Mental Health

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Aud
Aud Member Posts: 479 Member
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I see so many strong, courageous people here, who have been through so much, that I almost hesitate to post. But I know there is strength here, and I may be doing well physically, but sometimes emotionally/mentally, I am not.
I had a transanal excision for stage I, T2 rectal cancer, followed by a re-excision because the margins were not clear. I am starting my 3rd week of oral Xeloda and radiation. The first week I had terrible nausea which was better before the weekend. I felt great the 2nd week. Some mild bowel issues but nothing unmanageable. So physically, I am doing well, and I have no reason to complain.
Now, I don't know if this is just me or if it's related to treatment/diagnosis, but I am more tearful, sad (but not always); and even though I know that my relationship "issues" existed long before the cancer diagnosis, that is all now exacerbated. My behavior/reactions with my boyfriend is sometimes unreasonable and irrational. My boyfriend is wonderful -- me, not so much. I'm afraid of losing him. I'm doing fine in other relationships (i.e. work, family). At least, I think I am; I haven't asked anyone.
My boyfriend and I of 2 1/2 years see each other on weekends (usually Friday night to Monday morning), since we live 60 miles apart. We would be living together but I still have my son at home (he's 19).
I see my oncologist today. I plan on talking to him about this. I hope I can.
Thanks for listening.
Audrey

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  • PhillieG
    PhillieG Member Posts: 4,866 Member
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    Hi Audrey
    I can't speak for others but the cancer "package" has made me more emotional for sure. I easily well-up and cry or get teary easily. I owe some of my strength to medication that I began to take after my dx. I don't know if you take anything to help you deal with cancer but I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting the help that is often needed. The emotional part can often be the toughest part to get through.

    Don't compare yourself to us, you're just as strong as we are.
    We have nothing over you at all. Hang in there.
    Good luck with your Onc, keep us posted.
    -phil
  • coloCan
    coloCan Member Posts: 1,944 Member
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    Mood Swings
    I frequently go thru mood swings due the cancer DX itself as well as the chemo, plus recovery from op. All I have in life is my girlfriend and she bears the brunt of my anger, mostly no fault of her own. Just this past Wed I went ballistic on her (verbally, NEVER physical-she was abused since a little girl)at the cancer center , the first time nurses etc saw me act that way, over something stupid.Hopefully your boyfriend understands what this illness/treatment can do and be forgiving. Talk, talk, talk to him; I'm sure anything negative from you results from how you feel due to your condition and not so much because of him.Without my caregiver I would not be here and tho she feels hurt, humiliated, embarrassed when I go off in public she does know its the cancer/chemo and not me. I tell her let it go til I get back to myself.Thats difficult f0r her but bottom line is swhe understands(we've been together over 13 years-she lives with me and is myreason for wanting to beat this,Maybe, even with son at home, if you can work it out, boyfriend should move in to provide more support.Talking to onc or therapist might help too.Audrey, hope this little speech helps you in your relationship, We need as much true support at this time in our l;ife as possible...Best wishes in your battle against the beast....Steve
  • Shayenne
    Shayenne Member Posts: 2,342
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    coloCan said:

    Mood Swings
    I frequently go thru mood swings due the cancer DX itself as well as the chemo, plus recovery from op. All I have in life is my girlfriend and she bears the brunt of my anger, mostly no fault of her own. Just this past Wed I went ballistic on her (verbally, NEVER physical-she was abused since a little girl)at the cancer center , the first time nurses etc saw me act that way, over something stupid.Hopefully your boyfriend understands what this illness/treatment can do and be forgiving. Talk, talk, talk to him; I'm sure anything negative from you results from how you feel due to your condition and not so much because of him.Without my caregiver I would not be here and tho she feels hurt, humiliated, embarrassed when I go off in public she does know its the cancer/chemo and not me. I tell her let it go til I get back to myself.Thats difficult f0r her but bottom line is swhe understands(we've been together over 13 years-she lives with me and is myreason for wanting to beat this,Maybe, even with son at home, if you can work it out, boyfriend should move in to provide more support.Talking to onc or therapist might help too.Audrey, hope this little speech helps you in your relationship, We need as much true support at this time in our l;ife as possible...Best wishes in your battle against the beast....Steve

    Hello Audrey!
    Does your boyfriend and son not get along for you to live together? He's an adult now, and should be able to handle it, is he helping you throughtout this ordeal? giving you the support you need as well? or is he part of the emotional rollercoaster you are on? I don't mean to sound nosey, but sometimes I feel you need not be around the negative energies of your life especially in dealing with your illness. You need to be with who makes you happy, and not be around alot that is bringing you down.

