CSN Login
Members Online: 5

You are here

Need Encouragement

cjoneshasfaith
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2008

Hi, I'm new to this website and blob. I'm a 43year old woman who was diagnosised with Stage 4 Colon Cancer in June of this year. Had a portion of my colon removed and currently have an ostomoy, which has become a daily dred of maintenance. I'm approaching the end of my 2nd month of chemo. . . .4 months to go. I've been feeling very depressed and trying to hold on to my faith. I have nauseau as a side effect and severe loss of appetite. The stomach issues are under control by taking 3 different naseau meds. I'm just having a hard time with this - not feeling like myself, tired, have the bla's, thinking of the long process to come. Treatment is Oxaliplatin and Luco??? - Sorry, not sure on the spelling. I go in to the center every other week for 2 to 3 hours of meds by IV followed by 23 hour pack that I take home. This is done for 2 consecutive days. I am very blessed to have a very supportive family, Bishop, and friends. I just need to know, will the depression and appetite get better?? Any input will be appreciated.

JMARIE66
Posts: 56
Joined: Mar 2008

My husband just finished his Folfox treatment, and the appetite does come back. While doing Chemo he was not very hungry, everything tasted different, and there was not much food wise that he enjoyed. Near the end of treatment he did fall into a "funk" where he was anxious, had a hard time making decisions and was just tired. It has been 3 weeks since his final treatment and I can say he is getting back to his old self. I am trying to make him walk, ride a bike, do somthing physical...anything that can promote better health. You are a 1/3 of the way there, you can do this!! We counted off every treatment, tried to focus on the in between time and keeping his mind occupied. Take each day as it comes, mark off the treatments on your calender and before you know it, chemo will be over!!

jenhopesprays's picture
jenhopesprays
Posts: 129
Joined: Sep 2007

Hey C Jones,

I am stage 4, 40 yr old and just finished up with the same chemo you are taking. Nausea was with me most of the way and then I adjusted two things. I stopped drinking green tea as it has antioxidants in them. and started sucking on sour lemon candies the second I felt the water rushing into my mouth. I pretty much sucked on them all day. It worked great and I wish I found it sooner. The candies came to the oncology office through a drug company and I swear by them. Jolly Ranchers worked too.

I lost lots of weight but gained it back quickly. I think you will too!

So your feeling depressed. That sure sounds normal to me considering your world has been flipped upside down. This cancer fighting business is hard stuff. You certainly don't need to feel guilty about feeling depressed. I think we all have gone through that. Do you have friends that can visit and bring some normality to your day by talking about their stuff. My buds planned to come by throughout the morning every Tuesday....my sickest day. Listening to the radio helped to pass the day and get my mind off things.

When you do feel good live it up! Take a hike. Go out to lunch with friends. Seize the day.

Big Hugs,

Jennifer

doris2657
Posts: 39
Joined: Mar 2008

I was diagnosed with stage 4 in february had surgey then more surgery in March,I had 7 chemo treatments with 5 more to go first week is kind of bad mostly fetigue,by the 2 week I'm eating good,if you have a lot of nausea then they are not giving you enough pre meds,I get enough anti nausea medicine before my chemo that I dont get nauseas.As far as getting better don't give up keep your faith because God is good and he will get you thru this.

Bless you Doris

happy06
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2008

I was diagnosed with colon cancer at 43. I had surgery on my colon in May of 2004 and doctor saw a spot on my liver which was resectioned June of 2004. In July of the same year, I had my port put in and started chemo in August. I lost my taste for food while taking chemo every other week. The side effects was many but I was able to deal with them all and when I couldn't, I would call the doctor as ask for medication to aid me with the side affects. I went to the center for four hours every other Monday and had to wear the pump for 46 hrs (from noon on Monday until 5 pm on Wednesday) so I can relate to having to wear the pump. My treatments had me tired but I would continue to press on but I would stop and take naps or just rest. Keep your faith in God for he is the source of your strength. God is not through with us and these are the tests that are given to us from him. From one cancer survivor to another, don't give up because you are on the path of recovery and you have to pass your testimony on to others to encourage them to get checked. I have been in remission since October 2004 but I still keep my regular visits to my doctors.

