Post Treatment Survivor issues

Fran1947
Fran1947 Member Posts: 72
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi all,

I am 6 months post-treatment for a "curable" local recurrence of my breast cancer. This time around I had a mastectomy,4 courses of Taxotere, which totally knocked me on my a**, and am taking Aromacin. I went back to work 3 1/2 weeks after my last chemo. I am still bone tired all the time. I have no energy or enthusiasm at all,although before I was full of energy & interest & very active. I have started to take Ambien every night so I can sleep. I am depressed and angry - neither of which have ever been a part of my personality before. I am spiritually inclined and pray about these things often. I also have journaled and blogged with spiritual friends. I don't even want to think about how bad things would be without that help!

Will this get better?????

PS - I HATE being such a whiner!

Comments

  • Lily.L
    Lily.L Member Posts: 2
    You're not a whiner... It will get better
    Hi Fran, it has been about a year since I was diagnosed and had a mastectomy. Although I will never forget the date of my surgery, and I do still get angry and depressed, I am feeling a lot better. I was borderline on whether I needed chemotherapy or not, so I chose not to. I am currently taking Tamoxifen, which acts as a constant reminder of my illness, aside from my mastectomy. I'm not into journaling, but I would read blogs and pray. In the beginning, I would spend practically all day praying just to help me get through the day. Now I mostly just pray in the morning when I wake up and at night before I sleep. It's a difficult journey and I hope you will feel better real soon!
  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
    TIme Helps
    Hi Fran nice to meet you just wish it didn't have to be due to cancer. It will and does get better. I have had two recurrances and not only the drugs but the mental scare is enough to cause anger and depression. I too am quite spiritual and draw a lot of strength from prayer, family, friends and it goes without saying this wonderful site and the folks who frequent it. Three weeks and back to work is really quite fast so please do not be too hard on yourself. If you find these emotions to be hanging on then please tell you doctor as you may need meds to help you get past this and there is nothing wrong with that. I wish you better days ahead and will keep you in my prayers!

    RE
  • Fran1947
    Fran1947 Member Posts: 72
    Thanks
    Thanks, Lily & Re for encouraging me! It really helps.
  • New Flower
    New Flower Member Posts: 4,294
    You should give yourself a credit
    Hi Fran,
    It has been 6 months since I finished Chemo and Radiation, and I have been on Tamoxifen I am still tired and have fatigue as well. It is getting better, but improvement has been very graduate. I have less energy now cancer free than I had 14 months ago when I was diagnosed with stage III C. As for sleep, I cannot sleep without medications as well. I tried acupuncture, which improve my sleep and energy level, but still far from what I used to be. Hormonal therapy has side effects and probably affects mood and energy Hopefully, it will be better. Cancer is gone!!!
  • outdoorgirl
    outdoorgirl Member Posts: 1,565
    Fran,
    whining is allowed here!Lets face it,cancer sucks and nobody wants it-and this is your second time around!
    That's awesome that you are back at work that soon after chemo-I couldn't have done that!
    Yeah,it will get better-it just takes time and taking care of yourself...
  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    You are not a whiner, just a
    You are not a whiner, just a venter~ and that's ( among other things) what this place is for!!!!

    It occurs to me, that when something good, natural, and wanted happens to women, namely CHILDBIRTH, our bodies are also not designed to bounce back instantly. Especially if we had say, multiples, or a C-Section. Any moms out there who can say they were not "bone tired"? Had crying jags sometimes, felt alone, and overwhelmed???

    Ok~ raise your hand if any of you chose BC! Or if you think it is a natural, good thing! What? No takers??? I didn't think so! LOL

    Fran, your body has been assaulted! It takes a toll not just physically, but emotionally as well. And when we are tired, well, it goes hand in hand that we will not react joyously. Throw in guilt for perhaps not feeling thankful 24/7...well, it's a vicious cycle, isn't it?

    Is there anyway that you can put a bit of exercise into your routine? Not a marathon, or kick-boxing, or becoming a trapeze artist for Cirque du Soleil, but a short walk outdoors? Getting your endorphins revved up, feeling the air on your face, getting the much needed Vitamin D from the sunshine~ and breathing!! Just 10 minutes a day~where you can commune with your spiritual side. Perhps during your lunch break?

    Keep us posted...we are with you on this part of your journey as well!

