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Cancer depression

eric38's picture
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2009

So far this has been the worst part of my cancer journey. All throughout this ordeal I have been able to keep a positive attitude and I've felt very peaceful but this new treatment is putting me in a funk. I' m feeling disconnected and depressed. There are moments when I am able to get past it but overall, I just can' t shake it. It just started happening after this new treatment started but because I found out about my progression at the same time, I don't know if it is the treatment it self that gets me down, which it does physically or it has to do with the disease progression. I sure hope This whole thing is all about the treatment so I can finish this and get it over with. Mon. Is the halfway mark. I am just waiting for it to be over and hope for the best results. If I had lesser faith I would quit this treatment but I am holding out hope that it will work. I can deal with my own mortality a heck of a lot better than being depressed all the time. Not to be discouraging. I still am always holding out hope and believe we can all overcome our recent setbacks.


Paula G.'s picture
Paula G.
Posts: 596
Joined: Apr 2009

Sorry you are down, Eric. Have you mentioned this to your doc.? I can't imagine that it isn't both. This Damn stuff is hell to deal with chemo or no chemo and having news that it has progressed makes it worse.

I can only say that the news that John's cancer had progressed and then the awful side effect he had from the chemo and him saying no more chemo has me depressed. You are always up beat and I am so sorry you are down. When will you know if this new stuff is working? Is your CEA an indicator for you?

Damn I wish I could cheer you up!!! I can only say I'm thinking about you....Love Paula

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I am sorry to hear you are feeling so bad. If Monday is the halfway point, you will be through this treatment very soon. You have done so well + have been so encouraging to others throughout this ordeal + you have provided much needed humour as well. It is absolutely normal to have these feelings + treatment can be tough, but if it is the magic bullet (+ I hope it is) it will be worth it. I think uncertainty is the worst part of this, at least for me. This past Wednesday I was in a funk - Tuesday I was supposed to have chemo but my neutrophils were too low. I was feeling exhausted on Wed. My husband call my onc's nurse + it turned out I was dehydrated. I have been pumping the fluids in + started feeling better quite soon. I started a thread this week because I talked to a 23+ year survivor of colon cancer who had mets to her liver. I think of what chemo etc. was available back then + yet she is doing really well all these years later. I hope you feel better soon.

eric38's picture
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2009

Thanks for the The encouraging words. I think part of the problem is that this new treatment is two days a week and I just don't have time to bounce back from it. It causes extreme fatigue but I am used to fatigue. It's always good to hear about survivors. I am trying to keep moving and researching alternative ways to fight cancer. Thanks for your concern.


Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

But when it works you will be glad you did it + you will be done much quicker than if you had the same # of treatments once a week or every two weeks. The fatigue is tough. I will be thinking of you as you are finishing the last leg of this treatment. It is great you are researching other ways to fight this &%$#%&@ disease.

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

When things are bad, they can be real bad. What you've been doing as far as handling it seems to be working. You're past the 1/2 way mark so everything now is bringing you closer to the end of treatment.
Stay Strong Eric.

greybeard64's picture
Posts: 254
Joined: Mar 2010

Eric I am sorry to hear your down. sometimes it seems that the blues are inevitable. wether it is the treatment, just a funk your in, or a myriad of things combine, the fact remains depression is an ugly companion. The ending to your post tells me "this to shall pass" for you. while you may feel depressed you havent lost sight of hope. There are times that I have to do the old "duck and cover" drill. probably before your time, but back in the day they use to have us hide under our desks in school, for some reason they figured we would be safer in the event of a nuclear strike if we were under a slab of wood (?). Anyway we would all dive under our desks and then wait until the all clear was given. while we were there no work was done, no learning taking place, we were just waiting for that bell to let us know we could go on "living". At some point that bell will ring for you. I have read alot of your posts and I am confident you have what it takes to get through this. I hope your bell rings soon friend.

just4Brooks's picture
Posts: 988
Joined: Jun 2009

I hear ya Eric. That 2 days a week thing would get old real fast. It's hard in a persons body and hard on the spirit. Just get through this one day at a time and remember you're almost done. If worse come to worse I'll call ya everyday and drive you crazy!!

dschreffler's picture
Posts: 58
Joined: Apr 2010

Pull my finger... well hope that gave you a chuckle anyway.

