New member

PADANAG Member Posts: 20
I am new here and have so many questions. I guess I should introduce myself first. I am a 43 year old mom of 5, ages 14-2. I was diagnosed last April with Stage 3a Triple Negative Breast cancer. I completed chemo on 8/8/11. At the time of my mastectomy on 10/28/11 i was told i had a complete pathological response. The docs were very pleased and gave me an excellent prognosis with a low chance of recurrence. Then I completed radiation in March of this year.

My follow ups with the oncologist have all been going very well. These past two weeks I have been feeling awful. I am consumed with an overwhelming fear of the cancer coming back. My hips have been sore and I am sad all the time. Don't have much of an appetite either. Many of my symptoms seem like I may be depressed but they can also be symptoms of mets. I had blood work done on Thursday and will see the doctor on Tuesday. I feel like I am losing my mind.

Has anyone out there experienced depression after treatments? Do your bodies ache? Stomachs just not right? I am terrified, more now than when I was first diagnosed.

Hopefully someone can offer some encouraging words.



  • ksf56
    ksf56 Member Posts: 202
    At times
    Welcome Dana

    I've felt the same way since I finished my radiation treatment in March. I'm also recovering from TNBC. My tumor was at stage 1 and grade 3. I had 2 lumpectomies and 16 chemo sessions (AC and Taxol) and 33 rad. Now I'm done with active treatment, I feel like I'm on my own, physically, to fight this stuff off. I truly feel that the cancer is gone but it lingers in my mind that it is lurking somewhere. I guess it's crazy but I never thought this stuff would get me in the first place - so much for the false sense of security. I know I've been depressed and luckily, I'm on meds to help. Don't be afraid of telling the doc. And yes, I hurt somewhere most of the time. Kind of creaky. I also have neuropathy. I find exercise and walking help alot for both depression and achiness. I just generally feel less well than I used to but again, I'm sorta new to this post cancer stuff. From what you'll see here - there's lots of people that have been through similar experiences and will help you out when you ask. Everyone's here for the same reasons - we've had cancer in our lives and need support.

    Hugs and prayers!
  • Faith1122
    Faith1122 Member Posts: 46
    Hi Dana
    I get your depression & anxiety. wow 5 kids! 5 years ago I was diagnosed with Hashimotos thyroiditis, then adenomyosis which resulted in a hysterectomy. 6 months later I got diagnosed with minimal stage 1 in my right breast. had a bilateral mastectomy scheduled & had to reschedule because I came down with pneumonia. Finally had the mastectomy, thankfully no chemo or radiation but I am supposed to start taking tamoxefin. I have 2 children 4 & 6 1/2. I am going through the reconstruction process & my expander had turned & I had to go back in for surgery to have it replaced. So far I have had 5 surgeries in 1 year. for some reason, the last one, sent me into a bit of a depression & son
    Me days I have major anxiety. Like I will never feel well again. Don't you know my daughter felt I'll 1 day last week & I have had a major sore throat since & I will have to go back to the dr. Tomorrow. i feel like I get butterflies in my stomach & I get scared about everything nowadays. just wanted to say I understand how you feel & sorry you feel like that after all you went through. i hope you had a nice mothers day!
  • RozHopkins
    RozHopkins Member Posts: 578 Member
    Feeling Low
    Hi Dana, Have to say for a long time I felt very, very tired and washed out. Everything was an effort, and yet felt I needed to go with the flow in order to mend and slowly strengthen. You must be exhausted having so many young children, well done you, I hope you had plenty of help. It took me a year after treatment to gently feel more myself. I have always taken anti depressants and actually those negative feelings never surfaced, thankfully the meds worked well throughout treatment and beyond. A little helping hand will not do you any harm either if you are feeling low, it doesn't have to be for ever, just to give you a little help for a while. Yes, I fear reoccurrence and think we all do. A pain in the chest, aches, onset of headaches, blurred vision (cataracts can be caused by chemo), and the dreaded side effects of Tamoxifen. Then I get things into perspective again and calm myself down. Unlike you I am able to do things in my own time and concentrate on keeping as fit as possible without getting silly about it. You have a very busy life with your children to deal with, you will not have a problem trying something to alleviate your depression. Either your oncologist or doctor will prescribe something for you, dont worry if the first med doesn't suit you, may have to try a few different ones. Good luck.
  • laughs_a_lot
    laughs_a_lot Member Posts: 1,368 Member
    I happened to have depression prior to bc and like Roz my meds carried me through my bc treatment quite well. But think about it. You have been through a life altering experince that you did not chooose. Having that happen to you can easily be the precipitating event for depression.