    Hugs,
    Chen♥
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    Listen to Claudia and the other ladies here
    You are doing just fine. Back to work after 3 1/2 weeks? You are strong, Fran. And you're definitely helping yourself by journaling and talking about your feelings and symptoms. Hormonal therapy is known to cause fatigue and depression. Chemotherapy does the same thing. Take things slowly and recognize the enormous hardships your mind and body has been through. The exercise is a great idea. I feel so much better and more energetic when I get in my exercise. Build yourself a program of healing where you eat right, start slowly exercising (maybe start by walking around the neighborhood after dinner), and engaging in activities that give you pleasure -- like buy relaxing bath salts for weekly "spas" in your bathroom, or determine to read that mystery series you've never had time for. Treat yourself kindly, and think of what you would say to a friend who had just been through what you have. Would you tell her that she's a whiner? You surely wouldn't. Treat yourself like you would that good friend.

    I see you've been registered for over 2 years. I'm sorry you had a recurrence, but glad that it was local. You'll get through this one, too.

    Mimi
  • tgf
    tgf Member Posts: 950 Member
    mimivac said:

    Listen to Claudia and the other ladies here
    You are doing just fine. Back to work after 3 1/2 weeks? You are strong, Fran. And you're definitely helping yourself by journaling and talking about your feelings and symptoms. Hormonal therapy is known to cause fatigue and depression. Chemotherapy does the same thing. Take things slowly and recognize the enormous hardships your mind and body has been through. The exercise is a great idea. I feel so much better and more energetic when I get in my exercise. Build yourself a program of healing where you eat right, start slowly exercising (maybe start by walking around the neighborhood after dinner), and engaging in activities that give you pleasure -- like buy relaxing bath salts for weekly "spas" in your bathroom, or determine to read that mystery series you've never had time for. Treat yourself kindly, and think of what you would say to a friend who had just been through what you have. Would you tell her that she's a whiner? You surely wouldn't. Treat yourself like you would that good friend.

    I see you've been registered for over 2 years. I'm sorry you had a recurrence, but glad that it was local. You'll get through this one, too.

    Mimi

    tired and depressed
    I hear you ... loud and clear. I'm president of the "Tired and Depressed" club. I wouldn't say that I was ever extremely active ... but now I have turned into queen of the couch-potatoes. I just don't feel like doing anything. I do work full time ... but thank goodness it's a desk job ... so I'm basically just plopped down in front of a computer all day ... which is fine with me... because if I had to do much of anything physical ... I'd be without a job. From what I read from many on this site ... it's pretty normal to be tired ... and we just need to listen to our bodies when they tell us we're trying to over-do something. If our bodies tell us to rest ... we need to rest!

    As far as the depression is concerned ... being depressed is also very normal for someone diagnosed with breast cancer... and you really need to talk to your doctor. I was "clinically depressed" before my diagnosis ... so diagnosis just made it worse. Anti-depressants have been a life-saver (literally) for me ... and are even more important now. Xanax is also a wonderful drug if you are feeling anxious over procudures ... etc.

    Talk to your oncologist and I'm sure he/she will be able to help you out.

    hugs.
    teena
  • Fran1947
    Fran1947 Member Posts: 72
    Thanks
    Thank you everyone for being so encouraging! One of the good things that has come out of finding myself so low is that out of sheer desparation I checked into survivorship programs on Livestrong.org and found one in my area. I am starting the process of getting an appointment with them, which takes 4-6 weeks - because they have to get all my medical records from my doctors. But I am very hopeful about the program.

    All your supportive comments have really helped. I know I need to get exercise, but it just doesn't seem to be possible right now - but I think I'm going to retire by the end of November and plan to start riding my bike again right away.

    And I am very happy that I'm cancer-free. It's good to remember that part!

    Also, I let my family know how I've been feeling and how I'm struggling and why I've been so withdrawn, and they have been very supportive, too. I guess it is good to vent!

    Anyway - thanks!!!!

    Hugs,

    Fran
  • Kylez
    Kylez Member Posts: 3,761 Member
    Fran1947 said:

    Thanks
    Thank you everyone for being so encouraging! One of the good things that has come out of finding myself so low is that out of sheer desparation I checked into survivorship programs on Livestrong.org and found one in my area. I am starting the process of getting an appointment with them, which takes 4-6 weeks - because they have to get all my medical records from my doctors. But I am very hopeful about the program.