    We are all strong here, but of course we have our ups and downs, lately I been having more ups, alot of downs I had this year, but hoping it will get better. I am focusing on more positive, because it doesn't make me feel like I've got cancer. When I'm out and about, I don't even feel like I have cancer, and don't think of it as much as when I'm sitting home, and alone, and feeling the walls close on me.

    Like Phil said, you should check in to seeing about anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds, I am on Zoloft, 100 mgs, and it does help me with the ups and down, and not be as weepy as I was. The ativan is nice too, it's a nice calming pill, which is also good for nausea.

    But you need to have people around you that are there to help you, and to have a boyfriend of 1 1/2 years, is long enough to let him be around you more and help you through this. I hope everything gets better!

    Hugsss!
    ~Donna
  • Aud
    Aud Member Posts: 479 Member
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    Shayenne said:

    Hello Audrey!
    Does your boyfriend and son not get along for you to live together? He's an adult now, and should be able to handle it, is he helping you throughtout this ordeal? giving you the support you need as well? or is he part of the emotional rollercoaster you are on? I don't mean to sound nosey, but sometimes I feel you need not be around the negative energies of your life especially in dealing with your illness. You need to be with who makes you happy, and not be around alot that is bringing you down.

    We are all strong here, but of course we have our ups and downs, lately I been having more ups, alot of downs I had this year, but hoping it will get better. I am focusing on more positive, because it doesn't make me feel like I've got cancer. When I'm out and about, I don't even feel like I have cancer, and don't think of it as much as when I'm sitting home, and alone, and feeling the walls close on me.

    Like Phil said, you should check in to seeing about anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds, I am on Zoloft, 100 mgs, and it does help me with the ups and down, and not be as weepy as I was. The ativan is nice too, it's a nice calming pill, which is also good for nausea.

    But you need to have people around you that are there to help you, and to have a boyfriend of 1 1/2 years, is long enough to let him be around you more and help you through this. I hope everything gets better!

    Hugsss!
    ~Donna

    Thank you, Donna
    ...for the support.
    Audrey
  • Fight for my love
    Fight for my love Member Posts: 1,522 Member
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    Aud said:

    Thank you, Donna
    ...for the support.
    Audrey

    Hi Audrey,look at the bright
    Hi Audrey,look at the bright side of the diagnosis,your diagnosis was very early.Even my husband was diagnosed with stage 2A rectal cancer,the oncologist told us the diagnosis was good,so this means you have a big chance to fight against this cancer and you will be cured.You know,life is miserable only if you make it miserable.Please try to keep up your spirit high and stay positive, a high spirit is going to be very helpful with fighting against this cancer. We are all here for you,if you need to vent,whine and complain,just do it.Take care,get well soon.
  • Aud
    Aud Member Posts: 479 Member
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    mental health
    thanks, Everyone.
    I went to my oncologist today and he gave me the number to the psychologist/psychiatrist who provide counseling and medication if needed. Psychiatric services/counseling are apparently all part of the package, for those who need it. Someone should be calling me back within a couple of days to set up an appointment. My oncologist also gave me a prescription for low dose Ativan -- to get me "over the hump" until I see the psychologist.
    I know how to be grateful and positive; I've been those things before and still am sometimes. And it's not as though I am constantly morose, slumped over my breakfast every morning, thinking of the countless ways that Life can do me wrong. No. We still laugh and play together, take walks in the park with Kirby (our dog), cook, make love. Rather, it's the interspersing of overreactions and crying jags that remind me of younger, adolescent years that are distressing. These past couple weeks have been different for me, particularly with my relationship with my boyfriend. I think that since those types of relationships tend to be so intense (for better or worse) to begin with, we can see symptoms there first. Just a thought.
    So my goals are these (even if/when I start feeling better): to learn healthier ways to cope, to take a deep breath and count to 10 (slowly) and respond rather than react, to learn how to express myself before the need to erupt (oh the terror of Mount Aud!) More will follow, I'm sure.
    Audrey
  • PamPam2
    PamPam2 Member Posts: 370 Member
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    Aud said:

    mental health
    thanks, Everyone.
    I went to my oncologist today and he gave me the number to the psychologist/psychiatrist who provide counseling and medication if needed. Psychiatric services/counseling are apparently all part of the package, for those who need it. Someone should be calling me back within a couple of days to set up an appointment. My oncologist also gave me a prescription for low dose Ativan -- to get me "over the hump" until I see the psychologist.
    I know how to be grateful and positive; I've been those things before and still am sometimes. And it's not as though I am constantly morose, slumped over my breakfast every morning, thinking of the countless ways that Life can do me wrong. No. We still laugh and play together, take walks in the park with Kirby (our dog), cook, make love. Rather, it's the interspersing of overreactions and crying jags that remind me of younger, adolescent years that are distressing. These past couple weeks have been different for me, particularly with my relationship with my boyfriend. I think that since those types of relationships tend to be so intense (for better or worse) to begin with, we can see symptoms there first. Just a thought.
    So my goals are these (even if/when I start feeling better): to learn healthier ways to cope, to take a deep breath and count to 10 (slowly) and respond rather than react, to learn how to express myself before the need to erupt (oh the terror of Mount Aud!) More will follow, I'm sure.
    Audrey

