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done with chemo

doris2657
Posts: 39
Joined: Mar 2008

Hi all

I finished my 12 chemo treatments wenesday for stage 4 colon cancer with mets to ovaries,my pets scans were good sofar just a little left in 1 Lymphnode I will have another pet scan on friday.I just found myself very depressed today,I'm thinking more about death today then I ever have,why would I do that I have always believed I would beat this.I just dont understand.Thank you all for listening to me.

God bless all of you

Doris

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

Thank God your 12 treatments are over! You are probably just now catching up on some emotions that were put aside for the fight. Plus, chemo is DARNED tiring and that can make you an emotional WRECK! My cc spread to my ovaries but took over a year to do so (at least it took that long to start producing huge volumes of ascites so we couldn't IGNORE the fact that it had spread LOL). My journey began August 2004 and continues today. There are ups, there are downs, and there are in-betweens just like with anything. It's ok to feel overwhelmed at times, but if you find yourself as you described it "very depressed" for more than 2 weeks (I think that's the time frame they suggest) speak to your oncologist. There are many on this board who speak the glories of anti-depressants. There's no more shame in needing medication to level your mood than there is in needing medication to fight cancer. Let a loved one know how you are feeling as well so they can help keep a watch on you. I am praying that you are able to shake this off and get back into this wonderful thing called life! Please come back often and let us know how you are doing, ok?
mary

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Ooooh, Doris.... there's a name for feeling all those things after you finish chemo and it has slipped my mind what it's called. But basically, it's like Mary has said... you have put all your energy into fighting and keeping up with the chemo and not letting it get you down too much... the whole 12 treatments your mind and body is in fight mode. Then... BAM! it's over!

No more going in for infusions, no more wearing a pump. Heck, no more regular visits with the oncologist. It's just over! Oh sure, there will be the followup appts. and followup scans... but technically, the whole treatment thing is over. And it's like a kick in the gut! You know on the one hand you are sooooo happy that it's over, but on the other hand, how can it all be over and it's like the doctors are no longer concerned (even though you know that's not true, but that's how it feels)? So, your mind has to come up with something else to fill itself with, because it's impossible to let go of something that has been part of your everyday life for so long. So you start thinking, "What if..." You'll find a whole pile of "What ifs" and now that the doctors are quite as involved as while you were on treatments... "What if they haven't caught it all and what if I really do die of this??" Death is a huge thing for your mind to grab onto when everything it was working on before has been take away.

So don't you worry... this is a totally normal reaction to the end of treatment. It comes as a kick in the pants when, back when you were first told you had to go on chemo and that you were going to have 12 treatments that would take approx. 6 months or longer... all you could think of is "When will this end??? I can't wait until this is all behind me!!", then when it's over, it's almost as if it's a let down. Then you feel guilty for feeling this way.

Give yourself a couple of weeks to adjust to the fact the treatments are over and it's now time to start the road to living a fairly normal life. Allow yourself that vision. If you find after a couple of weeks you are still focusing on death and potential problems... then make an appt with your oncologist. It's also quite possible that the sudden stop of chemo meds may have caused a slight chemical imbalance. If it doesn't fix itself in a couple of weeks...they can help with that :)

Huggggggs,

Cheryl

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi Doris,

I think most of us can relate to this feeling. I liken it to post traumatic shock, because while you are in the trenches, so to speak, you don't have time to really think about it--you're just in there fighting. Also, once you are diagnosed, things start moving very fast and you really don't have time to digest things. Then once you are done with your incredible charge up the beach, suddenly you aren't ACTIVELY in battle, and you feel lost. It is normal. What worked for me was to give myself time to sort everything out in my head. There is a lot that's a blur and I wish I had kept a journal, but gradually I processed everything and came out the other side. Keep believing you will beat the H--L out of this beast. Just by keeping a positive attitude and looking forward to enjoying your life is a blow to cancer. Vent any time...we all need to.

Hugs,
Kirsten

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

The responses you got hit the nail right on the head, so let me just say congratulations on finisihing the treatment plan. You made it! Keep positive and live each day to it's best potential.
God Bless
Diane

Madre's picture
Madre
Posts: 124
Joined: Apr 2008

Congrats on being done with chemo!!! I have number 12 this wednesday the 22nd then back to work on November 3. I too was very emotional a few weeks ago. I cried about everything and felt very low. I said to my husband, that during this whole process of test, more test, surgery, cancer, chemo your life is not your own. The doctors and hospitals take charge and you just follow. They give you the results and you just hang there, you suffer through chemo side effects, your life is on hold "depending how you feel" and then BAM! Last chemo treatment and you're all done. bye, see ya in 3 months for a followup. Sounds too easy after it has been so difficult at times. What now? How do you go back to living when for 6 months you've been a puppet? How do you know it's gone? How will you know if it comes back? I agree with the others, a lot of thoughts and emotions but on the back burner that now are at the surface. Hope you get to even ground and feel more up soon. If not don't be afraid to ask for help (counsiling or meds) You've come to far in your fight, enjoy you "new" life.

