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How are your emotions since dx

coolvdub's picture
coolvdub
Posts: 410
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Everbody,
I guess this is just kind of an informal poll of sorts. I have found since my dx and surgery that I seem overly emotional. Is this normal? Has anybody else gone through this? I have always been the emotional type, but this seems to be more intense than what I am used to.

Don

BrianJ
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2009

I was overwhelmed at first but now want to live my life day by day it gets me through. May God bleed you during this difficult time.

Fight for my love
Posts: 1530
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Don,I am very emotional after my husband got diagnosed.I have my good days and bad days.Sometimes I feel pretty high,but sometimes I feel anxiety.I think all these feelings are normal because we are human.

karguy's picture
karguy
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

After the surgery I started getting over emotional after a few months.Getting out,and going places seemed to help.Then I started getting depressed so I went to the dr.,and got some medication,and now I'm back to normal,as normal can be.

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

...I do cry sometimes because I think of the happy times, and the future, what's going to happen, and all that, I do get overly emotional at times when I'm alone, a couple times it was while just hugging my kids, and they wonder why the tears, and I just tell them the chemo just makes me leak everywhere, my eyes, my nose, etc...but I've always been sensitive, I have even been known to cry at kodak commercials.

Hugsss!
~Donna

coolvdub's picture
coolvdub
Posts: 410
Joined: Aug 2009

Great feedback, keep it coming. I was starting to think I was weird or something. I to seem to be more prone to it during my alone time. I really think it helps to be around people.

Don

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

...you're not weird Don, it's very normal, and sweet, it makes me feel better sometimes to let it out, I think it be weird if no one showed any kind of emotion really, it's better then keeping it all bottled up.

And by the way, I notice you're new and would like to welcome you!! nice to meet you and glad to see you posting!

Hugsss!
~Donna

GetBusyLivin's picture
GetBusyLivin
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2009

I have ups and downs since hubby's dx, I am much more emotional than I was before. Sometimes I feel really hopeful and surprisingly calm, but other times I feel waves of sadness and the tears well up. Hubby is on a similar roller coaster, he has mostly good days, but sometimes dark ones. Being around friends seems to help.

grammadebbie's picture
grammadebbie
Posts: 460
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Don,

Welcome. I am new to the board also but have been fighting cancer since Oct 2007. Diagnosed Stage IIIc, 8/38 lymph nodes positive, resection and chemo. I'm so glad you're here from the beginning. You can ask or say anything here and someone will help you. I was extremely emotional for the 1st year. I couldn't help it. I started taking anti depressant either at the end of my chemo or after I finished. Can't remember. They seem to take the edge off and help with anxiety and fear. Never thought I'd have panic attacks but sometimes stress and weakness (physical) can do that. I think it's very important for you to be able to talk about your feelings and emotions. I know it helps me alot.

What stage are you and are any lymph nodes involved. Do you know what kind of chemo treatment you will be having and for how long? You don't have to answer any of these questions if you don't want to. It just gives us an idea of what kind of treatment your facing.

Will be praying for you your family,

Debbie (gramma - added gramma as there is another Debbie on this forum

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

to determine if you are "weird" or not, but you certainly area not alone if that helps ;-)
I have become much more emotional than I every was. It really gets me if I start thinking about my kids and sometimes just if I'm talking to certain people about what's going on cancer-wise with me.

I found that when my Dad has his stroke over 30 years ago, he too became more emotional.
Maybe it's because of a brush with death, who knows but you're not alone.
-phil
I take it you have a cool WV? Is it an older Bug by any chance?

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

No Don

You are in the norm with your feelings, that's for sure!

Dealing with Cancer brings all sorts of life's issues to the forefronts - you began to see how quickly things can change - what life and the people in it really mean to you - what is important - what is not.

I know that most of my life before Cancer, I bottled most of my feelings up and stuffed them deep down inside.

When I got Cancer a little over 5 years ago, my perspectives changed suddenly and over these years. Emotions began to leak out and then after awhile, I just let them come out...I usually do this when I'm alone, either driving to and from work...or home alone when the wife is working...she works some night shifts and I'm on day shift.

My eyes just "leak" alot more than they used to...I'm open to the possibilities of how I feel now...sometimes I might hear music that strikes a certain tone, or I'm practicing my singing for Karaoke, and I think I might not be able to sing anymore, or I think of a past event of a good time, or something and you just get emotional.

