.  I just broke down and saw one because I wasn't sleeping and the psychiatrist really, really helped me and I wish I had gone months ago.  Please, please call for an appointment asap and please keep in touch!!!! 

cati0314's picture
cati0314
Posts: 114
Joined: Jun 2014

I'll probably give it another try when I move shortly.  They tell me the antidepressants don't work very well if I continue to drink wine.  I don't seem to be able to stop.  I know it is a depressant but it takes away my panic and stress.  I don't drink during the day for the most part.  thank you again and have a great day!

 

CatiCool

GMcD
Posts: 134
Joined: Oct 2011

You are so lucky to be in a relationship with someone so supportive.  My husband, ( now ex husband) could not understand what it was like to feel so trapped in my own body.  I am so glad I did not have to go through breast cancer with his attitude toward illness.  Anyway, Cynthia has given excellent advice about anti-depressants and therapy.  Please try again.  Back when I first had the panic disoder there were not many good anti-depressants out there yet and the first ones I had made me sicker.  I found a new doctor a few years later and she begged me to try the Prozac, I refused because of the bad side effects I had with the first ones.  Finally I did it and it worked for me.  I do not mean to recommend one antidepressant overanother as we are all so different, but what Cynthia says is true, there have been great strides in the past 20 yrs.  Warmest wishes to you.

 

Pixie Dust's picture
Pixie Dust
Posts: 351
Joined: Jan 2014

Hello Cati,  sorry that you are going through all this at one time. I want to ask you have you been taking a hormonal drug after the last few years. This can also cause alot of SE and this could be part of your problem. Depression is one of the systems of almost all of them. My arimidex arrived in the mail 3 days ago and was afraid to start taking them. Finally I took one this morning and just will have to see what happens in later days. It is not uncommon to have depression if you have BC. I found in last DEcember. I think about this from the time I get up out of bed till the time I go to bed. I am on 4 meds. that my psychiatrist has put me on. They do not seem to help me much but I just wonder what would happen to me if I went off them. Maybe your meds need to be changed, Alot of times you just have to keep changing to find the right one for you. You are not alone about worrying about your BC coming back. This is normal. Everyone that has had BC has done the same. I had a oncotype test done and it showed I was high risk of it returning. Did you have one done? Going on after 5 years without it returning is great. I would ask your doctor about staying on the hormonal drug, if you are on one, to stay on it 5 more yrs. Alot of ONC are going this way anymore. Start enjoying life with your new grandbaby and your partner. Hey girl, you have hit the 5 year mark !!!  Congratulations !!!!!!   Hugs to you, Donna

cati0314's picture
cati0314
Posts: 114
Joined: Jun 2014

Thank you Donna.  I'm still a basket case about a recurrence.  Yes, I am on Anastrozole.  I have been on that since day 1.  MY onc says I will probably be on it for another 5 years.  I am moving soon and have a new oncologist that I'd like to try.  She will give me feedback on staying on the anaatrozole for another 5.  I know it has hurt my osteoporosis but I'd rather live than have less fractures.  I am very careful about what I do that could cause me harm.  I will probably try another phychiatrist when I move in the next few weeks if the stress doesn't start to dissapate.  Its hard to know exactly what the high level of stress is from since I'm moving and am in no shape to travel with 3 pets, one of them terminal.  Not to mention that I don't know when my house will sell.  I just need to get out of here and not be alone.  That's why I'm moving in with my boyfriend, who has helped me more than I could ever express and is an angel.  He's about 2 1/2 hours south of me and I will be inbetween my 2 daughters there.  Just a huge transition.  In the old days I took the bull by the horns.  These days I live in stress and have insomnia.  Life has certainly changed.  Sorry for the pitty pot.  I will get some help when I'm down there.  I promise!  Thank you and everyone that has responded!

 

Cati

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