Yep drugs, fatique, just the fight caused many a down day - a few crying breakdowns too. Good to let it out and aknowledge it. Seen it with folk fighing other illnesses besides the big C.

Endulge yourself - or that's what I did - if you can. Bad scifi movies, video games, gardening - whatever guily pleasures you have - now is the time to play the cancer card and have some fun.

And then there are times were just sulking on the couch, (or deck/porch in the nice weather), and getting rest is not such a bad day and quite ok. Not what you are known for normally I would guess, but totally alright. As a former workaholic, this was the hardest for me, not to feel like doing a damn thing at times.

I'm sure there are a lot of things you want to do post treatment, so dust yourself off and keep swinging. Force that walk around the block, oogle the young women in their summer dresses... life is a blast even when the big C keeps poking you in the ***.

abmb's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: Sep 2009

Sorry to hear you are depressed. I can't even begin to imagine what must go through your mind, especially when chemo makes you feel tired and sick. I will keep you in my prayers and try to stay positive. God Bless, Margaret

Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

You've made it to the half-way mark, so you only have to do that much again. If you did it once, you can do it again! And give yourself a break. Treatment two days a week is a lot, so just rest and don't expect much else from yourself. Stop in here when you need a lift or just want to vent and get it all out. We're all cheering you on and know you can do it.

As long as you can still always end with "I am still always holding out hope and believe we can all overcome our recent setbacks," you are doing ok. If you lose that, please ask your doctor for help. I am always against unnecessary drugs, but true depression is nothing to mess with. If the current treatment plus the stress of the disease progression news you got throws you into a spiral that you don't feel you can climb out of on your own, ask for help. Help is there, but you have to ask. I hope you can continue as you have been, getting through this without the help of drugs, but there is no shame in using them if you need to.

1/2 down, 1/2 to go. Please check in often and let us know how you are doing.

karguy's picture
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

I'm sorry you feel bad,but depression is a terrible thing.Have you talked to the doctor to see if you can get some medication for it.Fatigue is also bad,all I could do is just do what I could ,then take a pain pill,then sleep for awhile.All you can do is rest when you can.I hope the treatment works,that will make it worth it.Good luck and be strong.

Posts: 217
Joined: Apr 2010

I have been ned for almost 1 year, have a few issues to be check, but no major issues yet. Saw onc today and was embarassed to say how paranoid I have become and how I don't like living like this. Have tried to talk myself out of this funk, but he gave me a prescrp. for xanax. Not a pill person, still will try to get positive myself, my husband is great about it. I actually am embarassed to feel like this, I try to be thankful and I truly believe I can get over this funk, but if not, I'll try the xanax.......never had this negative feeling before and hope it will be temporary. So don't feel you are alone, I should not be feeling negative. A good kick might help me, thanks for listening....Pat

christinecarl's picture
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

The depression that came with the cancer was the most unexpected part for me. I did not realize what a mind f*ck cancer could be until it happened to me. I remember how depressed my mom got when going through her chemo and now I completely understand. But it definitely is yet another battle to wage war against. Like we did not have enough already with the cancer. 2 treatments per week is intense, you are so strong to deal with it, even if you do not always see it or feel it. Try to keep your chin up, we are all pulling for you.

tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5061
Joined: Feb 2008


It's really hard for me to know how depressed you are right now, because you're usually such a positive person. You have had such a disappointing setback, though, and the treatment is brutal. I think it might help to talk to your doctor and see if you can get something to help you hang on while you finish this course of treatment.

You are a very special person, and I pray you will be much improved soon!


idlehunters's picture
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

Awe....come er.... <<< HUGGG!!! >>>> There...you needed that. Now I won't be there til October so thats gonna have to hold you over. I hate how this crap makes ya feel! I think you are doing good...you have a plan and are sticking to it. Thats a good thing. Half way thru...even better. Hold on my dear friend. You have my number...call me...any time of the day or nite... it helps to talk..for real. A favorite rapper of mine.. (T.I.)says in one of his songs. "The Old me is Dead and Gone but the New me Gonna be Alright" Thats YOU Eric.... you gonna be alright..... luv u!


Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

I know what it feels like to be soooo tired. I know what it feels like to see those around you and wonder if you will be here tomorrow. It's not easy, and only we know that. Others have had to fight harder then I have and I know that, I still fear that it will come back but I have not had to deal with extended chemo, out of the norm, and other procedures and have not had to carry a bag around with me....and I have not had the pain to the extreme that some of my friends here have had to endure. I am so sorry you are hurting.

Guess what I am saying is, none of us is at rest, we try and get through the day, not think about tomorrow, just today....but it is so much harder for you and others that have to fight every day. If I could, I would take you all into my home so that we could get better together. Maybe we need a cancer camp, think we an get some donations to do that!!! Okay, maybe we need to rent an entire hotel on the beach and just sit together and talk, I mean really talk.....I'm ranting away, but it sounds wonderful! Anyone filthy rich????

Get better Eric!

impactzone's picture
Posts: 542
Joined: Aug 2006

Eric, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I feel you... I use one of two mantras:... "Playoff hockey" . To me this means, its not going through the motions time and skating elegantly and avoiding the big hits. Playoff hockey is serious..game face, pain. energy, exhaustion, every play matters...


"Eddie Would Go". This is the story of Eddie Aikau who paddled away from a sinking ship 20 miles for help in huge seas at night to save his friends. Google it and itis inspirational. Of course is does not have a happy ending but if he could do that, I can take the next step.

eric38's picture
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2009

I do have alot to be grateful for. one of the things is all of the support you`ve given me and the other thing is that in spite of the increased amount of liver tumors I am not in that much pain and am not experiencing any symptoms of advanced liver disease other than light to moderate pain and fatigue. If I can get this thing nipped in the bud it will be ok. Its just that it grew so fast in the 3 months it took to figure out what to do with me next. The great thing about this new therapy, if the depression doesn`t kill me, is that it replaces a growth regulator that alot of cancer cells are deficient in and it can make chemo resistant cancer cells more sensitive to chemo therapy. The treatments are hard on me because they use a virus to introduce the genetic material into the cells. the first treatment is a mandatory 48 hour visit to the hospital because it can cause you to have low blood pressure,rapid heart beat and they said almost everyone gets a fever between 102 and 104. In my case all i experienced was a little bit of the chills and that was it. The doc said this treatment usually puts people in the hospital 3 or 4 times during the whole course and my only time so far was the 48 hour observation period. so, other than the extreme fatigue and depression symptoms my body is handling the treatment well. I hope that means it is accepting it and not rejecting it. Sorry i ranted on but it makes me feel better to name the positives in all this. There is a silver lining. I will be so glad when this is over and I can move on. It`s only 3 more weeks. I can do anything for 3 weeks. those of you who are prayers, please say a prayer that this a turn around treatment for me.
Donna - Hang in there sweetie. You are kind of in my same boat right now but your docs will find just the right treatment for you

pluckey's picture
Posts: 484
Joined: Jul 2009

Eric, sending prayers and positive thoughts your way for the turnaround you sooo deserve!



Crow71's picture
Posts: 681
Joined: Jan 2010

I wish I could say something that would make you laugh the way you've made me laugh so many times.

I hate it that you are having a rough time. It's great to hear you sounding a bit more positive. It's really hard to heal and be positive when you are depressed - not just really sad - but actually depressed. I dealt with depression after my surgery. The therapist at the cancer center has really helped me.

This treatment sounds brutal, but very promising. 3 more weeks. You can do it!!

Sending many sparks and good vibes your way.


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6691
Joined: Feb 2009

Sorry you are so down, but that is very acceptable. You have been through so much. At least you are at the half way point. Rely on your friends, family and this board to also try and keep your spirits up. You should hold on to hope because that is important. Keep on with that awesome attitude you have and when you don't, don't be afraid to let your emotions show. Maybe ask your doctor for some antidepressants that might help get you through.


geotina's picture
Posts: 2122
Joined: Oct 2009

Although I am the caregiver not the patient, I wanted to jump in and say I'm sorry you are having such a tough time.

