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When can I have my nervous breakdown?

Posts: 19
Joined: Nov 2009

Colon resection is scheduled for 29th, and heaven only knows what after that. No evidence of cancer spreading according to CT scans, but lymph nodes around colon are swollen so who knows until they are removed during surgery. The closer surgery gets, the more my mind races thinking about everything. Not good for sleeping, eating or concentrating in general. I'm staying positive that everything is going to be ok and so are my friends and family, but I can't help feeling like I need to scream to the heavens, throw a huge temper tantrum and cry like a baby for about 3 days. Any suggestions on how to keep your sanity through all this uncertainy?

dianetavegia's picture
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

let us know!

Surgery happened so quickly for me, around this time last year. Now comes the repeat colonoscopies, 1 yr CT scans, etc. I think we'll relax in about 10 years.

KATE58's picture
Posts: 300
Joined: Nov 2009


WELL, maybe you should just get into a nice hot shower
where the neighbours won't hear and have a good cry.
it won't help your situation,
but a good cry can make you feel better.

you'll get thru this,
from your discription
both my mom and my aunt had the same diagnosis,
they both had a colon resection and then they were ok.
you are in my prayers
good luck

Posts: 19
Joined: Nov 2009

LOL..glad to know I'll still be trying to pencil in a breakdown years from now..I'll be sure to let everyone know if I can figure it out.

Posts: 810
Joined: Nov 2009

BREATHE!!!!!! I have been through this surgery, are you having the whole incison or the laproscopic? I had the abdominal incision. They removed the tumor, part of the rectum, part of the colon, did a hysterectomy while they were in there and gave me a temorary illeostomey.
I will admit that the surgery was not easy, but they did a good job of giving me the pain meds while recovering.
Just try and remember that this will save your life! I too had some swolen lymph nodes however there was no eveidence of cancer when they checked them out.
if you need to scream, go ahead! You need to vent to us here who have been throgh this, then do it. We are all here for you and will help you any way that we can.
Be strong, you will come out the other side in a better position.

Posts: 19
Joined: Nov 2009

Surgeon is going to try laproscopic but said he had no guarantees, so don't fuss at him if I wake up split open from stem to stern. Same goes for an ostomy (unsure till they get in there), supposed to only be a left hemicolectomy.
I will probably be doing a lot of venting over the next couple weeks, but I'll try not to drive anyone crazy..lol

I think the fact that my lymph nodes are swollen is what is freaking me out, before when the 1st CT scan said everything was "contained" in the colon, I was 100% positive that all would be ok. Now 2 weeks later and another CT scan showing that I have a few swollen lymph nodes is making me a little nervous that things aren't going to turn out as well as I hoped. I know that I am OVERTHINKING everything, and bordering on paranoid. I'm trying to learn everything I can about colon cancer, and the more I read, the more I start thinking about..I guess I should just take it easy until surgery, and then have my breakdown afterwards if it turns out something is wrong with my nodes. I'm sure it is going to be fine, I have known in my heart long before diagnosis that I had cancer, but that it would be ok. So I will just have to keep that same faith going for now.
I guess a little shower screaming and crying won't hurt either..lol

Thanks for the advice,

Posts: 810
Joined: Nov 2009

If you need to ask your doctor for anti anxiety medication. I tried so hard to be strong but right after the surgery I needed something to calm my butt down. I did have some depression after the surgery and once I started on an anti depressent I felt so much better. Medicated happiness is better than losing it.
Get the nervous breakdown over with now, you won't have time to have one when the surery is over and the the next phase begins.
Just keep thinking positively! !!!!!!!! If you have any questions, ask anyone here. We are here for you, for whatever it is you need. Also, if it makes you mre comfortable to ask privatly, just snd any one of us a private message. Nothing is off limits, many of our experiences could help you!

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Sounds like you're close to that breakdown!

