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Does my mom have Survivors Guilt?....

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2004

Shortly after my mom was told she was in remission from her cancer in Feb, she was on top of the world, looking forward to many more years watching her grandson grow up and having a new respect for life. Last week, she confessed to me that she feels really down & has zero motivation to do anything or go anywhere & is exhausted, moreso than when she was on chemo. Her appetite is almost nonexistent & she's dropped weight. As a matter of fact, she looks worse now than when she was on chemo. Her oncologist has given her a follow up two weeks ago, and she's still clear. Could she be going through survivors guilt? She seemed so positive & so incredibly grateful. Why the sudden change? I'm pretty worried about her. She's never, ever been a negative person. Always the "half full cup" kind, not the "half empty cup". Any input or thoughts would be appreciated.

Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2004

It sounds like your mom may be battling depression. Mom my went through a similar situation after she finished chemo. Her chemo ended in December and she was doing well until February, but she began feeling very anxious and was not sleeping very well. Her doctors eventually put her on a low-dose antidepressant, and after a few weeks the anxiety improved and she began sleeping better. Chemo also put my mom into menopause pretty suddenly, which could have impacted her sleep patterns and anxiety. Have you or your mom asked her doctors if depression could be causing her to feel this way? My mom's doctors told her that it was very common for cancer patients to struggle with anxiety and depression, both during and after their treatment. Your mom has probably had so many different drugs going through her body and it's quite likely that her chemical balance may be a little off and that could be causing her to feel tired and down. I would definitely talk to her doctors about this and I would also ask if this could be a reaction to any type of medication that she might be taking. Good luck - I know how frustrating it is to watch someone survive cancer and then struggle feelings of depression after...but I do think this might be pretty common and treatable.

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