It's normal to me, I don't advertise it, but I'm not ashamed of it either...it's a sense of knowing that these things could come to an end - your awareness has been heightened and your emotions follow.

Everything is A-OK with you, my friend. It's a long and winding road during some stretches of the journey.

-Craig

zigswife
Posts: 62
Joined: Jul 2009

My husband was recently diagnosed with stage IV mets to the liver. He has definitely been hit with some of those waves of what ifs that seem to hit him suddenly. A lot of them have to do with our three small children (a two and a half year old and 7 month old twins). I know for me, driving alone in the car is like a switch for "going there" and the next thing I know I'm too busy crying to remember where to turn! It seems to be getting better now that we've been in it for a couple of months but I still prefer to call people on the phone when I'm on the way home from work than to have it creep up on me. I also find the more I talk about it, the more it normalizes the whole experience, since at the beginning I couldn't tell someone in person about it without getting pretty emotional. All in all, I think being more emotional would be pretty standard with this sort of situation, especially at the beginning!

nudgie's picture
nudgie
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sep 2006

Since my DX, surgeries and completing my treatment, I now cry at the drop of a hat. Can't explain it, it just happens

johnnybegood's picture
johnnybegood
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

my husband even noticed it and was wondering if it is the meds doing the emotional rollercoaster to me.who knows but it seems like i cry over everything,Godbless....johnnybegood

Hatshepsut's picture
Hatshepsut
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi Don:

Yes! Yes! Yes! From my experience, the emotional roller-coaster you (and probably Mrs. Coolvdub) are experiencing is normal.

Since my husband was diagnosed three years ago, I find that small problems become insurmountable obstacles and worry insinuates itself into so many harmless situations. I've always been the family worrier but the volume of my worries has grown exponentially.

My husband certainly has down days as well but I've been very comforted by the fact that he has what is overall a very positive attitude. (I want to be like him when I grow up!)

So, I guess the message here is that cancer plays havoc with everyone's emotions-- however steely they may have been in their pre-cancer lives.

Hatshepsut

lesvanb's picture
lesvanb
Posts: 911
Joined: May 2008

Before dx May 08 stage 4 rectal cancer, though I worked on it, I had more a tendency to not feel either too much joy or too much sadness. It may have looked as if I were even-keeled to others, but I knew better. During these last fifteen months, I have noticed the emotional thawing to the point that when I had my port out last week, I was downright giddy all evening. When I return to the daily chores of life, I notice that the feelings are more likely to get stuffed. Habits die hard. I prefer feeling the emotions, I feel more alive, however, I also had to learn to ride it out, and to not be make any major decisions or do anything that requires logic while riding the wave. Emotional feelings pass quickly if we don't add on to them with a favorite little story line. One of mine is "just wait, it will get worse.." I think that's a legacy from my grandmother, Frances, bless her dear heart.

ramblin' Leslie

lesvanb's picture
lesvanb
Posts: 911
Joined: May 2008

While I was doing chemo, especially during infusion and right after, I was an emotional beast. I hated the feelings that the drugs induced-tenseness, nervousness, edginess-I never learned to deal with that with very much grace. Thanks goodness for finishing that round (FOLFOX), and thanks to my close caregivers for mostly ignoring it.

Leslie

coolvdub's picture
coolvdub
Posts: 410
Joined: Aug 2009

grammadebbie,
I'm stage IIIc with 3 of 23 lymphnodes showing poitive. I start Chemo this Friday the 4th. I will be on FOLFOX for 6 months and going in for treatment every other week.

Don

coolvdub's picture
coolvdub
Posts: 410
Joined: Aug 2009

phillieg,
I have had several cool VW's over the years. My last one was a 86 GTI that I put way to much money in. The screen name is the one I use on the VWvortex a website I frequent. I figured may as well just have one cyber identity. I currently drive a 2002 VW Jetta that has had a few things done to it. I'm to lazy to work on the aircooled stuff anymore. But I wan't to build another Bug at some point. Thanks for the interest, do you share an interest in VW's?

Don

coolvdub's picture
coolvdub
Posts: 410
Joined: Aug 2009

Sundanceh,

I think it is normal the way I feel these days. You are spot on with it being a life altering event. My perspective has definetly shifted and I'm trying to become a better person. I used to bottle it up just like you, but at this point in life I feel that it's counter productive to long term happiness and sanity.

