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Why do I feel like this?

grandma047's picture
grandma047
Posts: 381
Joined: Feb 2004

I am really doing better. Still have drainage tube. Also butt still taped up because of drainage. Also catheter because bladder not working and permanent colostomy. But.....I'm alive. So, why am I having the feelings I am??? I've been crying a lot. I've even had thoughts of "why didn't I die? My body would be perfect in Heaven??""" I know that's not a good thought. My family would certainly miss me. I just feel like I'm pieced together and my husband is always having to help me change this or that, which humiliates me. He says he doesn't mind and that I would do the same for him, and I would. I even asked him last night if he would eventually get tired of me and leave? He acted shocked and said he would never leave me. What a jewel he is!!! I really am lucky. Just can't seem to shake this depression . I am on medication, which my doctor increased, but still feeling this way. Any suggestions????????
Love and prayers, Judy(grandma047)

littlejulie's picture
littlejulie
Posts: 311
Joined: Mar 2004

Judy,
I'm so sorry to hear about how horrible you feel. I don't know if I have any suggestions but you're not alone. I cry a lot too. It's all very overwhelming. It'll take time to adjust. You're husband and family would want to have you the way you are now, much rather perfect body in heaven. Please Judy - you know that! Your family needs you and you need them. Just think if the roles were reversed. You would be by your husbands side.

You should try talking with someone - It helped me.

you're in my prayers,
julie

grandma047's picture
grandma047
Posts: 381
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Julie, I know if the roles were reversed that I would be doing everything I could for them. In fact, I feel like crap today, but it's my daughter's birthday, so we're going to her house this evening. so, yes, I would do anything for them. Also, I know they would rather have me here like this than in Heaven. My daughter said she didn't want to lose her best friend and we are.
Thanks for helping me realize this. You're wonderful.
Love and prayers, Judy(grandma047)

Anonymous user (not verified)

Good morning Judy...at least it's morning where I am at. It's a good day...you are here and alive and doing better. I can certainly understand your feelings of depression and I believe them to be perfectly normal. This disease, as does any major disease, has the ability to take away ones dignity and make one feel like a burden to those we love. Be a little gentler on yourself....most people after surgery experience some form of minor depression. This coupled with your cancer diagnosis is enough to make anyone feel blue for a while and it will pass.

As a caregiver, I can only tell you that please do not feel like you are a burden to your husband or that he "minds" doing anything for you. It's the one thing that us caregivers can do...besides lend support, to make us feel like we ARE DOING SOMETHING to help those we love who are dealing with this disease. We CAN'T make it go away, which is our sincere desire, so if we can give a little comfort and show our love, it makes us feel a little better so please let us do it!!! I went through this with my husband as well as my mom, neither of them wanted to be treated any more special then I had always treated them before and yes, their circumstances were a little different then yours, but that didn't make any difference to me. They needed my help and I was more than happy to give it. They still do, especially moral support and for Bert, a firm belief that he has beat this disease and for my mom, continued encouragement that she can keep it at bay.

The meds that you take for depression need some time to fully work. When I was prescribed some medications after Bert's diagnosis to help me at least function, I wanted the miracle to take place overnight. It didn't. About three weeks into the regime, I noticed that I was able to cope a little better so give it some time.

And to make you feel a little better, I hope, here comes a great big hug (((((((()))))))))) all the way from Southern California, land of sunshine, earthquakes, and wierdos :)

Fondly,
Monika

grandma047's picture
grandma047
Posts: 381
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Monika, I know as a caregiver that he does at times feel helpless to make me feel better. Thanks for explaining it from the caregivers point of view. I just worry that he'll eventually get tired of it all. He says he never will and that he loves me and I truly have seen that since th3e cancer. He was never a man that told me he loved me and I did everything for him, he didn't do for me. Maybe that's why it's so hard. But, cancer has sure changed him and our family. The meds are helping me sleep a little better. Only thing is I always wake up a little after 2am. At least I go back to sleep though. Since the hospital, night time scares me. I'm always afraid that I won't wake up. Maybe dumb. The medicine is helping, but I do see a therapist on Tuesday. Maybe she can straighten me out. I hope your husband and mom are doing well. You're a real gem to be there for them. I know they really need you, but probably like me, hate to have depend on someone else. Thanks for answering and making my feelings a little bit clearer.
Love and prayers, Judy(grandma047)

