Depression & Anxiety six months after diagnosis

alessia
alessia Member Posts: 40
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I was diagnosed with bc last April. Of course, I was upset and really afraid
of what was in store for me but handled it pretty well. Really proud of myself
then. Had two surgeries (quadrectomy and sentinel node surgery). Lots of testing
including mammotome (really awful)- There was a moment when the onc talked about full mastectomy and still I was holding strong. Well, T1A NO MO not too bad and so I went
ahead feeling pretty confident. In a few weeks I'll be starting rads and then
femara. Up til then everything OK.
But now, I am totally freaked out! I don't know what's happened to me.
Anxiety, heart palpitations, depression, irritability, bad mood - I did not
have all of this in the beginning!
Has anyone else gone thru this post six months down the line total falling apart?
Really difficult to handle. Each and every time I have a simple test i.e.,
blood test, bone density scan I imagine all sorts of bad news. Today I'm going
to my doctor for the flu vaccine and again anxiety and fear.
Help.
Alessia
«1

Comments

  • zahalene
    zahalene Member Posts: 670
    There is often...
    a delayed reaction to extreme stress. We 'hold strong' for awhile but sooner or later we just have to 'exhale' and then we feel like a deflated balloon all of a sudden. It is not unusual or a sign of weakness, but we do need to let our oncs know all the ups and down of our emotional status just as we do our physical symptoms. Chances are he may prescribe meds or suggest therapy or both. Follow his advice and take steps to help your 'whole' self get through this process.
    God bless.
  • pinkkari09
    pinkkari09 Member Posts: 877
    Good Morning Alessia
    I think this whole process is a big roller coaster ride (I love roller coasters, but not this kind) and we have to just handle every hill and turn the best we can. I suffered a mild form of anxiety before being diagnosed with stage 3c BC and I too handle it really well for awhile then out of the blue I just started crying, was scared....all the things you are going through. We are tough, we have each other, and we can do this!! Please let your doc know what's going on and know there is medication out there for us and I strongly believe we should use it...this may be the biggest trying time of our lives. I don't take an anti-depressant, however; I have increased the dose of my anxiety meds (works faster and as needed) this has mellowed me out tremendously. I'm only two months into this so I really don't have a lot to offer but I do know your feelings and fears. Hang it there and pray for strength to handle all you are going through.
    Prayers and Hugs!!!
    Kari
  • stevie178
    stevie178 Member Posts: 31
    Alessia
    Good morning Alessia , My wife was DX with stage 3 Inflammatory Breast Cancer and she has undergone only one chemo treatment thus far and is experiencing a lot of what you are going through right now. She has great support but unless someone is thrusted into a position such as you ladies on this site , then how can anyone truly know what you are dealing with ?
    I cope with this in my own way but try my hardest to be there for her and reassure her that she will be fine when this is over and look at it one day at a time because that is all we truly have in life so let's make the most of it. I wish you the best and hope you keep your chin up because there are people who do care about you and want you to be happy I'm sure . Take care & Best Wishes

    Steve& Teresa
  • tgf
    tgf Member Posts: 950 Member

    Good Morning Alessia
    I think this whole process is a big roller coaster ride (I love roller coasters, but not this kind) and we have to just handle every hill and turn the best we can. I suffered a mild form of anxiety before being diagnosed with stage 3c BC and I too handle it really well for awhile then out of the blue I just started crying, was scared....all the things you are going through. We are tough, we have each other, and we can do this!! Please let your doc know what's going on and know there is medication out there for us and I strongly believe we should use it...this may be the biggest trying time of our lives. I don't take an anti-depressant, however; I have increased the dose of my anxiety meds (works faster and as needed) this has mellowed me out tremendously. I'm only two months into this so I really don't have a lot to offer but I do know your feelings and fears. Hang it there and pray for strength to handle all you are going through.
    Prayers and Hugs!!!
    Kari

    Drugs!
    Hi Alessia ... I just wanted to add my cents worth on the subject of anxiety and depression. I couldn't have made it this far without the help of anti-depressants and xanax (for the anxiety). Like you ... I've been really proud of myself and the way I've handled the my diagnosis and treatments ... but I could NOT have done it without the help of drugs. So ... you might mention your concerns when you see your doctor today for your flu shot ... because I'm sure there's something he can give you that will help you cope with things.

    good luck.

    hugs.
    teena
  • alessia
    alessia Member Posts: 40
    stevie178 said:

    Alessia
    Good morning Alessia , My wife was DX with stage 3 Inflammatory Breast Cancer and she has undergone only one chemo treatment thus far and is experiencing a lot of what you are going through right now. She has great support but unless someone is thrusted into a position such as you ladies on this site , then how can anyone truly know what you are dealing with ?
    I cope with this in my own way but try my hardest to be there for her and reassure her that she will be fine when this is over and look at it one day at a time because that is all we truly have in life so let's make the most of it. I wish you the best and hope you keep your chin up because there are people who do care about you and want you to be happy I'm sure . Take care & Best Wishes