Kanort's picture
Kanort
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Doris,

First of all, great news on completing your chemo!! What an accomplishment and a milestone! Keep believing and don't be hard on yourself if you are feeling a little down. As others have said, you are just now relaxing and realizing all you have been through. Try and feel the emotional pain of the moment and know...."Tomorrow will be a better day!"

Hugs,

Kay

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

Yay for finishing chemo! Way to go! It's natural to have ups and downs with this fight. Feel free to come here anytime and just say whatever you need to say to make yourself feel better.

*hugs*
Gail

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

FIRST of all.....NAKED HAPPY DANCE for the completion of chemo!!!!! YEA YEA YEA!!!!

Cancer teaches us that life is a fragile thing, and can be taken away in a flash.

That is a heavy burden. Most of the time, we can accept it, and live our lives. But sometimes it is overwhelming.

Don't be hard on yourself, it's only natural to have lows, as well as highs. If it lasts longer than a few days, ask to talk to someone...

BIG hugs, Kathi

doris2657
Posts: 39
Joined: Mar 2008

First I like to thank all of you for your responses,it has helped me so much.Now I went to see my Urologist this Morning and he had to put a stend in last week,since when I had my colon resection they stapled the part that goes from my kidney to my bladder shut,which made my kidney stop working.The stend bothers me and I feel like I have to run to the bathroom every 5 seconds,also there is a part that keeps showing up on my Pet scan the Doctors say it is not cancer but think is some kind of infection and they want to go in and see what it is.I'm just not shure what to do.I do know one thing you all are from heaven sent Thank you all.

God bless you

Doris

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Doris......I have one thing to say... I was in the same boat as you were before I took control back...I would start thinking of my 4-6-14 and 23 yr old kids and have to pull over because I couldn't see I would cry so hard. I had a cop behind me one day while driving home and I was sobbing again and he pulled me over and asked me if I needed help. After I explained to him about my disease and why I was upset he started to inform me that he too was a cancer survivor and he told me that he too went through the emotional roller coaster that we all go through. He told me what I needed to check out and so I did and it has been a Godsend for my emotional recovery. It not only allows me to cope now but it prevents me from dwelling on the disease and I am now back working and taking Post op chemo also...The answer to my problem was 10 mg of Prozac each day. I never have taken anything even Tylenol or just nothing. Not that I have anything against meds but just never needed anything so the idea of taking anything was against all of my past thoughts.......It was the best move I have made through this whole ordeal..It has given me my life back and I can't even tell there is any difference but everyone around me is happy that I am taking it. No more crying or sobbing and there is no thoughts of death anymore. Im not going to die anytime soon, maybe 30 or 40 years from now, but not now...it was the first step in ME TAKING BACK CONTROL of my situation and emotions.
Also it has strengthened my family ties and my faith in God....it is amazing how cancer brings more people to God than anything else.....I have allowed him to take my burdens and carry them for me and anytime Satan(cancer) knocks on my door I simply state" Jesus, will you answer that for me ?" He has lifted all the burden from me and my life is now full..........no matter how short or long it is here on earth He has promised eternal life with him.......You can't lose either way........God Bless ya.....He already has...he sent you to us...... :-)

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

God bless that cop for being at the place he needed to be when he needed to be. Sounds like he was answering the call from God as well! Situations like that are what confirms for me that God is indeed with me during this fight. Thank you for posting this information.
Mary

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I've had many experiences of survivors making themselves known....sort of like a big secret society that no one wanted to join, but are happy that there are so many of us living life!

My nurse, in a recent trip to the ER for hydration after stomach flu, revealed she is a breast cancer survivor of 25 years...my nurse for my colonoscopy....colon cancer survivor 10 plus years....

Hugs, Kathi

Kanort's picture
Kanort
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Buzz,

It is my belief that it was no coincidence that particular policeman stopped you....it was a direct connection!!! Your story will inspire others just as you do daily with your words of wisdom.

Hugs,

Kay

cancer0205
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2008

I too just finished 12 cycles of chemo and my scans showed NED ( No Evidence of Disease) I was also very emotional when I was told 8 weeks of maintenance and then I am done. A colonoscopy one time a year. Scans every 3 months for the first year. I feel good physically but in the back of my mind, I worry about the cancer coming back. I am almost neurotic with diet (lots of veggies and fruit) and feel guilty that I don't get enough exercise. Looks like I will have to walk the malls this winter living in Minnesota! I just am waiting for the day when cancer is NOT on my mind and life can be somewhat normal again. Good Luck and Blessings to you! Are you on Avastin for maintenace?

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Hugs, Kathi

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