Anonymous user (not verified)

Judy, I believe that cancer changes us all. Makes us appreciate what we got and realize how fragile life truly is. We all seem to take it for granted that we will just keep on going, and going, and going....kind of like the pink bunny beating his drum. When cancer hits, what a wake-up call in that there is a very real possibility that the person we love won't be hear with us anymore and Judy. It's very humbling to be made aware of our mortality and to live with that thought every single day. Most of us, before coming here, were outsiders looking in other windows (that's how I like to put it) as something like this effected others, but oh never us...no, most certainly not us. And then it does...kinda of changes the way everything used to be.

You'll pull through this and no, I don't think your husband will ever get "tired" of the whole thing...you are there with him and that's what matters the most. Besides, you are still fresh out of surgery and as time goes by, will be able to manage better yourself.

Take care and keep that chin up.

Monika :o)

jsabol's picture
jsabol
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Judy,
I was sorry to hear how down you feel at times, but after all you've been through, it is understandable. You must be really tapped out.
I agree with others that you need to forgive yourself for not always being extra tough, but depression is just your spirit's way of saying you need a little extra love...your husband is lucky to have the time to help and appreciate you for the fine person you are. Sending hugs your way (((((( )))))).
I hope the meds and the counseling begin to take hold. I worry that we are always so busy emphasizing the importance of feeling positive, that we try to squelch any depressed feelings....I'm here to tell you to let it all out, accept this phase and get ready to feel better. A local onc here describes hope as the feeling one needs to know that s/he can manage whatever lies ahead. Wishing you renewed hope, you are in my prayers. the other Judy

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Judy. After I finished all my treatment, I went through a strange and difficult time, emotionally. I ended up seeing a therapist for a while, which was very helpful. The most important realization I had, during that time, was that the counselling was really part of my 'treatment', too. I had finished the physical part of my treatment - which had lasted many months - but I still had a little more to go - and that was the emotional aspect. Somehow, that perspective seemed to help me get through.
I am sending prayers and best wishes to you - for this phase of your healing.
Tara
ps I think you are lucky to have such a great husband - but he is also so lucky to have you!!

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hiya Judy--oh sweetie--this is all a very big part of what everyone here has been thru--sufferers and carers. Your thoughts of humiliation are normal and I think all would agree here. Having someone tend to your personal needs I can see is really playing on your mind.Prior to my surgery I was extremely concerned that after surgery my "modesty" would be severely impinged upon and that I would have no control over my personal needs. I tried to remind myself that "nurses and doctors" have seen it all and done it all.My concerns were really unfounded because in the finish while recovering I never gave modesty another thought--they did what they had to do--I was unable to do for myself.I started to think how is Jen going to cope with my personal needs--then I thought I would be embarassed too.
You know Judy--we all have bodies--just put together in a different way.Some might find it pretty strange for Jen and I to talk about female problems, ie; periods,menopause--yu know--all the girly things!
They might also find it strange that we talk about "manly" things too.
errrr-----sexual desires(abiliy to have sex after surgery) bowel function,bladder function--yu get the meaning.
There were lots of parsonal things I thought would be really hard to deal with--so I thought--treat this as tho I were still being tended by the nurses.When all is said and done Jen and I talked about my needs and she said--"good lord--if your mother were still alive would yu sooner she tended yu?"
Jen coped fine Judy--and I accepted that there were some things I needed help with--and Jen was the one who helped me--the humiliation evaporated!
She nursed and tended me as I would gladly do for her--in fact have already done in the past!