mk1117's picture
mk1117
Posts: 46
Joined: Jun 2006

I was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer at age 44 in 2004. I too went through the chemo regimen you described (6 months, a treatment every other week in the dr. office, then wore a pump home for 2 days). There IS light at the end of the tunnel. It has been 3 1/2 years since I finished my chemotherapy treatment. I had lingering neuropathy in my feet and legs, but it has almost disappeared. I was able to return to work. I will probably never have the energy levels I had before, but my life is back on track. Just hang in there.

cjf2006
Posts: 84
Joined: Dec 2007

The depression is due to the chemo, I believe. I had it too, but the more time passed from having chemo, the better I did. As I have said elsewhere, it was like waking up out of a dream. The desire to live and do things returned. Keep looking up. And find something to reach for, to look forward to. It helped me.

valeriec's picture
valeriec
Posts: 350
Joined: Oct 2006

My mom had a really hard time with chemo, too. She became very depressed and final started taking lexapro to help with the depression. What a difference that made. Holding on to our faith was hard also, but I knew that the times I could not pray that God knew what was in my heart and on those days, I just had to leave it at that. It was hard for my mom to not feel like herself, and I think that is what bothered her the most. Just remember that this will pass. Soon you will be feeling better. Drink lots of fluid and get plenty of rest. Good luck and I will be praying for you-
ValerieC

rmap59
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2007

It will pass but seems like forever when you are in the middle of it. Every time I had the chemo I would say no more but then I would feel better and go back for more. It was what I had to do for me. I am so glad you have good support, that means everything. Also, I would do things like listen to music and just try and focus on the good sounds, fire up a good smelling candle, just stuff like that would help me through the day. Get outside when you can and enjoy nature, drink lots of fluids, I hired an accupuncurist and that helped me. Time does pass and soon you will be feeling better. My prayer time was very helpful too even if I just complained to God, he listened.
Happy thoughts your way,
Robin

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

I was 43 at diagnosis 8/07 and completed FOLFOX 4/08. The colostomy is a challenge with chemo and can contribute to the depression. Mine was temporary but I found myself not wanting the reversal when the time came in May 08. The recovery seemed overwelming after all that surgery and chemo! Fatigue is terrible (the colostomy can contribute to that, too). Both fatigue and depression can be helped somewhat with activity. I worked, walked and swam whenever I could. Yes, you can swim with an ostomy!

I actually gained 25 pounds on chemo. They gave me anti-nausea meds and steroids in my iv. Everything tasted funny but I had meals brought into the house 3 days a week by a network of friends and discovered that chocolate tasted normal. Not cooking helps the taste buds for some reason. I didn't drink enough water because I like it cold and you know how that goes!

Try to do something fun once in awhile. Sometimes I was too tired to participate in activies so we would rent a funny movie or watch comedy central. Laughing makes life better. I also started planning an "I finished Chemo" party for myself when I was about 1/2 way done. I had a huge party and it was great, but the planning helped me get through the rest of my cycles.

I hope the support here helps some. The process gets 'easier' to tolerate. Chemo becomes more routine. I start chemo again soon...and maybe more surgery. I'm still working, planning a wedding for my oldest, trying to be normal again. Life really has gone on and taken me with it.

Please talk to your docs about your symptoms. There are answers that can help.

tlsart's picture
tlsart
Posts: 33
Joined: Jul 2008

I thank the Lord every day and remind myself this is the day the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad!!
You are so right in all the feelings/emotions you are feeling right now. I can relate to it because I am a 45 yr. old woman who thought she was finally living the dream of having my own business, my second grandaughter was just a few months old and life was great. Then on Dec. 7th 2007 I went to the Dr. with abdominal pain and Stage 4 cancer was the result. Colon resection, several trips to hospital blood clots in lungs after surgery and chemo not sure what caused them. I have been on Coumiden since. I have been on Chemo 5fu/leocovorin and avastin since Jan. 08. I was also on that d___ pump for 3 months till the neoropathy and feet and hand peeling started. I still have alot of neoropathy in hands and feet/legs. Chemo does SUCK but even in the darkest days remember we are all in this boat together and enless you can walk on water we aren't getting out the easy way. The waves of nausea and fatigue rock the boat alot making it hard to keep our head up. It seems easier to hide in the boat and be scared and wonder why me. I try to tell myself this is
God wanting to show me how brave and strong he knows I am. I've decided whimps can't get cancer, because just the strong spirit filled can survive the chemo.
It was hard at first to ask people to do things for me, after all everyone had always depended on me to do things for them. My husband had'nt been to the grocery store in years, well he goes now and he does a really great job too. I have friends that I go out a couple times a month for lunch with. You are absolutly allowed to have all the feelings and emotions you have but just know that everyone is pulling for you and even when the sea is rough God is with you.
Your appetite may come back I was like you nothing tasted good at first, now I have gained back all the weight I lost and additional 30 lbs. Good Luck your in my prayers!!