    All your supportive comments have really helped. I know I need to get exercise, but it just doesn't seem to be possible right now - but I think I'm going to retire by the end of November and plan to start riding my bike again right away.

    And I am very happy that I'm cancer-free. It's good to remember that part!

    Also, I let my family know how I've been feeling and how I'm struggling and why I've been so withdrawn, and they have been very supportive, too. I guess it is good to vent!

    Anyway - thanks!!!!

    Hugs,

    Fran

    Hi Fran. Everyone has
    Hi Fran. Everyone has pretty much said what I would tell you.

    And, it is always good to vent and this is the perfect place for it!

    Kylez ♥
  • Alexis F
    Alexis F Member Posts: 3,598
    Kylez said:

    Hi Fran. Everyone has
    Hi Fran. Everyone has pretty much said what I would tell you.

    And, it is always good to vent and this is the perfect place for it!

    Kylez ♥

    Fran, having bc makes us all
    Fran, having bc makes us all a lil crazy. And, this is the perfect place to let it all out. Because we all understand.

    Lex♥
  • marilyndbk
    marilyndbk Member Posts: 238 Member
    hi Fran.
    I also feel like

    hi Fran.
    I also feel like you. I am not always able to put on that happy face for family and friends. One minute I am a basket case. Next minute I know I am going to be ok. I am looking forward to feeling better about things. I feel guilty that family and friends have to worry about me. I am the one that is usually on the taking care of others side. I take Ambien to help me sleep and Zoloft for depression and see psychologist which have all helped. As with all of us, bc is not my only problem. Right now it is the main focus and I try to focus on what is good in my life. Take Care. Marilyn
  • Fran1947
    Fran1947 Member Posts: 72

    hi Fran.
    I also feel like

    hi Fran.
    I also feel like you. I am not always able to put on that happy face for family and friends. One minute I am a basket case. Next minute I know I am going to be ok. I am looking forward to feeling better about things. I feel guilty that family and friends have to worry about me. I am the one that is usually on the taking care of others side. I take Ambien to help me sleep and Zoloft for depression and see psychologist which have all helped. As with all of us, bc is not my only problem. Right now it is the main focus and I try to focus on what is good in my life. Take Care. Marilyn

    Thanks
    Thanks for sharing that, Marilyn. I think one of the thing that is making it hard for me is that I am so shocked that I am not sailing through this. Finding out that I'm only human, after all, is very hard to deal with!

    Let's keep in touch about how we are doing.

    Hugs,

    Fran
  • lolad
    lolad Member Posts: 670
    Just
    wanted to tell you that you are not a whiner. All the feelings you have are totally real and understandable and allowed for what you are going through. I think its safe for me to say that everyone here goes thru the same feelings. I know i do. Im currently going thru chemo myself and am always tired and feel like im struggling. I also go thru the depression and angry stages off and on too. I hope you get to feeling better soon. Take care of yourself. You will be in my prayers and thoughts.

    laura
  • ladydi1
    ladydi1 Member Posts: 120
    Hugs to you
    Fran:
    Your body has been under major attack since your diagnosis. When you think of all the chemicals we have to endure to fight cancer, you will understand that your depression, lack of energy, anger can all be a result of the way your body is enduring all the chemical treatments and fighting off cancer cells. It is okay to be mad, sad, angry and depressed. We have all been there. Please don't be so hard on yourself, it takes time for your strength and energy levels to start to come back up. Take a sleep aid to help because if you can restore a normal sleep pattern at night it will help your energy level durring the day. Praying and journally are wonderful ways of expressing all the emotions that come with bc and when you express things, it is easier to deal with them. Come here often for positive support and feedback.
    Hugs,
    Ladydi1
  • marilyndbk
    marilyndbk Member Posts: 238 Member
    Fran1947 said:

    Thanks
    Thanks for sharing that, Marilyn. I think one of the thing that is making it hard for me is that I am so shocked that I am not sailing through this. Finding out that I'm only human, after all, is very hard to deal with!

    Let's keep in touch about how we are doing.

    Hugs,

    Fran

    Hi Fran. It is sunny but
    Hi Fran. It is sunny but very cool here this morning. I hope you are having a good morning. I made it out to the mailbox yesterday. Today my goal is to walk one houselength out front. It has been 3 wks since bilateral mastectomies with latissimus flap reconstruction and one week since surgeon had to go in to remove tissue that was not healing. I feel my recovery is going slow but we have to keep pressing on. Take care. Marilyn