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DEPRESSION AND LUNG CANCER

DONCARLOS
Posts: 66
Joined: Jun 2009

I am told that Depression is very bad for Cancer survivors (for everyone). Since my surgery three monhts ago, I have experienced the happiness of having the whole thing removed and no chemo or any other treatment. I feel well but since the diagnose I lost my business and after the surgery I lost interest. At my age (77) there is no way to find a job or work, so I keep on feeling depressed and it is hurting those around me for whom I must provide. Have anyone of you experienced this. Mind you; at 77 and clean of Cancer I do feel very well about my recuperation and the fact that all my modern Scans show NO TRACE OF CANCER IN MY SYSTEM, however, I cannot shake this depression. My Bank account is clean and no work. I know there is Critical thinking and I should put it into practice..... we live on Fixed SS income and life becomes very hard for a man who has worked and provided all of his life. THIS IS NOT THE WAY I PLANNED THE END OF MY LIFE. I will listen......

Saludos,

Son Carlos

MichelleP's picture
MichelleP
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2009

I'm so happy to know you had a successful surgery! That is just wonderful news and I'm sure your family is happy as well. I understand your depression and I hope that you can talk to your doctor about medication to help with that. But in the meantime when you lay your head on the pillow tonight, please thank God for getting you through this cancer. Ask for strength from him and I'm sure he'll listen. Money issues are probably causing a lot of worry, but what good would the money do if your cancer had spread? I wish you the best dear one and please let us know how your doing because we care.

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1576
Joined: May 2009

Hi DonCarlos,

First a quick background - I finished chemo (cisplatin) and radiation (35 sessions) in August for squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx. Tomorrow is the last treatment (stereotactic radiosurgery) for the NSCLC in my left lung. I was told in May about both of these cancers and was informed that they were both incurable as they were both inoperable.

I can relate to your feelings of depression as I have been quite depressed for the last few weeks myself. I read the boards everyday but rarely respond to anyone because I feel that I can't help anyone else when I am so down myself. I finally decided that I am probably causing my own depression because I was spending most of my waking time wondering if these treatments are working, are the tumors shrinking or are they growing? Now that I am finishing my treatments I will be coming to the hard part of this journey - waiting for tests to show where my tumors are at. Unfortunately I have never been a patient person so this will be hard on me mentally. I have finally decided that I need to take charge of my life again and stop feeling sorry for myself as it will only make things worse. I have started a journal to keep track of my daily activities and my feelings. I have also started a list of projects and crafts that I want to do to keep myself busy both physically and mentally since winter will be here before we know it and I will be "housebound". Both the journal and the "projects" have helped immensely - they give me a purpose and when I finish something I feel like I have really accomplished something and feel useful again.

I have always worked and enjoyed it so being at home for 4 months with no income has been devastating both financially and emotionally. My husband and I are trying to survive on his Social Security, which is next to impossible, I qualify for total disability but will not receive my first check until January of 2010.

I agree totally with what Michelle said (Hi Michelle) - what good is a paycheck if your time is limited. I would give anything to have the doctors tell me that I am cancer free but since I know this will not happen I am going to stop feeling sorry for myself and stay as busy as possible and enjoy what time I have left. I'm sorry this post is so long (I got started and couldn't stop - hahaha) and I guess all I'm trying to say is you need to find something that will keep you busy both mentally and physically. You reminded me of myself when you said you had always worked and provided for your family but I think you may find that doing projects around the house will give you some satisfaction when you complete them. It's not the same as providing financially for your family but it still gives you the feeling that you are contributing something.

Please take care of yourself as I know first hand that depression can be as physically draining as the treatments themselves. I hope my post is of some help to you and please post again to let me know how you are doing.

Your friend - Glenna

DONCARLOS
Posts: 66
Joined: Jun 2009

Michelle and Glenna. You are great and I thank you. the key words are "TAKE CHARGE OF MY LIFE". I faced death most of my life with my profession as a young man as a young MATADOR, and when I came to the U.S. after almost being killed by a bull in Venezuela which ended my bullfighting career. At 17 I was sent, to Korea where I was also wounded. I am not afraid of the end...... I just can't handle my inability to provide for my family. I am 77 my wife is 65 and I our daughter and her two little ones living with us so I must provide. But again....you are correct God gave me a third or fourth chance, because I had other closed calls before; however, when you are young you can always find many things to do, but at 77 its very hard. BUT AS GLENNA SAID....I MUST TAKE CHARGE OF MY LIFE and I will work very hard on that. I have faced so many hard times that I just feel that my strength and durability is fading. I THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORTING WORDS.

GOD BLESS YOU.

Don Carlos

Donna Lynn
Posts: 6
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Doncarlos,
I am going through the same thing as you. I'm 64 and now, thank God, cancer free, but am very depressed. But I realize that this website is so wonderful because people know how we feel. You are going to be fine, day by day, week by week, year by year. Don't rush or assume anything. You are loved. God Bless.

DONCARLOS
Posts: 66
Joined: Jun 2009

Thanks Donna.

I am working on it. My Dr. put me on Prozak .20 but then doubled it but I cannot take the .40 so I am back to .20 and doing better, between Prozac and Xanax. I cannot accept this cold weather but I have no choice.

THANKS FOR YOUR KIND WORDS.

DONCAROS

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

Dear DonCaros,

I hate cold too! My administrator last year gave me front crossing duty (not my regular job, just one of those things you do at a school), and I thought for awhile there she just didn't like me. It gets mighty wet and cold outside where I live and that's not so good for lung cancer patients. I decided I had to do the duty, but I didn't have to be cold. I got my snowsuit out of the closet($29.99 at the local dept. store and looks like a puffy blue snowman variety) and paired it with a parka and some really warm gloves and a pair of ear warmers. I look like a blimp, but rain, snow, sleet or whatever I stay warm and dry. It takes almost 5 minutes just to take it all off, but it worked. If it is really really nasty (like below zero) I add the insulated boots. The kids think I'm funny. The other teachers are blue with cold and green with jealousy at the same time. This year I actually asked for crossing duty. Trust me, it's a lot better than lunch duty with untrained kindergarteners...

C. Abbott

PS If you have a lot of problems with joint pain, ask your doctor about Vitamin D3 testing and supplements. Lots of us cancer patients and folks living up North have vitamin D deficiency. It causes inflamation that starts up heart disease, arthritis, and cancers of all sorts. The cure is cheap and the side effects very minimal as long as you don't overdose (hard to do). Sometimes the ouchy joints hurt because of something other than just the weather.

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