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Joined: May 2010

I hate being so alone and the doctors telling me how thankful I should be, "to be alive." Noway! How is it a blessing to have my children see me suffer??? I can never uncerstand why this has happened to me, since their are others who have snoked for more than a decade. My children struggle with my condition, and deny that they are ashamed of me but you clearly can read through them and their actions. I try to accept this new condition but it is hard. I have a new way to shower, to cover the hole in my neck, and trying to get use to the humidifing machine at night. Not being able to lay on my stomach or go swimming with my children is hard for me.

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1576
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi, Sabrina,

You've come to the right place to express your anger and frustration. We will all listen. Vent away!

Try not to worry too much about your children's attitudes. You will find that they are stronger than you think. And, more insightful than you realize. All will be well.


dennis318's picture
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

I am like yourself, woke up from surgery with a trach, thinking it would help with my breathing, i was told this could happen, but when it does your feet are pulled from underneath you. The doctors inform me how great i should feel, to be alive, while i hold my fist back and tell them hope they enjoy there steak tonight, and hot bath with out drowning. I have mine capped off as of now to get rid of this, I have tried and can't, I am with you emotionally, and understand, i work part time, have since i was diagnosed with cancer, i am now going hyperbaric therapy to strengthen and to get rid of this trach, cough, like phlem shooting out of the front on your shirt, people without one of these, be thankful, there a hassle, cleaning, drugs for the pain, god forbid if it comes out, get the ky jellly and hold your breath to put it back in, I can't sugar coat this, you have every right to be upset, I'm with you and no where you are coming from, if you need to talk please email me, I know your frusttration..Dennis in Tennessee

denistd's picture
Posts: 586
Joined: Apr 2009

Speek1 Dennis has said that you and he have a trach, obviously Dennis does, do you or did you have a laryngectomy?

ratface's picture
Posts: 1319
Joined: Aug 2009

Doctors approach this from a medical viewpoint about what's best in the long run and their bottom line is that it is clearly best to be alive and be thankful. Most advoid telling you about the side effects of which there are many. You are experiencing the emotional ones which can clearly be some of the worst. Let me tell you that, "You have cancer", are DEPRESSED, and your kids are scared to death that you might die and so are you. First and foremost please ask one of your practitioners for some anti anxiety medication. It helps immensley and why suffer any longer. Please talk to the children if they are old enough and give them some facts, explain some of the treatments and side effects. Tell them things will change and continue to change and you're really not sure what to expect but need their help and support in getting through this. Get past affixing blame. If I hadn't smoked. If I hadn't engaged in that activity or worked at XYZ company. It isn't fair. You walk down the street and look at that overweight moron puffing on a cigarette obviously to damn happy to have cancer and you just want to strangle them while you ate bean sprouts and exercised all your life. It's never going to equal out. You still have cancer. "Welcome to the new norm" is a phrase you will commnly hear because it is true as most cliches tend to be. Yes you have to shower differnt. I had to rip a beach towel into pieces and went through a trial and error period of trying to figure out how to keep it wrapped around my neck while in the shower. Safety pins didn't work well and finally I ended up using those clamps for keeping a bag of potatoe chips fresh to hold the thing tightly and easily. You must find ways to make things work. You are starting in a good place. Get on some medication and keep talking here on this forumn. Someone here has already felt it or experienced it. I personally would have gotten over the anger quicker just strangling one of those morons. If your angry you're on your way to a good fight. Welcome!

dennis318's picture
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

I enjoyed your posting Rat!, I go back to cancer doctor tomorrow and see what he has to say. the last time he saw that my larnyx had opened slightly, I'm waiting to hear him say it stetched some more, and with the hope of teh hyperbaric and the antibiotics, i may get this thing out, I hope and try to keep a positive outlook. they downsized it to a 4 from a 6 and it seems to be working capped out. I will let you know, but amd not going to push it, and then find out it was to soon. Take Care. Dennis

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

I believe at some point we all get a little depressed when we are told that we have Cancer. It is ever worse when we have lived a good life, hurt no one, and took very good care of our bodies. Then see someone trash there body and never have a day of sickness. I was a vegetarian for about 12 years before I was told I had NPC, I did not drink or Smoke and did not party. I brought my children up going to church and learning about God all there life. Even at work I would tell most of my friend they needed to change there eating habits or they will end-up getting cancer, look who got the cancer.

