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Depression setting in

hoagiemom's picture
hoagiemom
Posts: 87
Joined: Feb 2007

I'm feeling a little down and I can't figure out why. I only have 2 treatments left and I'm feeling so depress. I start out so gun ho and ready to beat this thing now I'm sleeping a ton and wonder how much time do I have left in this world. I cry all the time. Wondering how much of my children lives will I see. This chemo has really taken me down. Has anyone gone thru this before? Everyone I talk to here says how great I'm doing but I just feel lousy. I'm hoping that once it is done I will be my old cheerful self. Thanks for letting me vent. Maybe I'll be able to do the happy naked dance. ( I did lose 30lb what a weight loss plan. Thanks Michelle

StacyGleaso's picture
StacyGleaso
Posts: 1250
Joined: Mar 2003

I have heard many others go through exactly what you are experiencing. Perfectly normal. It's almost like you begin to wonder if all the treatments and chemo have really worked, and if they didn't, what happens next. Ease into getting to realize that you have beaten the disease. You are still here, even after you have been diagnosed with cancer. Cancer is not what it was many years ago. There have been SO many people who have gone on to live perfectly normal lives inspite of having dealt with cancer. You will be no exception!!! You have come SO far and have achieved SO much!!! Keeping your kids in the forefront of your mind will be a GREAT motivator to keep the fire lit under you in this battle.

It's ok to have a "down" day...try to keep it the "exception" not the "norm."

We will get the band in position for your NED-ness and celebration when these last two chemos are completed.

YOU ARE DOING TERRIFIC!!! YOU CAN CONQUER THE WORLD!!

Hugs,

Stacy

P.S. This post has absolutely NOTHING to do with the surplus of coffee I took in this morning! lol

davidsonxx's picture
davidsonxx
Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2007

Getting depressed is not unusual. Chemo is a long haul and it takes a lot out of you. I also started out gung ho but hit a point where I just didn't have the energy left any more. When you are tired and feel sick it is easy to get depressed. I would suggest you think about getting a mild antidepressant. You won't need it forever just to get you through this rough patch. Once you get through the chemo and start feeling better you probably will go back to your normal self. It is common for people with a long term illness to get depressed. There are many people on the site that have used an antidepressant for a while. Don't feel like you need to tough it out. You may also want to find a support group if you don't already have one. Just know that you are not alone. A lot of us have also gone through this at some point during our cancer journey.

BillDrake
Posts: 17
Joined: Jan 2006

It is the CHEMO. Although the stuff they gave me after colon resection wasn’t too bad; the Drano they use on me after my lung problem put me down. Three weeks between sessions and most of that time was spent in bed. It took 6 or 8 weeks after the final session to get back to semi-normal. Hang in there.

usakat's picture
usakat
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Hi Michelle,

For many of us the emotional part of cancer is harder than the physical. One thing to keep in mind is there is a very physical reason why you're sleeping more than usual. Chemo and illness do cause fatigue, so let yourself sleep when your body tells you it needs rest. Don't feel bad, you're working hard to heal your body. It's okay.

What is happening in your heart and mind is perfectly understandable too. You're young and are nearly through a tough battle with a life threatening illness. You're coming to terms with life and death lessons that are hard to accept for a young person. They are tough lessons for anyone, but incredibly so for young parents. Embrace the fact that you are here today and let what may happen tomorrow, wait until tomorrow. LIVE for today, sister!

I believe most cancer patients go through the five stages of grief that Elisabeth Kubler Ross wrote about many years ago. I know I did during both my mother's and my cancer experience. The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. People will experience just a couple of the stages or maybe all five. You can Google Elisabeth Kubler Ross for more information on her theories.

You can get pharmaceutical help as suggested, but I wonder if it would mask something that you really need to feel and work through. One thing that helped me was journal writing and meditation. Only you can choose what is right for you.

You're almost done, Michelle. Know in your heart that you'll make it and you will be perfectly well again. It sounds like you're weary, but you will be finished soon and will soon celebrate your restored health. We look forward to celebrating with you.

LIVE STRONG!!!

Katie

crg123's picture
crg123
Posts: 80
Joined: Mar 2007

Michelle:
Gee.....I know EXACTLY how you feel! I started crying 5 days prior to my treatment, and did not stop for another 5 days afterwards. This started around treatment #8 (out of what was supposed to be 12). Before that I was so positive. Seemed like I was breaking down. Ended up goint to see "Shrink-Lady" (as I called her...lol). Actually, she was chief of staff of behavioral medicine at the hospital where I work. She was reluctant to start me on antidepressant meds as a first choice, although she would not totally rule that out. Many of these drugs take 6 to 8 weeks to "kick in" and by that time I would be done with chemo (and my depression was clearly situational). Instead, she had me start reading books, and listening to guided imagery, and positive affirmation CD's. (See mom2eleni's discussion about medatation CD's and MP3's, 9 posts ago). I can't tell you how much it helped! Maybe you can find your own "Shrink-Lady" that would be as therapeutic as mine was. Just remember, you're not alone! And you're perfectely normal. You're allowed to feel depressed.
Good luck as you approach victory with your battle of the Beast!
Cheryl