    Steve& Teresa

    Depression & Anxiety six months after diagnosis


    Thank you all for getting back to me and your caring support.
    I will take your good advice and see what the doctor says
    today.
    Think the problem is that I don't have anyone around to
    say it's ok and you'll be fine. Just lots of family and friends
    who seem to not understand what's happening and end up telling
    me their problems instead.
    I do understand that they may not know what to say or simply
    would rather not deal with all of it. So what to do?
    Also, I shy away from talking about my troubles and tend to
    simply skip what I would like to say so as not to worry anyone.
    Such a confusing time.
  • tasha_111
    tasha_111 Member Posts: 2,072
    stevie178 said:

    Alessia
    Good morning Alessia , My wife was DX with stage 3 Inflammatory Breast Cancer and she has undergone only one chemo treatment thus far and is experiencing a lot of what you are going through right now. She has great support but unless someone is thrusted into a position such as you ladies on this site , then how can anyone truly know what you are dealing with ?
    I cope with this in my own way but try my hardest to be there for her and reassure her that she will be fine when this is over and look at it one day at a time because that is all we truly have in life so let's make the most of it. I wish you the best and hope you keep your chin up because there are people who do care about you and want you to be happy I'm sure . Take care & Best Wishes

    Steve& Teresa

    Alessia
    I was exactly the same. I laughed, Joked and Sailed through all the horrible treatments... Then6 months later I crashed. From what I hear on this site it happens more often than not. I am now on antidepressants and I was absolutely against taking them, but they have been a lifesaver, as has the support on this site.. THANK YOU GALS!

    Hope this helps Hugs Jxxxxxxxxxxx
  • CypressCynthia
    CypressCynthia Member Posts: 4,014 Member
    Anxiety, etc.
    Please talk with your physician about this. I think most of us have been through this. Your symptoms are probably from the stress, the disease and/or meds and treatments. Don't discount the simple things such as deep breathing, yoga, walks, etc. But, if you need more help, know that meds have been a helpful option for many of us.
  • Goldenguru
    Goldenguru Member Posts: 23

    Anxiety, etc.
    Please talk with your physician about this. I think most of us have been through this. Your symptoms are probably from the stress, the disease and/or meds and treatments. Don't discount the simple things such as deep breathing, yoga, walks, etc. But, if you need more help, know that meds have been a helpful option for many of us.

    It is amazing
    ... that you have held out for so long. I fell apart from the get go of my finding the lumps. I could not have gotten through the worst of it without some anti anxiety meds and some sleep meds. I have chosen ativan - because I'm told it is less addictive that xanax. But, honestly, even if I were to get 'addicted' to an anti- anxiety med - I figure I'll cross over that bridge when the time comes.

    Like the others, I would strongly encourage you to tell your onc. about your tumultuous emotions. My onc. warned me right up front to watch for signs of depression - and that he would get me on something ASAP.

    I think what you are feeling is very normal. You have experience a great trauma and a deep loss.

    Hugs.
  • cindyc59
    cindyc59 Member Posts: 44

    It is amazing
    ... that you have held out for so long. I fell apart from the get go of my finding the lumps. I could not have gotten through the worst of it without some anti anxiety meds and some sleep meds. I have chosen ativan - because I'm told it is less addictive that xanax. But, honestly, even if I were to get 'addicted' to an anti- anxiety med - I figure I'll cross over that bridge when the time comes.

    Like the others, I would strongly encourage you to tell your onc. about your tumultuous emotions. My onc. warned me right up front to watch for signs of depression - and that he would get me on something ASAP.

    I think what you are feeling is very normal. You have experience a great trauma and a deep loss.

    Hugs.

    I was diagnosed in february
    I was diagnosed in february and my initial reaction was panic and I was gonna go to florida sit on the beach in the warm sun, drink, smoke anything I wanted, eat anything I wanted, and just enjoy my final days. I straightened out went through chemo,moved, going through divorce,had double masectomy, now have 8 more radiation treatments and a second surgery. I didn'thave feelings of depression until recently. I think because now I know Iam going to live and its the living with fear of it coming back and also the what am I gonna do now? I think when we are going through the worst of it we don't have time to think of these things. Xanax does and did help!
  • alessia
    alessia Member Posts: 40
    cindyc59 said:

    I was diagnosed in february
    I was diagnosed in february and my initial reaction was panic and I was gonna go to florida sit on the beach in the warm sun, drink, smoke anything I wanted, eat anything I wanted, and just enjoy my final days. I straightened out went through chemo,moved, going through divorce,had double masectomy, now have 8 more radiation treatments and a second surgery. I didn'thave feelings of depression until recently. I think because now I know Iam going to live and its the living with fear of it coming back and also the what am I gonna do now? I think when we are going through the worst of it we don't have time to think of these things. Xanax does and did help!