The sunrises and sunsets are more spectacular to me and little things like watching a bird in a tree and sharing good times with family and friends have taken on a whole new role in the grand scheme of things. I try to live like there is no tomorow(within reason) because you never know when you will be told "hey you have cancer". Well we have all been through it now, and I'm sure I will be a changed man for life. And that's a good thing. So my take on cancer is , it has made some positive changes in me.

Don

coolvdub's picture
coolvdub
Posts: 410
Joined: Aug 2009

Everybody,
Who took the time to respond, thanks. I think that talking about our emotions openly in this forum is a very good thing. Maybe it's been done before, but I just had to ask for my own piece of mind. I to am brought to tears sometimes by a song on the radio, thinking about my children ages 30,27,23 & 20. While they are all grown now, they mean even more to me now, and my loving wife Sheri too. They are one of the big reasons I will fight and win this battle.

Don

Mike49's picture
Mike49
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

I feel the same now

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

Hi Don,
I've always liked them but never owned one. My brother used to have a beat up karmann ghia convertible that was really cool, even for being beat up. He also had an old bug. My neighbors when I was growing up had a VW bug convertible with the directional signals built into the side doors. My friend who's folks had that VW recently sold the German officers VW that he built/rebuilt for WWII reenactments that he does. He did a great job on it and made quite a bit of money on it.
So, yes I share an interest in both the old and new ones but due to lack of $$$ I don't have one (yet)
-phil

grammadebbie's picture
grammadebbie
Posts: 460
Joined: Jun 2009

Don,

Sounds like we have the same chemo regimin. I will be praying for you. If you have any questions just ask. I completed my chemo a year ago and have been stable. Am having another 3 month CT scan and labs for Sept 14th appointment. It's still scarey everytime I'm tested. It seems to bring my emotions out again. I guess it's just the fact that everything can change again in a moment.
I still have chemo brain so please excuse my inability to have thoughts that flow. You mentioned feeling like you were weird - whats wrong with that. It's like I tell my husband of 37 years - (I'm crazy) He would be bored if I were normal. Weve got to keep our sense of humor. The journey you are on will teach you alot about yoursef. Allow yourself to be real and discuss what you are feeling. There is no right or wrong in this battle - we just do the best we can. Please tell your wife to jump on if she has any questions. Lots of wonderful caring people here.

So glad you found this forum before your chemo.

In our thoughts and prayers.

Debbie (gramma)

coolvdub's picture
coolvdub
Posts: 410
Joined: Aug 2009

Debbie,
Thanks for the encouragement, it has been a rough year healthwise for me. I was dx with type II Diabetes on March 4th of this year and then the Cancer dx on April 24th. I was always healthy or so I thought. This has all been a real eye opener for me to say the least. I found this site while trying to find a local support group, but I think this may be better. I mean you can jump on the site 24/7 and ask questions of other people who get what you are going through. Who could ask for anything better than that with 24 hour access. Unfortunately I can't browse from work so during the week it's evenings only, but that gives me time to contemplate things, which is good I am sending positive thoughts and vibes your way for your scan on the 14th.

Don

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5064
Joined: Feb 2008

Hi, Don.

Trust me, you're not the only one. I've always been free with my emotions, but since my brush with cancer, I've been a real crybaby. I do have many, many very happy days, but I can cry buckets at the drop of a hat.

*hugs*
Gail

just4Brooks's picture
just4Brooks
Posts: 988
Joined: Jun 2009

For me some days it has been realy hard... Sometime I just want to run away and hide.

coolvdub's picture
coolvdub
Posts: 410
Joined: Aug 2009

just4Brooks,
How is your support system ? We will do all we can to help you on this site. There are many caring and knowledgable people on this site. I know some days are hard, what I do is think about the people I love and who love me, that usually helps me through the rough stuff.

Don

just4Brooks's picture
just4Brooks
Posts: 988
Joined: Jun 2009

Thanks for the kind words...

Mike49's picture
Mike49
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

Sometimes I find myself reflecting back on he life before diagnosis. Remembering what life was like before doctors an chemo and surgeries etc.

On the bright side I have experienced some human kindness, my wife has been awesome as caregiver and soulmate. Some people along the way, other patients, Oncology staff etc.

