Feeling overwhelmed

elizarose
elizarose Member Posts: 124
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hey everyone. I was diagnosed with BC Dec. 19, 2009. It was very aggressive and had become IBC. The whole ordeal has been a roller coaster ride. I had 5 months of chemo which was interrupted for a hemorrhoidectomy because the AC caused such severe bowel problems. Mastectomy was July 22, removed 23 lymph nodes and 12 were positive. I just finished 6 weeks of radiation wednesday. Radiation was tough for me because I am fair skinned and the type of radiation for the IBC. I had to go on medical loa because my job doesn't allow part time work and they have a very strict attendance policy. I had only been there 5 months when I got my diagnosis and didn't qualify for fmla. In the midst of this I lost my home and moved in with my sister. I'm single, have 4 grown children and 3 grandchildren.
Basically I am a nervous wreck right now. I thought that after I finished radiation the stress would go away. Oh, I was also diagnosed with ADD a few weeks ago so now I'm taking Adderall for that. I have all these fears of recurrences, going back to work after being gone for 11 months, getting my own place again, trying to get healthy, the list goes on and on. And I also feel like because of this diagnosis I have to give up my hope of a relationship. The Lord has carried me through this and I don't understand why all the anxiety now! Sometimes I think I'm going to have a nervous breakdown.
Has anyone else felt this way?
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Comments

  • marilyndbk
    marilyndbk Member Posts: 238 Member
    Keep up the faith. This
    Keep up the faith. This journey can be long and hard, but things do get better. I know you must be a strong person to already have gotten thru so much. Sometimes it is so overwhelming and is comforting to hear that what we are feeling is somewhat normal. I am 58 with 3 grown children and 4 awesome grandchildren that give me the courage to go on every day. I have been separated for over 2 years and understand completely about having a new relationship but I have to believe God has a plan for our lives, this situation is only temporary, and we will come out of this stronger than ever. This is an amazing place to get support and understanding from all our pink sisters. Take good care of yourself. Sending positive thoughts to you. Marilyn
  • TraciInLA
    TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
    Elizarose,
    I just want to say how sorry I am for everything you've had to deal with the past year, how strong I think you are for coping with so much so far, and how glad I am that you came here.

    OF COURSE you're overwhelmed -- with the long list of everything you've been fighting through, you wouldn't be human if you weren't! And I know that a lot of women here have had similar experiences where we're just in fighting mode while we're going through treatment, and don't have the time or mental energy to deal with out emotions. Then, once treatment is over -- WHAM!

    I know that others who have gone through this will share their experiences with you. In the meantime, I'm so glad you've introduced yourself -- I've seen you posting on a few of the other threads, and kept meaning to tell you what a beautiful picture yours is. But now you say you're a GRANDMOTHER? Girl, I want to look that good when I'm a grandmother!

    Big hug,

    Traci
  • MAJW
    MAJW Member Posts: 2,510 Member
    Normal feelings.....
    I am so sorry you're having to deal with so much anxiety....but I do think some of it has to do with finishing all your treatments.......as much as we can't WAIT TO BE FINISHED! I finished all mine one week ago.......it's been a long 8 months now....lumpectomy, chemo and radiation....I discussed this with my radiation oncologist just two weeks ago.....I was really starting to feel anxious......I finally realized it was BECAUSE my treatments WERE COMING to an end.....For the last 8 months, bc has been my focus, day and night...now that treatments were ending, I got scared....I have fought for 8 months to rid the beast....I have done all that I can do........now what? My oncologist said this was a very NORMAL reaction...Once I identified why I was so anxiety ridden, I was better able to understand my feelings and deal with them.......now I feel great.....NO MORE TREATMENTS.......I am reclaiming my life every day.....I finally feel peaceful and happy....

    Again, I think what you're feeling is normal, your feelings are valid..I think it takes some of us longer than others to come to grips with what has happened to our "former" lives...Now it's finding a "new normal" for ourselves.....perhaps an antianxiety medication would help ease your anxiety.....I am not opposed to anything that gets us through the day....
    I wish you sunshine and happier days.....
  • DebbyM
    DebbyM Member Posts: 3,289 Member
    TraciInLA said:

    Elizarose,
    I just want to say how sorry I am for everything you've had to deal with the past year, how strong I think you are for coping with so much so far, and how glad I am that you came here.