    xanax helps


    ok - the doctor prescribed xanax. yes of course it helps but
    am mostly tired and want to just sit myself down and relax.
    now i ask all of you lovely ladies - how can i do that when
    i have a house to run, son still living at home, family living
    in another country, divorced, grocery shopping,
    cooking, the dog :) (love the little guy) and translations to do.
    plus, getting an anti-cancer diet going, organizing how to get
    to the hospital (4 hr. r/t) for rads and then femara (yikes).
    too much to do and xanax slows me down. do i keep my depression
    and do everything just the same or take xanax and sit down?
    thanks for sharing your post diagnosis blues - i thought i was
    losing my mind! so strong in the beginning - not so much now.
  • tgf
    tgf Member Posts: 950 Member
    alessia said:

    xanax helps


    ok - the doctor prescribed xanax. yes of course it helps but
    am mostly tired and want to just sit myself down and relax.
    now i ask all of you lovely ladies - how can i do that when
    i have a house to run, son still living at home, family living
    in another country, divorced, grocery shopping,
    cooking, the dog :) (love the little guy) and translations to do.
    plus, getting an anti-cancer diet going, organizing how to get
    to the hospital (4 hr. r/t) for rads and then femara (yikes).
    too much to do and xanax slows me down. do i keep my depression
    and do everything just the same or take xanax and sit down?
    thanks for sharing your post diagnosis blues - i thought i was
    losing my mind! so strong in the beginning - not so much now.

    my experience
    Your life is much busier than mine ... but it sounds like this might be a time when you need to ask for help. Often there are people "out there" who would love to help but just don't know what to do. All you need to do is ask. I know that's hard ... but you have to take care of yourself ... and let others help. Even if it's just picking up some groceries. Let others help. You can NOT do it all yourself. The house doesn't need to be spotless.

    Also ... the xanax is not necessarily for depression. It is more for anxiety. I have found that if I take my xanax before I go to bed it helps me to not lay there and stew about everything I should be doing and all the "what ifs" in life. The anti-depressants on the other hand are NOT supposed to make to so tired that you cannot function. If they wipe you out that much ... then you are either on the wrong anti-depressent or you're on the wrong dosage. Anxiety and depression are different and the treatments are different.

    good luck.

    hugs.
    teena
  • TraciInLA
    TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
    tgf said:

    my experience
    Your life is much busier than mine ... but it sounds like this might be a time when you need to ask for help. Often there are people "out there" who would love to help but just don't know what to do. All you need to do is ask. I know that's hard ... but you have to take care of yourself ... and let others help. Even if it's just picking up some groceries. Let others help. You can NOT do it all yourself. The house doesn't need to be spotless.

    Also ... the xanax is not necessarily for depression. It is more for anxiety. I have found that if I take my xanax before I go to bed it helps me to not lay there and stew about everything I should be doing and all the "what ifs" in life. The anti-depressants on the other hand are NOT supposed to make to so tired that you cannot function. If they wipe you out that much ... then you are either on the wrong anti-depressent or you're on the wrong dosage. Anxiety and depression are different and the treatments are different.

    good luck.

    hugs.
    teena

    Alessia,
    I agree wholeheartedly with both of Teena's points. Definitely try asking some of your friends and family for specific help, maybe, could you pick up some groceries for me when you go to the store, or could you help with cooking a couple of nights a week?

    There may be at least a few people who feel helpless, or just don't know what to offer -- I have several friends who really, truly feel better when they bring me dinner, or drive me to a doctor's appointment, because they feel like there's at least a small thing they can do in the face of something so overwhelming as cancer.

    Second, I also took Xanax for awhile after my diagnosis, and I just took it in the evening, to calm down my brain so I could sleep. I work full-time, so was a little afraid to take it during the day -- but it was great to take before bed.

    Hope that helps,

    Traci
  • e_hope
    e_hope Member Posts: 370
    what your experiencing is
    what your experiencing is totally normal. Your body goes through so many emotions.. in the beginning its a fear but a different type.. your so focused on what is going to happen and what the doctors are going to say..

    now your left with the dealing.. the dealing of the diagnosis. and a rebirth of life. Your left alone to deal with these feelings because most people think once you have the surgery and the cancer is taken out of you your alright... but the mental aspect of this disease to me is much harder... all of suddened one day your sitting there and think holly crap..what the hell just happened to me...