    Mount Aud
    Hi Audrey
    It might be that you are going through menopause from your treatments, that could be compounding things. I had to have a total hysterectomy because of spread to overy, and that threw me into instant menopause, with a lot of the emotions as you, on top of the emotionalism from the cancer issues and life. I had a lot of anger built up, I would either cry or be angry. (I was very mean to my boyfriend, but actually he deserved it, and I now know I'm better off he's gone.) It sounds like your relationship is something you want to keep, and is good for you, so seeing a counselor is a good idea. They don't give hormonal replacement much for menopause any more because of the breast cancer risks. The nurse at the oncologist told me that some women have luck with soy or vitamin E. The vitamin E does help me, you could ask your doctor if it would be ok for you.
    Best Wishes for you
    Pam
  • Aud
    Aud Member Posts: 479 Member
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    PamPam2 said:

    Mount Aud
    Hi Audrey
    It might be that you are going through menopause from your treatments, that could be compounding things. I had to have a total hysterectomy because of spread to overy, and that threw me into instant menopause, with a lot of the emotions as you, on top of the emotionalism from the cancer issues and life. I had a lot of anger built up, I would either cry or be angry. (I was very mean to my boyfriend, but actually he deserved it, and I now know I'm better off he's gone.) It sounds like your relationship is something you want to keep, and is good for you, so seeing a counselor is a good idea. They don't give hormonal replacement much for menopause any more because of the breast cancer risks. The nurse at the oncologist told me that some women have luck with soy or vitamin E. The vitamin E does help me, you could ask your doctor if it would be ok for you.
    Best Wishes for you
    Pam

    hi, Pam
    Good point, Pam. I had thought briefly of menopause too and then I thought "too soon?" This is the beginning of my 3rd week of treatment with radiation/chemo. But then I've had changes in other areas (stool is flattened, probably from swelling in the rectum, as per oncologist; some urinary urgency; skin around the perineum, anus, and vagina becoming sensitive/sore), so why not ovaries too at this point? I'll be seeing the radiation oncologist on Wednesday.
    Audrey
  • Buzzard
    Buzzard Member Posts: 3,043 Member
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    Aud said:

    hi, Pam
    Good point, Pam. I had thought briefly of menopause too and then I thought "too soon?" This is the beginning of my 3rd week of treatment with radiation/chemo. But then I've had changes in other areas (stool is flattened, probably from swelling in the rectum, as per oncologist; some urinary urgency; skin around the perineum, anus, and vagina becoming sensitive/sore), so why not ovaries too at this point? I'll be seeing the radiation oncologist on Wednesday.
    Audrey

    Some Points to Ponder......if you will allow me Maam...
    A large number of women relate to early stages of menopause during treatment regimen. This is probable cause of some of the down feeling and emotional rollercoastering you are doing. I myself had the same issue, not with manopause but with depression issues.. had to pull over sometimes just because I couldn't see I was crying so hard. I started with 10mg of Flourextine and then about a month went to 20 mg and it changed my mood from tearful to being ok with my self. It wasn't anything that changed any part about me physically but it did allow me to smile and cope with everything. I am now 7 months out of post op chemo and got off my depression meds 3 weeks ago and I am starting to easily tear up again but now for me its simply tears of joy because I am NED, some of guilt because Im ok now and so many others aren't, its not from thinking about dying because that has been worked out for me with my beliefs......Meds especially depression meds are for anyone that need them. They allow you to not dwell on what saddens you and allows you to actually regain a little normalcy in your life where 2 weeks prior there was none. (It does take about 2 weeks before it starts to take effect)..as for feeling different, you are, thats what makes each one of us special. and all of us suffer mood swings in different ways..so sorry but your normal just like us...LOL...and this is the best place to come in and vent.....it sounds like you are taking the same route that a lot of us have taken...you will be fine sweetie....hang in there....Buzzard

    As for sore parts of your anatomy..ask your radiation dept about "Aquaphor" it is a Godsend for sunburns where the "Sun don't Shine".....apply as needed ....Good Luck to you and we'll leave the light on for ya.........Buzzard