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Feelin' a bit down post treatment ?

Scambuster's picture
Posts: 973
Joined: Nov 2009

Just a 'Flash Back' from when I was trying to climb out of the dark times in the first few weeks post treatment. Firstly, just know you will overcome the feelings that 'you will never get over it', fatigue, mucous, no taste, can hardly eat, and all the other things you are dealing with, it just takes time for you body to recover. Try to stay hydrated and get good nutrition in any way you can so your body has the stuff it needs to recover.

During this period, I inadvertently downloaded the book by Lance Armstrong called 'It's Not About The Bike'. It only took a an hour or so to download the full book onto my Lap Top. At that time I had not discovered these pages so I was totally alone trying to figure it all out. I had been down in a deep depression, had pain, heavy mucus and all the rest of it. I thought I would never get better.

A friend called one day and put me in touch with her brother, who had been through almost an identical treatment and same Cancer as me (SCC of the tonsil). I emailed the guy and asked "how long will this nightmare end ?". He reassured me and said to be patient, measure my improvements by the week, not the day - and to try to get out and about and do a few normal activities each day. These would be walking to the shops to buy a paper, pint of milk or whatever. Start a little daily routine.

I took his advice and ventured out for short , slow walks around our apartment. I was very weak and still somewhat distressed. I ended up going further out into the shopping areas and went into a Starbucks Cafe not far from our apartment to take a rest. I had my Laptop with me as I had intending to walk much further, to my office, but couldn't make it physically or emotionally. Maybe I was being a little over ambitious. I opened my Laptop and found the file where I had downloaded the Lance Armstrong book. I started to read. Note that all during treatment I didn't have the inclination to read at all. This was the first time I had even attempted to read anything but email.

I was immediately sucked into Lances story and 2 hours disappeared in a flash. I had to go home but couldn't wait to come back and do it again. I made this a daily event and looked forward to my expeditions to Starbucks and the thick shake I actually could drink (slowly). So that's where I would sit, in a big comfortable chair in the warm cafe reading that book.

It is a fascinating story of the great fight we all have had and he managed to win in many ways, far beyond what I could achieve but he demonstrated what is possible despite having all the odds stacked up against you. The book is an inspiration. Just as important though, was for me to regain the ability to get out and have a few hours where I was not sick or worried or depressed. I think that was the conscious start of my recovery. I found a break in the continuous feeling of helplessness and despair.

These moments became more and more frequent and eventually they took over from the continuos dark patches that clouded most of my earlier days after treatment had finished.

Now six months out, things are so much better and almost normal and continuing to improve. In fact things are great. The few remaining effects are easy to manage and life is again good. I hope those of you in the darker patched will soon see you way out and start to replace the bad with the good and build back your lives the way they should be.


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Nice read Scam...

I didn't have the depression you mentioned. But it was (and still so, but not very often) easy to be concerned at every small discomfort. The thought is always somewhat embedded, is this something that I should be concerned about. I have always been really in tune with my body. It's hard now because I still have residual effects that seem to persist or kind of move around. I'll have a small irritation in my throat, or like HONDO said, that feeling that you have a popcorn kernel stuck back there. It'll be there for awhile, then nothing, a week or so later, I'll have a little sore throat or something.

It's hard not to have doubts, but I have been doing much better just realizing this will persist for awhile. With me having regular ENT visit at least I have that security of knowing that I'm still being monitored, which helps.

So glad that you are feeling better. I too am very lucky compared to some that I read about. For you that are still going through it, or have recently finished, it does get much better...hang in there and like Kass says, "Believe".


friend of Bill
Posts: 87
Joined: Mar 2010

Your flashback brought a smile. It took me a while to progress to a Starbucks so my initial in-the-world "rehabing" was at Nashville's wonderful downtown public library where I joined the area's homeless escaping the cold and hoards of toddlers and their mommies coming for morning reading hour. Quiet a collection of diverse souls! I had the high ceiled, sunbathed Grand Reading Room to myself - I couldn't really "read" yet but enjoyed touching and leafing through pages of old favorites. The staff relaxed the rules to accomodate my need for water and labored through my whispered questions and requests - so kind. When I got around to reading Armstrong's book I was just stunned. I cried when I read the part about chemo, thinking, "my God, he knows." Not normal yet, but somewhere on the path,


fishingirl's picture
Posts: 188
Joined: Nov 2009

What a beautiful story and so much like most of ours. I can relate to yours and John's story. I took my recuperation as getting better every week, not every day. I started out as looking at it day by day, but came to realise to take it week by week...month by month:)And the same here, John. I did and still do, start getting paranoid at any little different uncomfortable ache or symptom. I really have to stop that! lol! Sometimes I get on my nerves! lol! But...yes, I find by keeping a good, healthy state of mind REALLY helps! It is hard at times, but one has to keep trying and trying to keep out of, and stay out of that dark frame of mind.

Take care everyone'

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