Depression?--several here have said about success with therapists.I fully agree Judy.Because I had anaesthetic complications and problems with pain control I suffered incredibly bad nightmares--yup--I cried heaps too!!(a male crying?)--sure did.The therapist was great, fully understanding and helped me realise that this is a "totally normal" post op reaction.
Judy--your life has been challenged--never before has that happened--never before have you had to deal with this. Be patient--and become aware that your personal needs and care should be looked upon as a "natural need" that your wonderfull hubby understands, is concerned about, but will gladly fullfill to make you comfortable "because he loves you!"
We both pray that you are able to overcome this--and your recovery improves--gee, yu have been thru so much.
luv n huggs--kanga n Jen
((((((((((Judy))))))))))

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Judy honey, you are intitled to feel "down". With all you have gone through fighting for your life, your body is now just flat out tired and needs to build up very slowly. Think of all the meds you got in the hospital, your body was working overtime. Give it a chance to recoup, physically, mentally and emotionally.

After my bout of severe perionitis last fall (yes, I too almost died a few times) and being in the hospital for 3 weeks, I came home needing so much help. I live by myself and resented it too. I have been living by a list of things since then. I keep a list of things I want to do each week (very conservative at first) and then really enjoyed marking thru one when I completed it. At first there were really simple things on my list. Things like getting to the bathroom without any help, putting a load of clothes in the washing machine, cleaning out the litter box, folding clothes while sitting on the sofa. It was all about letting myself know that I was improving. I still have the pad of paper I started back in December of 2003 and read thru it every so often. Now, I can barely read my own handwriting from back then, but just writing things down was a huge step too.

Give yourself a break and take it slowly for now. I too woke up often at night at first. I think it is normal after being in the hospital for so long. My favorite nurses were on the night shift!!!! That does pass over time.

Concentrate on getting rid of that catheter. I found that "thing" to be the most significant symbol of how pathetic I felt. Once I got rid of it, things just got better every day.

We all respect you so for how hard you have fought. DO NOT STOP NOW, you have come too far!!! God kept you with us all for a reason, and you have years to find out what he has planned for you "when you grow up"!!!

I send my most sincere hugs and kisses to you and your family.

Lisa P.

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

Judy: You have to remember that your Hubby loves YOU, and that trancends all that is physical and the
tubes, etc. Although you may not feel like reading at the moment, I'd like to recommend "The Power Of Intention" by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer ; it's not an easy
read, but it has some pretty uplifting thoughts about our "temporary" life VS the never ending one..
When I woke up with all those drains, tubes, and
a colostomy, etc. it was difficult..although alone, the thing that got me through it all was the support of friends. Thank God every day for
your family caretakers, and allow them to love you.

Bud

steved
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

Thank you for writing so honestly about your feelings. I can certainly relate -being a month post op now I still get real feelings of hopelessness over this whole situation. I work as a psychiatrist and see people who are suicidal all teh time for various reasons. I would have to admit that this illness has been the first time in my life when I have thought that life at times is not really worth living if it is going to be this hard. I would never consider taking my life but I do think that such doubts about the worthwhileness of it all are normal. I feel it is important to acknowledge these thoughts as normal- somehting anybody in your situation would have- and not deny them or hide them. at teh same time it is important to acknowledge there is a counter side to these thoughts that we use ot balance them. THat is how lucky we are to be alive, to be loved and have had such a life.
I am incredibly grateful to my wife for her support through out all of this and have also had thoughts that really she doesn't want to spen teh rest of her life with some one who has this problem or that she would regret having chosen me marry when she could have had some one who didn't put her trhough all of this. But it is improtant totalk to your other half about it as you have and realise how wrong your thoughts are over this. As you say if the shoe was onthe other foot...
Anyway I am drivelling as I have a tendency to do these days. I hope my raving helps a bit- if nothing else but to know there are others thinking the same way. Let us know you get on and best of luck,
Steve

taunya's picture
taunya
Posts: 392
Joined: Jul 2002

Hi Judy,
I am so sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time. It is all part of getting through this disease. I went to see a counselor as did my husband and children. Irt really helped all of us. God bless you, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
love,
Taunya

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