    Have you tried going to talk with a psychologist? Most hospitals have ones that specialize in dealing with cancer patients. It might help to get some of your anxieties off your chest.
  • e_hope
    e_hope Member Posts: 370
    cindyc59 said:

    I was diagnosed in february
    I was diagnosed in february and my initial reaction was panic and I was gonna go to florida sit on the beach in the warm sun, drink, smoke anything I wanted, eat anything I wanted, and just enjoy my final days. I straightened out went through chemo,moved, going through divorce,had double masectomy, now have 8 more radiation treatments and a second surgery. I didn'thave feelings of depression until recently. I think because now I know Iam going to live and its the living with fear of it coming back and also the what am I gonna do now? I think when we are going through the worst of it we don't have time to think of these things. Xanax does and did help!

    cindy.. totally agree with
    cindy.. totally agree with your point about knowing your going to life and now dealing with the fear.. what if it comes back..

    I too had the double mastectomy.. and have 4 rads left.. then second surgery ...

    Meds aren't always the answer to dealing with the anxiety.. Have you guys tried talking with a psychologist.. to deal with your anxieties and depression...
  • Eil4186
    Eil4186 Member Posts: 949
    I can relate to your
    I can relate to your feelings. Often our feelings and fears emerge after the initial trauma. Everyone is different, the shock is starting to hit you. They say it gets better with time. I'm over 3 years out and just starting to feel a bit less fearful. I cried at the drop of a hat for over a year after treatment. Be patient with yourself. It will get better.
  • lolad
    lolad Member Posts: 670
    Alessia
    You sound exactly like me. In the beginning i stayed strong and positive. I felt i had to in order to be able to fight the battle. It all hit me suddenly about four months after my diagnosis. All i could do was cry all of a sudden. I had the anxiety too and the bad moods. Know that you are not alone in this. I think alot of us think that if we grieve or break, we wouldnt be strong enough to make it through. I know how you feel and you should know that it will get better. Its totally understandable what you are going through right now. Know that you are not alone and i will pray for you.

    take care
    laura
  • mlmjt1
    mlmjt1 Member Posts: 537
    Hi Alessia
    I was diagnosed in april too and did fine until the end of june when I truly thought I was going crazy...crying all the time, panic all the time...I went on an antidepressant and an antianxiety and it made all the difference in the world. I rarely use the antianxiety now. I just exercise and walk alot and went back to jogging since I finished chemo 3 wks ago. I also am working and that has helped.

    What you are going thru is soooo normal. We all have been there. Please dont hesitate to ask your doctor for something to help you thru this

    Also...remember we are here for you as well...we all know what youre going thru.

    Hugs
    Linda T
  • xskeetshooter
    xskeetshooter Member Posts: 169
    think
    life is too short, for negative feelings, look for the positive in it,laughter is the best medicine
  • xskeetshooter
    xskeetshooter Member Posts: 169

    It is amazing
    ... that you have held out for so long. I fell apart from the get go of my finding the lumps. I could not have gotten through the worst of it without some anti anxiety meds and some sleep meds. I have chosen ativan - because I'm told it is less addictive that xanax. But, honestly, even if I were to get 'addicted' to an anti- anxiety med - I figure I'll cross over that bridge when the time comes.

    Like the others, I would strongly encourage you to tell your onc. about your tumultuous emotions. My onc. warned me right up front to watch for signs of depression - and that he would get me on something ASAP.

    I think what you are feeling is very normal. You have experience a great trauma and a deep loss.

    Hugs.

    addiction
    i dont take the sleeping pills, i figure the addiction to them would be harder than the chemo. have you ever been addited to anything, ,,,,not fun
  • lovelylola
    lovelylola Member Posts: 279
    alessia said:

    Depression & Anxiety six months after diagnosis


    Thank you all for getting back to me and your caring support.
    I will take your good advice and see what the doctor says
    today.
    Think the problem is that I don't have anyone around to
    say it's ok and you'll be fine. Just lots of family and friends
    who seem to not understand what's happening and end up telling
    me their problems instead.
    I do understand that they may not know what to say or simply
    would rather not deal with all of it. So what to do?
    Also, I shy away from talking about my troubles and tend to
    simply skip what I would like to say so as not to worry anyone.
    Such a confusing time.

    alessia
    I don't want you to "Think the problem is that I don't have anyone around to say...."! You now belong to a sisterhood that's been there done that in different ways with each of us. Feel free to converse, VENT!! (sometimes it's really needed and we don't mind) laugh, send jokes. It is a confusing time but you are not in this alone. I'm alot like you in that I think I'm doing really well right now, I'm 2 months out from diagnosis and have had the double mastectomy and am waiting the results of my oncotype testing. I'm kinda waiting for the entire thing to really set in and hit me and I know at some time it will. I'll be running to my doctor for help if it gets bad. While I don't post much, I read lots. I am full support of what the others are saying. This is a bad enough fight without having a full arsenol at our disposal and that includes any medication to help us maintain our sanity. I hope your appt went well. Sending internet {{{hugs}}} Lola