Sabrina what I found now is that I have been able to touch people who before I had cancer I could not reach. We don’t know why but we learn to accept what comes our way in life, I am glad that through all my trials God has been there to hold my hand and turn something bad into a blessing.

God bless be with you.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2010

Depression is one of the most difficult issues a patient that had been diagnosed with cancer has to face. I am a physician who had been diagnosed with throat cancer several years ago and also had to deal with this issue.

Coping with and overcoming depression is very important not only for the well being of the patient but may actually facilitate their recovery and may even increase their chance for longer survival and perhaps even ultimate cure.

There are so many reasons to become depressed after learning about cancer and living with it. Many emotions go through the mind after learning about the bad news. “Why me?” and “Can it be true?” After first becoming stunned by the news, feelings of denials, which are followed by anger, with ultimate acceptance of the new reality. It is believed that depression is a form of anger. Perhaps anger at the new devastating reality.

One has to face their ultimate mortality, and have to deal with all the immediate and long term consequence consequences on them and their loved ones. Paradoxically feeling depressed after learning about the diagnosis allows one to accept the new reality. By not caring any more it is easier to live with the uncertain future. “I do not care any more what happens “feeling makes it easier for a while. However, this coping mechanism carries a heavy prize because it can actually interfere with getting appropriate medical and surgical care and can actually lead to rapid decline in the quality of life.

Hopefully one can find strength within to fight the depression. In my case after I returned home from the extensive surgery I had to remove my cancer which included also the excision away of my vocal cords, I felt that I had to make an early choice between succumbing to the creeping depression and let it consume me or become proactive and fight back and return to life. I chose the latter because deep inside I had a very strong desire to get better and overcome my handicaps. I also realized that my struggle is not over and will be with me for a long time and that I will need to conquer the down hill slope again and again.

The driving force on many occasions to become proactive and resist depression is my wish to set an example for my children that one should not give in the face of adversity. I new that they may and unfortunately would also have to face difficult in the future and did not want to leave them the legacy that their father gave up and did not do his best to get back to his feet. This was and still is a driving force that I resort to whenever I feel down.

Support by family members and friends is very important. Feeling that ones’ continuous presence in the world and actual involvement in their lives is very helpful in reigniting the will to go on. The involvement and contribution to others lives can be invigorating.

What I found out to be helpful was to become re involved in activities I liked before and find a continuous purpose for my life. I started to return to the hospital to participate and teach in medical rounds and listen to medical lectures. What was most encouraging and rewarding was that my contributions impacted and improved individual patient care. I felt that I was making a difference again.

Even though I realized that the quality of my voice is not the same as before, one of my greatest comebacks was to be able to teach and lecture again with the help of a microphone. Each of these small steps made me feel better and stronger. I was discovering the world again, quite like an infant learning to walk.

Seeking the help of a mental health professional can be very helpful. I was fortunate to be assisted throughout my illness and recovery process by an excellent, compassionate and skillful social worker.

What helped me the most was sharing my experiences as a cancer survivor in a book that I wrote that is entitled : "My Voice - A Physician's Personal Experience With Throat Cancer" ( see https://www.createspace.com/900004368). The book can be read on the author’s Blog: http://dribrook.blogspot.com

debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

Sabrina, first let me say that I'm very sorry that you have cancer. It isn't easy for anyone to hear regardless of how much they smoked, if they ate the wrong foods, if they partied a little too much, doesn't matter, the diagnosis affects us the same, SHOCK AND FEAR. I am sorry that you have to come to grips with a new norm and that your children are ashamed of you. I must be frank, the doctors should be telling (as should you) your children that THEY are lucky you are ALIVE! They could have been told your were terminal with no chance of coming thru this! They should be VERY THANKFUL you are alive!!! Others here have not been as blessed as we are and that is very sad. How can your children be ashamed of you??!!!! How dare they? You are fighting for your life and going thru a battle that is extremely hard to fight and they should be there for YOU!! I lost my mother to breast cancer when I was 22 years old and I still miss her today. So, she was one who was not as blessed as we are. I don't know how old your children are but if they are old enough to understand cancer, then they should apologize to you. If we can't rely on our families to help us fight this battle, then who can we count on?
I am sorry to be so frank but we all have to fight like hell, suffer like hell, accept our "new norm" and everything else and I feel like family SHOULD BE THERE FOR US. I have 2 daughters and they were with me all the way. I cannot imagine family members who wouldn't be. I'm so sorry you are feeling so alone and I pray that your children will be able to see their blessing and thank God for it. I will pray for you and your family. I wish you all the best and I hope you will see that you are blessed.
God Bless you,

friend of Bill
Posts: 87
Joined: Mar 2010

Lots good here about depression. We are so fortunate to to have each other's experience.