    OF COURSE you're overwhelmed -- with the long list of everything you've been fighting through, you wouldn't be human if you weren't! And I know that a lot of women here have had similar experiences where we're just in fighting mode while we're going through treatment, and don't have the time or mental energy to deal with out emotions. Then, once treatment is over -- WHAM!

    I know that others who have gone through this will share their experiences with you. In the meantime, I'm so glad you've introduced yourself -- I've seen you posting on a few of the other threads, and kept meaning to tell you what a beautiful picture yours is. But now you say you're a GRANDMOTHER? Girl, I want to look that good when I'm a grandmother!

    Big hug,

    Traci

    So sorry
    I am sorry Elizarose for your feeling like this. Unfortunately, most, if not all of us, go thru this and sometimes even revisit these feelings over and over. I do believe that eventually we can put them in the back of our mind and continue with a great life. But, with most of us being so new out of treatment, it just is going to take some time. Some take antidepressants, and, some of us just deal with it however we can. But, I do believe that we will ALL feel better with time. I am sending prayers and positive thoughts to you. Talk to your oncologist about this and I am sure he can help you, either with antidepressants or maybe see a counselor. I know a cancer support group helps a LOT. See if you have one at your cancer center.

    Debby
  • mizcaldwell
    mizcaldwell Member Posts: 143
    Elizarose -
    I'm sending you

    Elizarose -

    I'm sending you a big hug. I am at the beginning of my journey - so I haven't been through the stage your are going through - but the ladies here are giving good advice. Check with your Cancer Center - they often have counsellors that can work with you to give some perspective and a live listening ear. Think about all your have gone and are going through - I would imagine it can be like a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that we all go through - we've definitely had some traumatic stress! Talk to a professional - especially someone who has experience with cancer survivors. And I agree, anti-anxiety meds are great to get you over the hump, when the days sometimes seem impossible.

    You are strong. You are beautiful. And you are loved! We are here for you!

    Lori
  • elizarose
    elizarose Member Posts: 124

    Elizarose -
    I'm sending you

    Elizarose -

    I'm sending you a big hug. I am at the beginning of my journey - so I haven't been through the stage your are going through - but the ladies here are giving good advice. Check with your Cancer Center - they often have counsellors that can work with you to give some perspective and a live listening ear. Think about all your have gone and are going through - I would imagine it can be like a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that we all go through - we've definitely had some traumatic stress! Talk to a professional - especially someone who has experience with cancer survivors. And I agree, anti-anxiety meds are great to get you over the hump, when the days sometimes seem impossible.

    You are strong. You are beautiful. And you are loved! We are here for you!

    Lori

    Thanks
    Thanks everyone! It helps to know that I'm "probably" not going crazy. My radiation oncologist suggested I see the therapist there and I have been. That's actually how my ADD diagnosis came about. Along with dealing with cancer, therapy has surfaced a lot of other feelings I am having to deal with. I know things will never be like they were, cancer changes you forever. I want to use the changes as an opportunity to become a better mother, grandmother, woman, Christian, etc.
    I have tried other online BC groups before without much success but this is different. Also, when I have tried to share my feelings with friends who haven't experienced this, it's impossible for them to understand. It means a lot to be able to express myself and be understood! I have internalized so much for so long. Again, thank you for your responses!

    Beth
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    elizarose said:

    Thanks
    Thanks everyone! It helps to know that I'm "probably" not going crazy. My radiation oncologist suggested I see the therapist there and I have been. That's actually how my ADD diagnosis came about. Along with dealing with cancer, therapy has surfaced a lot of other feelings I am having to deal with. I know things will never be like they were, cancer changes you forever. I want to use the changes as an opportunity to become a better mother, grandmother, woman, Christian, etc.
    I have tried other online BC groups before without much success but this is different. Also, when I have tried to share my feelings with friends who haven't experienced this, it's impossible for them to understand. It means a lot to be able to express myself and be understood! I have internalized so much for so long. Again, thank you for your responses!