peasandcarrots's picture
peasandcarrots
Posts: 13
Joined: Aug 2008

Hi there, all the way from New Zealand!
I'm a 27 year old female,
diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in October 2007.
I had surgery and have 1/3 of my bowel left- which works beautifully now! I finished 6 months of chemo- Xeloda(oral) and Oxaliplatin(IV) in June. I found that I bet the nausea by keeping up to date with anti-nausea(metacloperimide), taking every 4 hours or so. I got the sensitivity to cold in my hands, throat and feet quite bad, but have since discovered that it does dissapear with time. As for the depression- that smacked me in the face really badly!!!! About treatment 3 was when i was really bad and when anyone asked me how i was or said hello i would ball my eyes out. I went to counselling and got real with my feelings- learnt to go easy on myself, and lower my expectations of myself during chemo because of the physical efffects, plus, I went onto St Johns Wort(natural anti depressant over-the-counter) to control the emotions and increase the 'happy' feelings- this was approved by my oncologist as not to interfere with my chemo meds.
I want to say to you that at times i felt like i had nowhere to go- nothing to do and noone to talk to- I call it my dark cloud. It was awful, but friends and family and faith got me through. YOU TOO can do this, perhaps talking with someone professionally trained will help as it did for me. I had never suffered from depression before and i think it was completely to do with the fact that life as i knew it -wasn't anymore. Chemo drugs have a lot to answer for- they are both great and evil at the same time!
Hang in there- the end is near and the light at the end of the tunnel will just keep getting brighter as e every dark day passes.
You will feel better- very quickly after it all finishes- just remember that! I'm back at work 2 months later- feeling great and much much happier. You turn will come sweetheart- please remember this!
All my thoughts, from Jenny xxoo New Zealand

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi Sweetie,

I'm sorry you had to come here, but if you have the beast, the folks here are wonderful with encouragement, practical suggestions and information.

I'm not going to mince words here. Get on an antidepressant. Your attitude and spirit have a lot to do with how well you deal, heal and move on. I went through the same things--nausea, loss of appetite plus a plethora of other things that kept me sick. I KNOW that I would not have managed as well as I did without my antidepressant.

Secondly, although I know how hard it can be to even drink water, please, please stay hydrated and try to keep your nutrition maximized. I had unnecessary issues due to blood pressure drops etc due to dehydration & low nutrition. The oxaliplatin can really do a number on you in several ways, not to mention the 5-FU in your pump. But do try your very best to drink enough water (at room temperature) and to get nutrition in you any way you can get it down.

You will make it through this. When you're done with this chemo, you will be triumphant! Be gentle with your family & friends; they have never experienced this quality of nausea:)

You have my prayers and positive energy coming your way.

Hugs,
Kirsten

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

cjones -

What you are going through is really very normal. There are a number of studies out there that suggest cancer patients go through symptoms that are very similar to depression during chemo. Sounds like you have a great support group assembled. This is an awesome group here as well. Full of advice, willing ears (or, I guess, eyes), and empathy.

As for anti-nausea meds... have you tried Emend?

Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

- SpongeBob

pamysue's picture
pamysue
Posts: 105
Joined: May 2008

I have found the depression to come and go throughout treatment. This is a great place to come to get a pat on the back or slap on the butt if you need it. I'm not sure that after just the diagnosis you ever feel like yourself again.

My dear friend said to my chemo nurse the other day, "She's blaming her bitchy attitude on chemo but I've known her for years and she's always been like this." LOL My nurse said, "What will you blame your mood swings on after treatment?" I said, "On the stress of waiting for my next scan results." :-)

Our lives are changed forever. Most days I look for the humor, dark though it may be. Some days I cry at everything. Some days I just feel like crap. Some days I feel so extremely fortunate to have so many wonderful people in my life.

Feel however you feel today. Everyone who loves you is with you no matter what.
Blessings to you.

Subscribe to Comments for "Need Encouragement"