    Most of the time a primary care physician will be the one who will put you on these meds and do not hesitate to try more than one. I had one that worked so well within days of being perscribed. Unfortuneatly I turned up allergic to it within the first six weeks. However, when switched to another one I did very well with that one too. Both of those antidepressants were perscribed to me because they also helped with ADD which I discovered I had at the age of 50. The therapist that helped me figure this out had seen me about 15 years earlier and I had spent all summer in therapy with her for the second time prior to her giving me the diagnosis of depression as well. When I told my primary care physician I was depressed he was not the least bit suprised as I had gone through many family issues prior to asking for the anti depressant. I guess I am telling you all of this because I had things occur in my life that were less devistating than cancer and those event preciptated my depression. My family members saw me as a strong individual too so even if loved ones describe you this way it still does not mean that you are not depressed. It only means you carry your depression well and function in spite of it. Depression's close friend is anxiety. They often hang out together harrassing persons they come in contact with. Think about how getting some medication would help you care for your children better. I was not dopey from meds. I actually did my job better.

    Unlike you and many others I do not worry too much about cancer's return. I figure it this way. I have had a difficult life prior to cancer. If the Lord should be so pleased as to take me home to live with him earlier than most people, then I win. My family would loose, but I would win. On the other hand, I also live life with lots of purpose while I am here. I do this because while I am here, I refuse to waste the life the Lord has given me.
  • disneyfan2008
    disneyfan2008 Member Posts: 6,583 Member
    Welcome..sorry you had to
    Welcome..sorry you had to find us...but you will get great advice and support here..

    I did not have chemo so I DO NOT have any for you..but others will..

  • eihtak
    eihtak Member Posts: 1,473 Member
    I read your post and felt for you. I also have 5 children all within a year or so of each other! They are grown now, the youngest turns 20 next month, and now I have 6 grandsons that I help with. I was mostly healthy when they were young and still felt exhausted and could have been depressed at times so one can only imagine how you must feel. About a year ago I was diagnosed with Stage3 Anal Cancer and underwent treatment of chemo/rad. It was tough on me and I got very sick ending up in a nursing home for a few months. I eventually got my strength back and was diagnosed with a rare Secretory Carcinoma of the breast and in March had a double mastectomy. I am still dealing with side effects from the Anal Cancer along with getting muscles back in shape from the surgery. I often feel my grandchildren tho exhaust me are also the main thing that give me the desire to push on and keep moving forward. I saw that you were seeing your doc on tuesday and hope you found some answers. Depression is a very treatable thing so please discuss your feelings before it eats you up. This site is of great help and offers much support, we will be waiting to hear how you are doing. As always, all in my prayers.
  • Blondiemomma
    Blondiemomma Member Posts: 41
    I hear you
    You wrote just what I was feeling a short time ago. I had HER2 pos ER PR neg bc and had a unilateral mastectomy, chemo, and am continuing Herceptin until sometime in August. I have never had much trouble with depression and/or was arrogantly of the mindset that it was a weakness to feel it much less admit it.

    After my chemo was done and I was back to work, I hit the dust. I felt just as crappy, achy, stomach burning, my joints stiff and old. I walk every day (ok, my 94 year old dad walks straighter and faster than I did!) Work was the same, with the same work load as when I felt good. When I was doing chemo, I felt like I was "in the fight" and was swinging hard to fight back against cancer. Once that was done, it's like the battle is over and there is nothing left to swing at so what was I supposed to do now??? How was I supposed to fit back into life?

    I was terrified that the cancer was going to come back and begged for another mastectomy one second and the next second, I would realize that I shouldn't make my decisions out of fear. I was given a happy pill and I'm loving it. I hope you don't make yourself suffer like I did. You are going through a form of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)!! You are a bc veteran. Give yourself a break. It's natural to second guess yourself and fear the unknown.
  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
    Gentle Hugs!
    Hello Dana, pleasure to meet you although I wish you had no need to be here I am however very glad you found us! Depression is a real concern with this illness, so much has happened in a relatively short period of time. Now you are off of treatment and that tends to be when we start truly worrying about recurrence. You need to tell your doctor how you are feeling, they can give you meds to get you back on track. If your doc does not listen, re-state your concern remember they work for you not the other way around.

    Since all my chemo's I have had a lot of tummy troubles, but as I get farther away from treatment they improve. I have joints that ache and headaches and I too fear the worse so I stay on top of things. I go to my GP and complain asking for blood work and reassurance all is well. Since you are so close to treatment it is your onco you will be seeing and he may refer to a stomach specialist (mine did) who can help to determine why you are having this issue. I have always seen my heightened health concerns as a gift to keep me alive, I panic I go to the doctor, I am persistent in getting proof (as best they can give me) that all is well and then whatever is going on can be could be as simple as the flu or arthritis.

    I wish you well my new friend,