    Beth

    Of course we are all crazy...it makes life livable!!! ROFL!!!!
    Here I am, over 4 years out, still struggling with stress issues created since my diagnosis!

    When going thru treatment, I think I went into such a 'fight or flight' attitude that I didn't have time to be stressed. And this was my second cancer, having emerged victorious 6 month's earlier from a battle with stage III rectal cancer...

    Don't be hard on yourself. Do what you can do, don't fret about the rest. I always assure myself by looking at someone who has tried to spoil my day (like a road rage person here is So. Calif) as someone to be pitied. I think "You know, Kathi, you have fought a strong battle that most people won't ever be faced with in their lives. You are a strong, capable woman, who has won the RIGHT to have a great day, every day!!!!"

    Hugs, Kathi
  • Eil4186
    Eil4186 Member Posts: 949
    Elizarose, so sorry for all
    Elizarose, so sorry for all you have been through. Often people are so intent on fighting the cancer during treatment that the emotional impact doesn't hit full force until after all that is over. I have read many posts to that effect and I can relate to it myself. I was very emotional and cried a lot during treatment, but it wasn't until after, that intense fears of recurrence and death set in. In fact I was obssessed with cancer for a while. Time does gradually help. I am 3 yrs out but am still struggling with my fears and depression. But, we must remind ourselves that life is precious and short and we need to enjoy every day. I try to find joy in simple things and am taking an anti-depressant which does help some.

    There is no shame in getting help if even on a temporary basis until some time passes and you begin to feel better. Cancer is very scary and you have been through more than most ever will. Be patient with yourself and I highly recommend support groups. I get a lot of comfort from mine. We have a breast cancer coalition in my city that runs the group. Everyone in the group knows how I am feeling and has been there. We discuss survival issues, fears, tests, anything that is on our minds. After a year or so, I noticed that even my closest friends and family seemed to grow tired of hearing about breast cancer. And they are very supportive believe me--I couldn't have gotten through everything without them. But after a while they want the old you back! During my group sessions, I can always say how I truly feel and what I am thinking and they want to hear and share thier thoughts.

    Check it out, you will be glad you did. Stay strong, e-mail me anytime you need an ear. Eil
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    Since everyone else gave
    Since everyone else gave such good advice I'll only say that when your soul mate comes along he isn't going to be looking at appearances or health issues. So just be yourself and try to enjoy life. Soul mates have a deeper attraction.
  • ritazimm
    ritazimm Member Posts: 171
    You are not alone
    You are not alone in your experiences or in going through them. As you have seen, thie women on this site are very special!

    I was diagnosed in October of 2007, had a mastectomy November 15, 2007 followed by chemo (TAC) and radiation. I was able to work throughout it all, just taking off day as I needed. I had brain/mental issues while going through it all but when I completed my final radation in July 2008, I expected my life and brain function to return to normal. When it didn't happen I began to have even more anxiety. The doctor's kept telling me that "it will get better with time" but I couldn't see that happening and thus the anxiety increased. Eventually my general practitioner was willing to try different medications and Adderall seems to work the best. The anxiety has improved quite a bit but I still have my moments/days where I don't handle the thoughts of recurrence, how my life has changed and what lies ahead really get to me. I also feel guilty on these days because I feel like I am not trusting God since I do know that He will see me through. BUT.......most importantly, just knoow that things will improve. The times of anxiousness will become less frequent and you will better learn how to work through it. I also find it helpful to know that MANY others going through this, have similar thoughts so I am not totally crazy - or if I am crazy, at least I am not alone:)

    I pray that you will have peace of mind!

