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Side effect to be aware of

Posts: 213
Joined: Sep 2012

I wanted to share with all of my friends here, especially those struggling during recovery or with recurrance. Long story short, LBC (life before cancer), I was strong physically and mentally, scrappy, great work ethic, involved in all aspects of life. Then I was married June 2012, diagnosed with stage  IV SCC RT tonsil, late August 2012, had a rough go during treatments lost 85 pounds, sick all the time, and actually assumed several times I wouldn't make it through the night. Regular side effects of lack of energy, comprimised swallow, loss of taste, pretty much the full meal deal. I had two Sons who I am extremely close with, leave home for the military, marriage dissolved, lost a career I loved, am loosing my house, and was pretty convinced I was loosing my mind, couldn't concentrate, can't remember , hand eye coordination gone, nightmares, night sweats, avoiding social contact, pretty much stayed im my recovery caccoon, (recliner in bedroom), started to regain energy ventured into the garage to work on a rebuild project , but still realized something just wasn't right in my head. I have always struggled with depression, and was able to treat it with meds, dropped off all meds during treatment, because everything made me vomit, restarted when I was able to swallow the capsules, and keep them down, but it just didn't seem to be working......I went into what I could only describe as super depression. After taliking with my family docter I was referred to a psychiatrist for medication review. During our discussion he determined that I more than likely have severe PTSD, from the cancer scare, even though I am in remission. I basically pegged the symptom chart for PTSD / Depression. So just something to be aware of, if you are having symptoms, you can't quite explain, might be worth thinking about. I am just starting a new medicine regime, and will keep you posted on progress, at least now I have an idea what I am fighting.......



cureitall66's picture
Posts: 912
Joined: Aug 2012


I find your post very touching and inspiring to say the least. I'm so sorry that you've gone through such hard times. Sometimes, it seems when one thing goes wrong, the rest goes too. Or it seems like it. Cancer has a miraculous way of changing our lives.

My loved one was dx around the same time you were....probably had tx at the same time. It was certainly a challenge. He ended up with a slight ulcer and reflex and I ended up with some reflex that we found was brought on by stress. It certainly is hard to handle the rest of our life that goes on around us when he have to deal with the "c". It has really opened our eyes to life more than we ever dreamed possible. It has also caused us to look for a new normal.....because the old normal seems to be mostly gone. But, knowing we have our CSN family here, helps to know we're not alone.

Take care of yourself, and sounds like you are off to a good start. Be sure to check in with us when you can. 

Hang in there.



debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

jim, it is very understandable how people w/C get depressed, especially with the added sadness u went thru.  i know i went thru it and i'm just now coming out of it.  thank u 4 sharing as many w/C may not attribute depression to the cancer.  this way u gave them a heads up.  every little bit of info helps.


CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4318
Joined: May 2012


Like you I am still getting use to the “new normal”.   Most all of us have something different post treatments.  Learning to live and prosper with those changes is the tricky part. I would bare my soul to you, but the health nuts would be all over me (and I can do without that).

Anyway, live long and be happy and thanks for the good advice.


ToBeGolden's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Aug 2010

Thanks for the insight. Rick.

Laralyn's picture
Posts: 528
Joined: Apr 2012

I was researching it because of the extreme reaction I had when my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. My first instinct about the way I felt was, "It seems like some kind of PTSD," and lo and behold, there IS post-cancer PTSD. You're doing the right thing, seeing doctors to take care of it. And thanks for posting about it--we often discuss the physical side-effects but sometimes I think we don't talk enough about the mental side effects.

Posts: 213
Joined: Sep 2012

It took me a bit, but It finally dawned on me that all my symptoms were pointing to PTSD, I used to eat stress for breakfast lunch and dinner, and now get anxiety just thinking about it....hope you are doing better, like it has been said on here several times, it seems harder to be a caregiver than a patient in most cases....



Posts: 213
Joined: Sep 2012

to all those who chimed in. I am always suprised by the support this site can give....been a life saver for me. The Psch dr. said this wasn't the first case of PTSD he had seen from a life threatening disease, it is actually quite common.  I had it figured out before I saw him, but it was nice to get an affirmation, it kind of has lightened the load, just knowing. Looking forward to moving forward.....hope this helps someone else along the way.


Ruben and Jude's picture
Ruben and Jude
Posts: 155
Joined: Apr 2013

Jim, I don't know how anyone can go through what we've gone through without having some measure of depression/PTSD.  Ruben had it bad, even to the point that he went off at the doctors office and had to be sedated! He was seen by a psychiatrist within 3 days, and was diagnosed with PTSD due to the recent traumatic events of going through the processes of dealing with this beast.

I dealt with it by understanding what he was going through and how I would react if I were in his shoes. I really had to bite my tongue, and it wasn't easy; a couple of times I had to leave the house just to get away from the ranting and raving.... but thank God, it's under control now.

Thank you for sharing. Better days ahead for us all.

God Bless.


fishmanpa's picture
Posts: 1217
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Jim,

While I didn't suffer the effects as severly as you, I got my stripes after my 1st heart attack and triple bypass surgery. Other life events contributed to the situation as well. I ended up seeking therapy and going on an anti depressant for about 6 months. It was a very strange time in my life for sure! Depression after a serious life threatening illness is quite common. Fortunately, having dealt with it previously, I know the warning signs. So far so good in dealing with Jack.... Glad to hear you're seeking treatment and reigning in symptoms and stress.

Positive thoughts and prayers to you. 



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