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

HANG IN THERE, it does get better. I could have written your post 3 years ago as I finished chemo and felt that fatigue was going to be part of my life from then on. One author described it as feeling "velcro'd" to her bed; boy, could I relate. This whole process is an emotional and physical roller coaster. I even switched oncologists within my group since the first one didn't take my worries seriously....the "you're doing fine, you should see the patients I have who get really sick!" didn't help me one bit.
The transition from active treatment to "the waiting" room is tough; you've done all you can to fight and here's hoping for the best. Find ways to continue to "fight"...exercise, diet changes, staying healthy...
So...give yourself some time to "heal", try some of the suggestions here; seeing a counselor type can do worlds of good. I can promise that things get better, but it was some months after chemo til I was able to be sure that my old self was coming back. Judy

jams67's picture
jams67
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

I love the description "velcro'd" to the bed. I think mine was more of a bungie cord. I remember that every time I passed the bed I longed to crawl back into it.
When you feel rotten and have no energy, it is so easy to get depressed. Just as chemo has brought on your fatigue and depression, it will start to go away when the drugs begin to leave your body.
The chemo wages war against the beast, you will win the war and when it is over we get to have a parade, a naked happy one.
Jo Ann

Faith4Cure
Posts: 405
Joined: Mar 2007

Hi Michelle

I'm sorry you are going through this depression thing. Just think how far you've come. You will get through this and you will see your children grow up! My husband just completed his treatments in May. He has went through some of the same things you are describing---and I guess as the caregiver, I have had my share of tears as well. It does get better. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and take care of yourself so you can get through these last 2 treatments. Be positive! Plan something special to look forward to when your treatments are completed. You deserve it!

Faith

usakat's picture
usakat
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Good advice, Faith....Michelle, plan something special for when you're finished with your treatments. I did...I made plans to get married. It helped me to look forward a joyful future, not a scary one.

Michelle, prayers for stamina and strength are yours as you make your way to your finish line. You WILL throw your arms up in victory and we will be there to help you celebrate!

dorookie
Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

Hi there, My name is Beth, I am new to all of this, just completed my second round of chemo with 10 more to go. I just wanted to say Hang in there, even though I dont know You I am very PROUD of you. You have come a long way and you will finish and win this race. I know how you are feeling I had a small pitty party for myself today, was sick and just lost it for a bit, but now its over, I let it take its course and well I am feeling better, and stronger. Have your pitty parties when you need them, but keep in mind the bigger party your going to have when you are NED's. My prayers and thoughts are with you.
Beth

crazylady
Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi Michelle,
I hope that you are feeling better. I believe that feeling down is part of the process of having cancer. I know that I have been through it and so have many others.
Have you thought about seeing a counselor? It really helped me to be able to talk about it with someone who was objective.
I agree with some of the others who posted. It is important to make plans, to have things to look forward to and also to take care of yourself.
Stay positive!
Jamie

claud1951's picture
claud1951
Posts: 429
Joined: Jun 2007

Michelle,

I'm crying just reading all of the replys you have! I have 6 more rounds to go and reading what you wrote and the replies help me alot. I know what to expect (if it happens). I too, get tired and down and have found resting does help a lot.

If you are like me, I was "charging through" all the time. Always doing something to keep me busy until chemo started then had to learn to slow down and that it is all part of Chemo and that it's only 6 monhts..After that...we can get back to life!

You hang in there, girl.

Claudia

alta29's picture
alta29
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

It WILL get better...and once in a while you will have your "downs", doubts, etc...I know some of you won't agree, (but like usakat said, the emotional part sometimes is worst than the "beast"....) I end up with Prozac....I told myself that I will deal with 1 thing at a time ( cancer, depression and last my weight)gained 50 pounds....I could not deal with the cancer if I was always crying....It helped a lot....also try to read inspiratinal books and re-read once in a while all the beautiful stories that we have here..." The Survivors stories"... BELIEVE
God bless

Limey's picture
Limey
Posts: 447
Joined: Mar 2004

Hey Michelle, as you must have figured out by now, your not alone on the emotions thing. I do a two weeks on pill then one week off. I struggle ever time the last few days of the cycle. Also you may be concerned about the treatments ending. I know that sounds silly, but in a way, the chemo is a security blanket and what the heck do we do and will we live once the treatments stop. WE WILL LIVE AND WE WILL SURVIVE.

I have a 20, 9 & 5yo so I understand about the wondering what you will see of your kids growing up. What you Will for sure see it today, and today is looking pretty good. your feet are below you and your on the right side of the grass. I try to focus on each day and have found out that I am way more in tuned with my kids that I ever was before cancer. Start planning for what you will do when you finish your chemo. have a party, plan something with your family, whatever would be a great reminder of this summit you are about to reach.
today is looking pretty good
Limey

hoagiemom's picture
hoagiemom
Posts: 87
Joined: Feb 2007

Thank you all. I knew I could count on this board to give me good advice. Today is a better day. We are planning a great big Labor Day party and my end of chemo. I know I have to take one day at a time. We are also planning a family trip to Fl in April. Thank you all again

I know I can beat it..

Michelle

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