Ugh...you're in that tricky time...the time between diagnosis and putting a plan into action (surgery, chemo, rad). It's a crazy making holding pattern after you've just been given a mind blowing and scary diagnosis. On top of all that I'm guessing you've been barraged with all sorts of information, referrals, appointments, blood tests, scans, etc. And like many of us, you have probably done countless Google searches on cancer. It can really be mentally and emotionally exhausting! And it's Holiday Time for goodness sakes!

Just a thing or two to think about....
Even with swollen lymph nodes it is possible the cancer has not yet infiltrated that system. Remember you have good news! CT does not indicate organ mets, so you have a better prognosis there. If you do have any positive nodes, you'll get the mop up chemo, but even without positive nodes you will have the chemo. So I suppose it doesn't really alter your treatment path much either way. As for chemo, you can think about chemo after surgery, after the holidays, and we'll be here to help.

A racing mind before surgery is completely understandable - surgery is a big deal. Just know it's okay to have a little meltdown if you have to, in fact it's probably good to go ahead and get it out of your system (could mean after you've had a little venting of pressure you will hopefully be less likely to say something...um...inapprorpriate...while out among the festivities). Hey, the holidays can thin the skin of just about anybody and people do get a little sensitive. You get a pass though, it's called the CANCER CARD. Play it - use it - throw it down like a shopaholic uses a credit card.

It's the holidays, darn it! One last thing to think about...it IS the holidays. You have family and friends to spend time with - living life. Just try to choose to live life and enjoy it - in spite of cancer. You have cancer - cancer does not have you.

As for times of uncertainty, it comes with the territory. For me I decided the day I was dx that I was going to be okay, whatever might happen, good or bad, I was going to be okay. What helped me to get through was Faith, Family and Friends. You have family and friends...all you need is FAITH. Hope works pretty darn good too.

Posts: 220
Joined: Feb 2009

for a nervous breakdown. You just need to concentrate on beating the cancer. It's unfortunate that you have to wait so long for the surgery to happen, but try to enjoy Christmas and put the surgery far back on the burner. Hard to do, I know, but it can be done. Just think positive thoughts and don't stress. My husband had and continues to have inflamed or swollen lymph node and cancer was not involved at all. A nurse told us that some folks just have swollen or inflamed nodes. I wish the best for you as we all do.

lizzydavis's picture
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Remember - You Can do this... It is manageable. You will get through this. Look at all of us. We did it. Stay busy. Take care of those things you have been putting off. Bake a ziti or lasagna and freeze it in small containers so that you will have it when you get back home from the hospital. You will need to buy saltines, soup, pudding, bread, applesauce, popsicles, bananas, rice ahead of time. Help others whenever you can - compassion for those less fortunate is a guiding force. We are here for you!

Posts: 66
Joined: Dec 2009

I like to do my screaming in the car or at the little "airport" (it is really just a glorified field) near my parent's house that is almost always empty. One time some skydivers ended up landing a few yards from me, but they were screaming, too, so I thought it was ok :)

Sometimes a breakdown is just inevitable, and purging all that stress and fear clears your mind so you can focus on the next task in front of you.

christinecarl's picture
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

When I look back sometimes I can't believe I am still sane. In time though you find a way to just breathe in and out and accept. My Onc. office recommended a therapist that deals a lot with cancer patients, I have seen her once so far and it helped, maybe you can look into this. But please remember you are SO much stronger than you ever even thought could be possible.

Posts: 9
Joined: Dec 2009

My finace had a colon resection on November 2nd and within 4 wks was back to work! He is about to start chemo on Monday and I understand your frustration. On the day of his routine colonoscopy, when the doctor came out and told us he had found cancer, I thought I was hearing things. After all, I was just there to accompany my fiance to his procedure and then drive him home! My thought was, "what do you mean he has cancer?" Anyway, through all of this there has been a lot of emotions to sort through. Go ahead and scream if you must, you deserve to, but my heartfelt advice to you is to lean on your family and friends, try not to think too much and stay focused on what's ahead. I am new to this discussion board, but I will be here often to learn as much as I can from the others in this group. So far, in one afternoon, they have been a tremendous help to me. I hope I can help you too! Heck, we'll lean on each other.
Take care!

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