talk with Onc. - book recommendation

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mariam_11_09
mariam_11_09 Member Posts: 691
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I have two Taxol left to go. One this afternoon and one next week friday on the 27th. I have taken 2 weeks off work until I am done. I feel immnense relief at the prospect of being done with chemo (never mind rads and sugery and herceptin in the works), bewilderment and sadness. I have found myself crying while driving alone in the car and feeling a little down.

I had an appointment with the Onc. yesterday and was describing how I felt, in particular the part about feeling down. He told me this is not uncommon in people who are about to finish chemo or rads or all their cancer treatment. Since so much of our lives (even if we have been working and taking care of families) are geared around the cancer and the treatment. During treatment there is a known, that on on these days treatment will happen etc, friends and family are helping out and so on. However after treatment, many patients feel they are thrust into a void, expected to function normally depsite still reeling from the side affects of chemo, lives don't go back to the way they used to be since so much has changed during cancer diagnosis and treatment. The question often asked silently is 'How do I know live my life?' The Onc. said that in his experience that patients need just as much support to transition into the afterlife of cancer treatment as they do when diagnosed and during. Fortunately at our clinic they offer counselors and support groups.

He did give a book to read called - After Breast Cancer by Hester Hill Schnipper - which I have started reading.

I guess I wanted to share this as I have been reading posts of women who feel in some ways almost abandoned or afraid or depressed after their treatment is completed. My Onc. agreed that chemo is a very traumatic experience and oftentimes their are physocolgical side affects of that as well. I felt encouraged to have had this discussion with the Onc. and was grateful for his concern and recommendations.

much love to you all
Mariam

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  • missrenee
    missrenee Member Posts: 2,136 Member
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    Miriam--I'm feeling like this at times.
    Had my surgeries, chemo ended in May and I just finished rads 2 weeks ago. I had a check-up with my onc. on Wed. and saw the surgeon the same day to remove my port. My onc. said everyone has that "now what?" feeling at this point. She said it would take a little time to shake it and get back to the idea of just living my life--forever changed as it is. Your onc. sounds very caring and intuitive as well.

    I do feel a little lost at times as well.

    I thought I'd be jumping up and down--and some days I am, but some days I'm just not. People around also have a tendancy to expect you to magically pick up right where you left off. Of course, for me, that causes more anguish.

    I have the name of a therapist I met when I was in the hospital. She was very nice and caring. I might just call for an appointment. It would probably help to talk, talk, talk and feel like I don't have to cover up or pretend with someone.

    Good luck on your journey, sister. We'll get through it.

    Hugs, Renee
  • GayleMc
    GayleMc Member Posts: 311 Member
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    missrenee said:

    Miriam--I'm feeling like this at times.
    Had my surgeries, chemo ended in May and I just finished rads 2 weeks ago. I had a check-up with my onc. on Wed. and saw the surgeon the same day to remove my port. My onc. said everyone has that "now what?" feeling at this point. She said it would take a little time to shake it and get back to the idea of just living my life--forever changed as it is. Your onc. sounds very caring and intuitive as well.

    I do feel a little lost at times as well.

    I thought I'd be jumping up and down--and some days I am, but some days I'm just not. People around also have a tendancy to expect you to magically pick up right where you left off. Of course, for me, that causes more anguish.

    I have the name of a therapist I met when I was in the hospital. She was very nice and caring. I might just call for an appointment. It would probably help to talk, talk, talk and feel like I don't have to cover up or pretend with someone.

    Good luck on your journey, sister. We'll get through it.

    Hugs, Renee

    I have the book you are
    I have the book you are referring to. It is excellent. I read it all the way through and still refer back to it when I need a little " pep talk ". I finished with chemo 4 mos. ago and with rads about 8 weeks ago I am on Femara and so far so good, but, I still worry a lot now that I'm not in the Dr. office so much. The book helped me to understand this feeling. Good thoughts to you.
  • carkris
    carkris Member Posts: 4,553 Member
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    GayleMc said:

    I have the book you are
    I have the book you are referring to. It is excellent. I read it all the way through and still refer back to it when I need a little " pep talk ". I finished with chemo 4 mos. ago and with rads about 8 weeks ago I am on Femara and so far so good, but, I still worry a lot now that I'm not in the Dr. office so much. The book helped me to understand this feeling. Good thoughts to you.

    I have that book as well,
    I have that book as well, she is actually my onc social worker. She has had breast cancer twice, and she knows what she is talking about.
  • TraciInLA
    TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
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    carkris said:

    I have that book as well,
    I have that book as well, she is actually my onc social worker. She has had breast cancer twice, and she knows what she is talking about.

    Run, do not walk, to get this book
    I can't recommend this book highly enough -- as carkris said, the author is an oncology social worker AND 2-time breast cancer survivor, and she "gets it" like no one else I've ever read. If I could, I would buy this book for every single woman on this board.

    Like Gayle, I still refer back to it -- I'm 7 months out of treatment, and I still keep it by my bed, and in fact just picked it up again this week.

    Traci

    (If anyone's energy levels aren't yet up to *running* to the bookstore -- it's also available on Amazon :-)