Down and don't know why

Mosis50 Member Posts: 59
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I don't know what is wrong with me lately. I just feel so down. I have finished my chemo (5 weeks ago) and still have some residual side effects but certainly no worse than I had DURING chemo. I have had pain in my left shoulder for the last week and I am not sleeping very good so I guess that is bringing on the unhappiness. I am taking an anti-depressant but I still feel like I should be so much more positive than I am, since my chemo is over and I do not have to do any radiation. What is wrong with me? Is this feeling normal or do I need to change my meds? HELP!!! A lot of people are writing about celebrating but I just don't feel like doing anything. So what anniversary do you celebrate? I need to get in the celebrating mood and can't.


  • lindatn
    lindatn Member Posts: 229
    I think we all felt this way for awhile after treatment was over. Don't be to hard on yourself there is no right or wrong way to feel after going through cancer. Maybe you need less antidepression? We all at first are waiting for the next shoe to drop. After awhile the check ups come back okay, bloodwork is fine and some of it lifts until the dark of night. You do start to realize this is your life and you are in charge of how you feel and the sun does shine once again. Just try it one day at a time. I'm 18 months out of treatment and still have dark days but most are not. Find other interests as your last months of treatment are only a very small part of the life you lived before. My personality is more the "glass is half empty" since I know this is how I think and thought before bc I don't think I will change because of it. You are still the same person you were before. Linda
  • banker
    banker Member Posts: 317 Member
    Hi, Linda pretty much said it to the point. For some of us it takes a little longer to feel secure again. Going through all of this can get to you, but I can tell you it will get better. Are you married? Have children? Work? I had my hubby's support, my son and some friends, I do not have any other family. I do have my days, but try not to let that get me down. For you it has only been 5 weeks, your body and mind have been thru hell and back, so give yourself some time to adjust to all that has happened. If you feel like talking, you can email me at [email protected]
    you are not alone, we are here to help you as best as we can. ((hugs))) with love Emmi
  • DeeNY711
    DeeNY711 Member Posts: 476 Member
    The first months following the conclusion of treatment can be very scary. Your focus has been so tied up in just making it through to that final chemo appt, it is almost as if the spinning merry-go-round abruptly stopped and you lose your balance. I also thought the end of chemo would be the return of normalcy, but no. It took approximately 12 weeks to regain the ability to fall into a deep restful sleep and to regain some strength and stamina. I still have sudden episodes of extreme drowsiness and sometimes slip into a weird sort of half-awake/half-asleep state from which I cannot surface. I still have to crawl up the flight of stairs on all fours. I am happy about chemotherapy being completed, but sense that it is tempting fate to refer to myself as a survivor at this point. You have been through so much. Don't beat yourself up over not gushing bright beams of light like Mary Sunshine. I wear my inch of hair with a fringe combed forward like Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice, and to tell you the truth, I mostly feel very much like the darkly sardonic character she portrayed. Certain Halloween decorations, particularly those in black hooded robes, sometimes freaked me inside out. Maybe all responses are normal responses, considering the ground we've covered. After almost ten months of grim territory, my husband, siblings and friends are ready to discard this whole episode so that we can all return to having everything just the way it was before all of this. Needless to say, despite the flawed illusion provided by foam breast forms and underwear with pockets to hold them, it will never be just the way before all of this. The one thing that really has helped me move in the right direction as far as surfacing from all of this was my return to an exercise salon for women over the age of 40 Monday through Friday for 45 minutes per day. Gets me up, dressed, out and interacting with other people who know nothing about what these past months have held.
  • JAN22
    JAN22 Member Posts: 21
    I understand how you feel,I felt the same way,and it is very normal to feel this way. You are almost afraid to celebrate yet,in fear that it might jinx everything and continue.
    In your heart, you know you are on the home stretch,and yet your mind is playing tricks on you. Keep a possitive additude and surround yourself with a normal, routine . Do things you were planning to do and put off ,go on a weekend getaway, and have fun, or start planning for the holidays,and go shopping with a friend. Possitive feelings, send out a chemical through the body and the brain, that help heal faster and stay centered.
  • llk97
    llk97 Member Posts: 3
    Like the others have said just take it one day at time,which is still hard to do---the effects of chemo can stay in your system for weeks following. Try to stay busy when you feel like it and still take it easy when you can. You've made it this for-you can make longer. and it does get easier sometime down the line. I still get frustrated over little things - but then i think- it better than the alterative and didn't get the treatment at all- your still here with your family-So enjoy everyday you can and celebrate whenever you want to!!!!
  • hummingbyrd
    hummingbyrd Member Posts: 950 Member
    Hey girl, you just came through a MAJOR battle. During the midst of the fight most people focus on the battle. It's when its all over, then we have the time to fall apart. I'd have to say overall it's a pretty normal feeling. One thing that helps me get out of a funk is to do something that is productive in a positive way. Like put up pictures in my photo albums (it's my hobby), or fix something around the house that is broken, something that you can step back and feel good about afterwards. You know whatever floats your boat, makes your clock tick....what makes you feel good about yourself.
    I'll have to say those are temporary fixes, for a permanently reliable source of contentment and joy I turn to God in prayer. If you're going to get down, get down on your knees and pray. It works for me! Wishing you the best, God bless. hummingbyrd

    And you all thought you wouldn't have to put up with me because of a little bone met. HA! I say, HA! lol love you ladies! hummb
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member

    I think everyone has pretty much covered the after-treatment-ends blues and offered some very good advice.

    Your feelings aren't uncommon at all but in your case it may be exacerbated by the fact that you're still having pain, not sleeping well and seem to still be having side effects of chemo. Please talk to your oncologist about the residual side effect you're having. Find out if it is common and what can be done to make you more comfortable.

    It occurs to me that sometimes, we may be just a little too quick in reaching for the pill bottle when we're emotionally off balance. Cancer can certainly put us off balance, to say the least. I support the use of antidepressants but not as a lifelong way to cope with our pain. Pills can be a great supportive measure while we find our legs and begin to work toward recovery. Sometimes though, dependence upon pills can prohibit
    us from finding and taking other healthy steps, learning new coping skills and finding our best selves. All important elements in our full recovery. Just my thoughts about it.

    Are you involved in any local support groups? Have you considered counseling, painting, writing, drawing, exploring new exercise routines, cooking classes, joining a poetry or book reading group, volunteering at your local school or hospital?

    Until you're feeling physically better, perhaps you'd enjoy reading some self help books...if nothing else they can be thought provoking and interesting.

    Whatever you do, please DON'T ignore your inner self. And don't be afraid to acknowledge whatever feelings you're having. By acknowledging, we can then begin to deal with them and find our answers.

    As everyone here has said, it does get better but it's not something we can or should just sit round and wait to alight upon us. We need to be active participants and utilize all the positive resources we can find. Different approaches work better for different people, so we sort of need an explorers attitude. You WILL find ways which work for you and you WILL find your peace.

    Hoping you'll feel better soon. Just be patient with yourself, love yourself and take good care of you.

    Love, light and laughter,