A couple of things, Sabrina. Pain is depressing. Work with your docs to say on top of it. Use the medicine. Rest and sleep as much as you can.I know that's not easy being a mom. Try to do a little physical exercise daily if you possibly can, even if it's just walking inside your home. I know it's hard but there's good science behind exercise being helpful for depression. Don't overdo.

As to "why me?", I found the less time I spent on "why" the better. It led me to anger and self-pity which made me feel worse. Every now and then a why? orgy would come along and I'd just try to get through it quickly and move on.

Take good care of yourself. Pulling for you.


zinniemay's picture
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

I don't have cancer but my husband does . But I can maybe try to help you, I was born with a deformed body , I had my left leg removed at age two I have had 36 surgeries. Now how can I help? My husband he loved me just the way I was. He excepted me and loves me.You might forget that your children do love you, they might be scared for you and even hurt for you. I saw you are ashamed of yourself, I don't know how to fix that for you, I know in my life I have had to find it within me to let people see I am worth knowing, I am funny and have their back. I thought some of the feeling you are having till one day a few years ago my daughter told me a story. She said that when she started school she did not understand why all the other kids moms had two legs ,she did not think I was wierd , She thought they were. She knew me as her mom and that was who I was. In telling this one day my son laught and said he thought the same thing, It was then I realized I don't have to look pretty , be prefect or any of that, all I have to do is give my love.If they want it they will expect it, if not it is their if they change their mind.
I know it is scary. My husband was given a year to live I would gladly Take him anyway he is to keep him.
So when things get hard or you are scared .Remember you define who you are not others. Love your Children . I hope that you understand I mean this with love and care for you. There are many things you still can do with your children.


dennis318's picture
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

My depression comes and goes really fast, how does cancer affect everyone here, i cry...think, want to die, pit party, andhave a good fewhours, and teh carpet gets yanked again. I asked the doctor for antidrepressents, after 5 days they took me down at night, I became scred and frightened, and had to quit taking them, my wife and kids left for vacation up north, i have a freind that comes over and sees me, or we have a good evening out and he spends the night, it works better than the pills not to be alone, tired and depressed,or i simply give up and lay down and sleep, this sounds pathetic, but when does one get over the whiney days of cancer, throat is sore, and we are still working on treatment, doctor saids i am making progress, i guess in another persons eyes you are, is death better or living the roller coaster is a horrible way to live, i tried yesterday of helping someone that was worst than i was, that helped some, and try to be thankful in that case. How do you guys deal with your depression, the economy, waiting for the next bills. you no when things like this happen,,you would be surprised how your inner strength of your religion kicks in, thank everyone who express themselves openly and are not ashamed of doing so. take care, please feel free to write or post something the trach has been out for a week, teh hole is shutting finely, it feels a little challenging to breath but, i have a left side larnxy dead, i can eat and breath ok, just have to take it slower, i ask myself, the trach was harder for me, and i couldn't mange it. take care everyone, god bless. Dennis in Tennessee

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Dennis, are you on any meds that might be effecting your moods or depression? My wife has problems with anxiety and I know during the course of finding the rights meds for her, some made her have depression problems until they found the right mixture.

I can only offer at times like this that sometimes it's hard to fight these feelings alone. Faith, family and friends are huge, professional advice and or support groups would be wise as well.

You have beat this disease as of now, and that in itself is awesome. Take it a day at a time and realize that you, the MD's, your Faith all have contributed to your success. Obviously you are strong, because you endured, you met the challenge and have won. Draw upon that strength and realize, that whatever you are going through now, is becasue you have survived, be proud of that strength.


Scambuster's picture
Posts: 973
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Dennis,

Ditto in Johns comment's here. My only addition is to askwho has prescribed your meds ??

When I went into 'the tunnel', they sent for a Psychiatrist. He got it right first time around and I was quickly put back on the rails. I was given 4 meds in total. I have slowly weened of them but have felt 100% fine for a long time and since soon after starting.

Many of these drugs take up to 6 weeks to 'settle in' and you can have adverse reactions in the mean time.Maybe I was just lucky.

My point here is did a Psychiatrist diagnose/ prescribe for you ? If not, then it might be a good idea to try that route.

Blue Sky ahead.


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