I can conger up a few tears in no time, both sad and appreciative.

Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Kathryn_in_MN
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm on the opposite spectrum right now. I'm not an overly emotional person - but I cry now and then at sad things and happy things. I cry when my son sings the National Anthem at school events. I cry at weddings and funerals. I cry when reading sad books or watching sad movies.

I've actually been worried that I am the oddball in this cancer situation because I haven't been getting emotional about this. I can talk about it and have told all my family and friends without crying or even thinking I might cry. I just found out I had colon cancer last Monday, and had a resection Wednesday (8" of sigmoid removed with 2"+ tumor, and 5/17 lymph nodes showing cancer - margins were clear). I came home from the hospital yesterday, and am slated to start chemo in 4 weeks after I heal.

I did cry today - but it was when I was reading "Still Better than Pink." Even though the author, Lori Lober is a stage IV breast cancer survivior, I think her book is applicable to anyone with cancer. After being diagnosed with her stage IV cancer, she lost her brother to cancer. After she fought hard and was declared clear of the cancer, she lost her only son in a car accident - age 19. That is what set me off. I think I'd cry reading that any day. (The book is helpful to hear the way she combined western medicine and non-traditional medicine during her battle, and continues with it 9 years later - still going strong after being told she had less than 18 months.)

So I'm wondering what is going to set me off into a total melt-down, and when is it going to happen? Sometime very inconvenient when I am totally embarassed? I think it has to happen sometime. Maybe I'm just still a little in shock? I survived a long drawn-out battle with cervical cancer and finally beat it - but truthfully it was never a scarey thing - just an annoyance due to so many surgical procedures. The colon cancer is farther advanced and a little more scarey. But no matter what I battle, when I put my mind to it, I win! I know I'm going to win this one too. So maybe I won't ever have that break-down? I'm more scared of having one out of the blue, than anything right now. I wish I'd just have one already!

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Kathryn in MN

Your recent diagnosis has you in sort of a state of shock as you mentioned above. So right now you can talk about it in abstract ways because it has not sunk in fully yet - way too early.

Your emotional outbursts may not be in one big burst either - but rather in smaller amounts at different times under different circustances. Different things may trigger certain emotions - when you begin to face mortality you see clearly what could be the end of the line even though you don't think you'll be there, you see it as a possiblity and that can get kind of scary.

Your mind and spirits have been "awakened" and your senses have been heightened to new levels you have not experienced before. You might tear up for a few seconds, or you might cry for a few minutes, or something else entirely...sometimes you'll just get mad. You'll run the whole gamut, but it's OK to do that :)

And don't worry about being embarrased - in the big scheme of things, that is not important. I've been driving home from work some days listening or singing with tears streaming down my face - do people see me? I don't know and can't worry about it. I packed it down and bottled it up for years, but now it just comes when it comes...got a little teary singing some George Jones on the way in to work today, as a matter of fact.

I've been goin' at it over 5+ years now, so the longer it goes, the more time you have to think about things - and that can be a good thing.

You're very much OK to me!

-Craig

just4Brooks's picture
just4Brooks
Posts: 988
Joined: Jun 2009

I was told that I have stage 3 rectal April 14 2009. I've been through the first round of chemo and radation then have surgery on August 13. Today I was hooked up with my PICC line to start my final round of chemo (I hope). I find myself being so angry and at times very sorry for myself. At times it's so hard to see the good things in live when all you feel is hurt and sick. My dr started me on a Anti depressant today and wants me to talk to his Social worker (I might). As you can tell, I'ts been a rough few months

earied
Posts: 22
Joined: Aug 2009

I had my last chemo in June and my emotions are still up and down. I don't handle things as well either and over react a lot. I got upset at church last Sunday because my husband invited someone else to a cookout we were having and didn't tell me. I was upset with the dr's office last week because of the way a receptionist handled scheduling an appt. Part of it is the Neurotin I am on that I want to get off on Monday because it's not working for my neuropathy.

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

The anti depressant will be the best thing you can do for yourself as far as emotion control. It will allow you not to dwell all the time on cancer and even allow you to smile when theres not much to smile about. It doesn't alter the way I feel, just the way I think about things. I am still on it and yes it makes a huge difference especially to the people around you. They will notice the change before you do. Its an attitude adjustment and one that you and I both needed.....Hang in there bud.......

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