Take care - Tina

Bear23's picture
Posts: 84
Joined: Jan 2010

It must be this week. I too have been down this week. I started the Vectibix this week with Irinotecan. I finally broke down and had myself a good cry. Sometimes that helps. I'm hoping it does today. Hold in Eric. HUGS


Aud's picture
Posts: 480
Joined: Oct 2009

I'm so sorry you're feeling down. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

pf78248's picture
Posts: 209
Joined: Jul 2008


I can't give you much advice because I seem to be in a bit of a funk, too. I hate that this regime is so tough. You've been through a lot lately so all I can really add is be sure to get the rest you need and keep your hope. That's too important to give up. May this next week be better for you and enable you to see the light at the end of this tunnel.

Hugs and Healing,

snommintj's picture
Posts: 602
Joined: Mar 2009

Eric. I don't think death is something you need to worry about. I almost died last year. In fact, I distinctly remember taking what I thought was my last breath. The crazy thing is that I was totally cool with it. I think our body has developed a defense mechanism for it. When I closed my eyes and struggled for that last breath, my mind was completely clear and I was happy. Obviously they revived me and here I am. I'm not advocating death, I'm just saying the passing isn't all that bad. I don't want to die but I know it'll be easier now that I've been to the edge and experienced the worst of it. As for living. I try to maximize what I have to work with. If I'm sick and can't get out of bed I ponder the most difficult questions and tackle the hardest problems that my mind can grasp. I try to solve things that can be substantiated. I've found that philosophical ramblings provide little support. If all I can do is take one step, I try to make it the best step I've ever taken. I focus on the entire process. I do have a little boy so having time for anything other than him is also hard work. I've had a terrific year so far. The Dr gave me 30 days Jul 09. Here I am, I turned 37 a few minutes ago. I know I'm living on the brink, but I kind of like it here.

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I hope it is a great one!

Sonia32's picture
Posts: 1078
Joined: Mar 2009

...just wanted to give you a online hug

RickMurtagh's picture
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2010

oh, no, you caught the funk too!?!? I hate how it makes me feel. but even so I can't seem to shake it. What about you? Any progress on beating back the funk? Some people seem to rely on anti-depressants, which if they robs me of any of my senses would make the funk worse not better. Hopefully I will be on tincture of opium in a day or so and I will be rid of the worst contributing factor to my funk - constant diarrhea. I THINK with that gone I might be able to rise above the funk.

I hope you find something that helps you lift yourself up soon. The longer it stays around the more negative you become and the more difficult it is to get rid of the funk. You are such a positive person, I know you will find something soon - or perhaps it will be just lifted after some good news. Here is to hoping for some good news to help you rid yourself of the funk!

(I wonder if "magic mouthwash" will work for the funk. It works so well on those chemo sores!)

Fight for my love
Posts: 1530
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi my buddy,sorry for this late comment.I hope you are feeling better now.We all have good days and bad days,but we should never lose our hope,faith and love.Hopefully your treatment is moving to the right direction.I knew you did well last time,I think you can do this again.Wish you the best and best luck with the treatments.Take care,my buddy,you are in my prayers as always.

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Eric,

I do hope and am praying right now that you'll get a burst of energy today and will see through the fog. The fatigue and depression is definitely like of fog of confusion and depression sometimes. Somedays I can barely remember my name- lol! Not funny, but if you don't laugh about it, you'll cry. You gotta bounce back to the laughing about it.

I know you will, but wanted you to know I am thinking of you and praying for you right now.


AnnaLeigh's picture
Posts: 185
Joined: Jan 2010

Eric - I so hear what you are saying ! After my husband started his new treatment (due to progression) we were both in the biggest funk ever. It's like wondering if you are going through all of this for nothing or will there be a big reward at the end? Plus - there are no answers until your next scan. Oh the waiting...........

The only thing that helped us was to start some new activities and keep our thoughts at bay as much as we could. Husband started a new on-line computer game that he plays several hours per day and this allows him to completely forget about cancer. It takes him to another world of building castles and sending troupes to destroy the enemy (sound familiar?)

Unfortunately, depression is a big part of this process for everyone. It just comes down to how much power are we going to give it?

Hope you are able to find something in your life that lets you escape the stress and the ups and the downs.

P.S. His new treatment is kicking butt on the cancer !!!!!!!!

Kathleen808's picture
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

I am thinking of you and saying a prayer that you are getting some relief from the heaviness of cancer. I know this funk is something we all fight. This too shall pass, you are a strong guy.

Hope all the cyber hugs are helping.


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