    Rita
  • KeriLee
    KeriLee Member Posts: 25
    Elizarose
    You have alot going on in your life right now you should be anxious. Just because we finish treatment doesn't mean we're ok there is a lot of emotional baggage that comes with bc. Do you belong to a support group? I am over a year out of treatment (except the tamoxifen) and just joined a support group because I was having problems coping. Unfortunatly life doesn't stop giving us hurdles while we are going through bc and sometimes it just catches up. I went to my first support group meeting this past Thursday and couldn't believe how comfortable and relieved I felt. I talked about things with the group that no one else could possible understand if they haven't been through this. If you need someone to talk to personally my e-mail and phone# are in my profile feel free to contact me. Hang in there you're not alone what your feeling is exactly why I first posted here and why I joined a support group. Keep us posted.
    Hugs and prayers
    Keri
  • KeriLee
    KeriLee Member Posts: 25
    Elizarose
    You have alot going on in your life right now you should be anxious. Just because we finish treatment doesn't mean we're ok there is a lot of emotional baggage that comes with bc. Do you belong to a support group? I am over a year out of treatment (except the tamoxifen) and just joined a support group because I was having problems coping. Unfortunatly life doesn't stop giving us hurdles while we are going through bc and sometimes it just catches up. I went to my first support group meeting this past Thursday and couldn't believe how comfortable and relieved I felt. I talked about things with the group that no one else could possible understand if they haven't been through this. If you need someone to talk to personally my e-mail and phone# are in my profile feel free to contact me. Hang in there you're not alone what your feeling is exactly why I first posted here and why I joined a support group. Keep us posted.
    Hugs and prayers
    Keri
  • carkris
    carkris Member Posts: 4,553 Member
    KeriLee said:

    Elizarose
    You have alot going on in your life right now you should be anxious. Just because we finish treatment doesn't mean we're ok there is a lot of emotional baggage that comes with bc. Do you belong to a support group? I am over a year out of treatment (except the tamoxifen) and just joined a support group because I was having problems coping. Unfortunatly life doesn't stop giving us hurdles while we are going through bc and sometimes it just catches up. I went to my first support group meeting this past Thursday and couldn't believe how comfortable and relieved I felt. I talked about things with the group that no one else could possible understand if they haven't been through this. If you need someone to talk to personally my e-mail and phone# are in my profile feel free to contact me. Hang in there you're not alone what your feeling is exactly why I first posted here and why I joined a support group. Keep us posted.
    Hugs and prayers
    Keri

    What everyone says is true.
    What everyone says is true. I had my first BC diagnosis 15 years ago, my surgeon at the time says its "tincture of time" . you have been through alot and your feelings are normal. Its all a process. everyday is different but i did get to a point where i did not think about it the same way all the time, but certainly not in the beginning! Every pain was not cancer after a while. I had a n easier chemo then and was younger. I have not felt great this time and am having the same rear end issues. dealing with the chemo and the other is hard, doesnt give you much time to process. Time will tell but it will be a little different for me this time but only a little, different primary diagnosis. So it will hopefully be a process of trusting life again. But as the news shows every day is a gift, some perfectly healthy people lose their life to random events. life will get better and you are doing all the right things.
    God Bless
  • carkris
    carkris Member Posts: 4,553 Member
    KeriLee said:

    Elizarose
    You have alot going on in your life right now you should be anxious. Just because we finish treatment doesn't mean we're ok there is a lot of emotional baggage that comes with bc. Do you belong to a support group? I am over a year out of treatment (except the tamoxifen) and just joined a support group because I was having problems coping. Unfortunatly life doesn't stop giving us hurdles while we are going through bc and sometimes it just catches up. I went to my first support group meeting this past Thursday and couldn't believe how comfortable and relieved I felt. I talked about things with the group that no one else could possible understand if they haven't been through this. If you need someone to talk to personally my e-mail and phone# are in my profile feel free to contact me. Hang in there you're not alone what your feeling is exactly why I first posted here and why I joined a support group. Keep us posted.
    Hugs and prayers
    Keri

    What everyone says is true.
    What everyone says is true. I had my first BC diagnosis 15 years ago, my surgeon at the time says its "tincture of time" . you have been through alot and your feelings are normal. Its all a process. everyday is different but i did get to a point where i did not think about it the same way all the time, but certainly not in the beginning! Every pain was not cancer after a while. I had a n easier chemo then and was younger. I have not felt great this time and am having the same rear end issues. dealing with the chemo and the other is hard, doesnt give you much time to process. Time will tell but it will be a little different for me this time but only a little, different primary diagnosis. So it will hopefully be a process of trusting life again. But as the news shows every day is a gift, some perfectly healthy people lose their life to random events. life will get better and you are doing all the right things.
    God Bless
  • jnl
    jnl Member Posts: 3,869 Member
    elizarose said:

    Thanks
    Thanks everyone! It helps to know that I'm "probably" not going crazy. My radiation oncologist suggested I see the therapist there and I have been. That's actually how my ADD diagnosis came about. Along with dealing with cancer, therapy has surfaced a lot of other feelings I am having to deal with. I know things will never be like they were, cancer changes you forever. I want to use the changes as an opportunity to become a better mother, grandmother, woman, Christian, etc.
    I have tried other online BC groups before without much success but this is different. Also, when I have tried to share my feelings with friends who haven't experienced this, it's impossible for them to understand. It means a lot to be able to express myself and be understood! I have internalized so much for so long. Again, thank you for your responses!

    Beth

    Most of us are just like you
    Most of us are just like you Elizarose, so, you are NOT crazy. It is just what we unfortunately go thru in fighting bc. All of the fear, the tests, the waiting, the pain, the sickness, it is all pretty horrible. But, we will and do get thru it because we want to fight the beast and to live a full and happy life free of bc. And, you will too. We are here to help you thru it. So, come here and vent or just type away anytime you want. Someone is always around.

    Leeza
  • carkris
    carkris Member Posts: 4,553 Member
    carkris said:

    What everyone says is true.
    What everyone says is true. I had my first BC diagnosis 15 years ago, my surgeon at the time says its "tincture of time" . you have been through alot and your feelings are normal. Its all a process. everyday is different but i did get to a point where i did not think about it the same way all the time, but certainly not in the beginning! Every pain was not cancer after a while. I had a n easier chemo then and was younger. I have not felt great this time and am having the same rear end issues. dealing with the chemo and the other is hard, doesnt give you much time to process. Time will tell but it will be a little different for me this time but only a little, different primary diagnosis. So it will hopefully be a process of trusting life again. But as the news shows every day is a gift, some perfectly healthy people lose their life to random events. life will get better and you are doing all the right things.
    God Bless

    hope you are doing better!

    hope you are doing better!
  • lynn1950
    lynn1950 Member Posts: 2,570
    Absolutely! I melted down
    Absolutely! I melted down once radiation was finished, although the signs were there during the the last weeks. We have to be so strong to get through all the treatment and once our life returns to a semblance of normal, the sh*t hits the fan!

    I am fine now (a year later). It took counseling, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, anti-depressants, Xanax, friends, this board, family...to get me through. Use all the support available. I believe the emotional stuff can be harder and more scary than the physical!

    xoxoxo Lynn
  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    The "Sisterhood of the
    The "Sisterhood of the Traveling Mammograms" has given you such wonderful advice and encouragement! This is without a doubt the most supportive group anywhere! I have nothing really to add to the wise and loving responses you have already received from your Kindred Spirits.

    I simply wanted to weigh in and let you know that if you are crazy ( which you are NOT!) that you are in good company with the likes of us! And,Marcia was so right saying that soul mates look past the physical and see deeper than the obvious. Our souls are not on the surface, why should our relationships be....?

    Be well, take care of you, and the rest will fall into place.

    Hugs,
    C♥
  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    Double Post Gremlins Working Overtime
    Grrrr.....I really don't have anything worth reading twice~ darned double post!
  • Angie2U
    Angie2U Member Posts: 2,991
    chenheart said:

    The "Sisterhood of the
    The "Sisterhood of the Traveling Mammograms" has given you such wonderful advice and encouragement! This is without a doubt the most supportive group anywhere! I have nothing really to add to the wise and loving responses you have already received from your Kindred Spirits.

    I simply wanted to weigh in and let you know that if you are crazy ( which you are NOT!) that you are in good company with the likes of us! And,Marcia was so right saying that soul mates look past the physical and see deeper than the obvious. Our souls are not on the surface, why should our relationships be....?

    Be well, take care of you, and the rest will fall into place.

    Hugs,
    C♥

    I do hope that you feel
    I do hope that you feel better about all of this and realize that you are not alone. We are all just like you in so many ways.

    Angie