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Long term depression

mokomapa's picture
mokomapa
Posts: 24
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi all,

'This is my first post so please bear with me. Im a 10 year colon cancer survivor with a colostomy.  While I have had my challenges over the years I have manage to live a rather normal Life.  As you all know the thought of the cancer returning is always in the back of my mind.  However, lately I have been very depressed and just can't seem to shake the feeling.  I really don't have anyone that is close to me that can relate to my situation.  I thought maybe i could get some positive thoughts from some fellow survivors.  Please understand I feel very blessed to have been a survivor for the past 10 years.  I'm just not sure why I'm feeling this way recently.  Thank you.

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1107
Joined: Feb 2015

Sorry you are here, but it is a great place with great people.  Feelings are probably something that is not addressed often enough in this whole cancer trip.  There is a general mention of support services (at least it was for me), but it is not really addressed as the rest of our care.   And the spectre of this disease is always with us.  Sometimes more to the forefront, sometimes not as much.  And (for me) it is never consistent in what triggers the less than happy thoughts about the reality of what we are going through.

One thing to look at is exercise, walking, running, some form of exercise.  That is one thing that can often help some in alleviating depression.  There may be some local support groups and or therapists in your area.  And hanging out here and speaking with others is a big help.  The jokes, insights, compassion, empathy and understanding from patients and caregivers here helped me a lot.  I am about to go for more surgery for what appears to be a met to the lung, and this place is one of the things I am relying on to help.

Again welcome.  Laugh, joke, vent, cry.  It is all here and you will have a ton of support.

mokomapa's picture
mokomapa
Posts: 24
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you your kind words.  I have been exercising regularly and try to be mostly positive.  I have also been trying to do more things I enjoy.  I know that may sound selfish but I think I really need to focus on me for a while.  Best of luck with your surgery.  It's nice to know there is people like you out there. God bless you.

Tom

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

You've been lurking for over 6 years? Wow! Glad you finally posted! Anyway, are you specifically feeling depressed about the cancer or could it be something else and cancer is part of what's bothering you? Are you feeling like as time goes by you might be getting closer to having a relapse? Like your odds are getting slimmer? I'm not trying to put ideas in your head, I'm just trying to imagine how I'd feel in your shoes.

Congratulations on your long term health! I'm very aware that the only way to know if you'll never have cancer again is by getting old and dying of something else. That's pretty depressing when I think about it. That there never comes a time when they can tell you that it's gone and you're fine and you don't need to worry anymore. Most of the time I find that I can get past the worry and live my life normally, the new normal. But then something happens and I have a day or several where I just think I can't do this, live with the fear and being so different. Worrying about every little difference in how I feel. Fearing tests and oncologist visits when they have results. I have a CT scan on Monday because I had three spots in one lung earlier this year and two came up positive with a PET scan and the other one didn't test positive. But the last CT seemed to show that the third one is getting bigger. The other two have been blasted out by radiation. The CT on Monday is to see what's upwith that thrd one. So I'm scared it's a met even though it wasn't positive before. It's not treatable if it is. So I've been pretty down for about a week and will be right up until I get the results a week after. I find all of this depressing. And when I hear about someone being diagnosed with cancer or passing from it I get really depresed and enraged, I don't have to know them to feel that way. I think I'd like to have a punching bag that looks like a cancer cell or just something I could destroy.

Anyway, you're looking for something positive. How about my grandma who I've posted about on here before who had colon cancer in her fifties and died at 84 from failed kidneys but never had cancer again. And had no additional treatment beyond surgery and a colostomy. No chemo or radiation. It gives me hope and I hope it gives others hope as well.

I'm thrilled to hear of your long term success and pray you continue on that road.

Jan  

mokomapa's picture
mokomapa
Posts: 24
Joined: Jan 2010

Jan,

'it's hard to say what triggers my not so nice feelings.....work, family, streas, life in general.  Yes I do worry about the cancer returning.  Every day the TV is polluted with stories about cancer, good and bad but mostly bad.  I agree with you when I hear of someone losing the battle it makes me sad, even if I didn't know them.  I guess it just keeps building up and then I finally crack.  I haven't had anyone to talk to about this until I now.  I have visited the site often but never participated until yesterday.

As far as positive my Mom is a 27 year survivor of pancreatic cancer and will be celebrating her 90th birthday in two months.

i pray for good results for you on Monday.  Keep strong.  Thank you so much for your words.  It helps me knowing I'm not alone.  God bless you.

Tom

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1721
Joined: Nov 2001

    You are getting depressed because surviving survival is not easy. It is a constant drain on your body and onyour mind. I am four months short of 19 years cancer free. Not a year goes by when I don't turn up with another medical problem and all have the same prognosis, We don't know. Not knowing is the worst thing for depression. Sometimes I think it would be better if they lied to us. What I do know is that if you want to survive you just can't give in. If you give in to depresssion it is all over. I honestly don't believe that anyone ever gets cured of depression. With time ,a bit of help from our friends perhaps some professional advice but mostly your own efforts will get you thru. Lets face it after ten years for you and nearly nineteen for me what more can cancer do to us . Nothing . I can barely walk , my kidneys need two hits of cyclosporine a day to keep going, I can't feel my legs or left hand and I have type two diabetes, auto-immune hepatitis a wonky heart but I still work four days a week and I am always planning my next fishing trip. I don't always get there but I keep planning it.  Just keep on surviving ,you have slipped thru one of the cracks in cancer, keep on celebrating it. All the best Ron.

mokomapa's picture
mokomapa
Posts: 24
Joined: Jan 2010

Ron,

'Thank you for your kind words.  Congratulations on your 19 years of being cancer free.  I admire how you continue to be positive.  I try so hard to keep positive but sometimes I just can't do it.  I own a business that employers 28 people and I've been the sole provider for my family.  Lots of pressure to keep strong and not show signs of weakness.  Gets a little hard with all that on my shoulders.

i remember when I was first diagnosed with cancer.  I didn't want to plan anything in the future.  That's good advice to have something to look forward to.  I think I will do that.  Thanks for the advice and keep strong.  God bless you.

Tom

 

 

 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4846
Joined: Jan 2013

I have to wonder how old you are. 

We talked in another thread about mid-life and how that can affect our state of mind.   Its really no joke, getting old (or is it, Danker? Our oldest member.), and we start to think about what our life has been and will be. 

Also, people think that getting years and years out from a diagnosis makes it easier; but I think it makes it harder. It's almost as though you start thinking 'when will the other shoe drop?'

NewHere has some great ideas (which of course, you may already be doing). Eating well, exercisingm having some good clean fun. 

Have you tried meditation? It works wonders for me, but is not for everyone. 

Welcome to the forum. We look forward to walking the walk with you and getting you through this funk. 

And of coruse, any real concerns shuold be run past your GP. Maybe a couple of tests to help calm your mind. 

SUE

mokomapa's picture
mokomapa
Posts: 24
Joined: Jan 2010

Sue,

I will be 59 in three months.  You may be correct.  I have started to think about retirement lately and it kind of scares me.  I just hope I stay healthy to enjoy my golden years and hopefully have some grandchildren to play with!  I don't think meditation is the best form me.  I can't seem to sit still that long.  The exercising really seems to help.  Unfortunately while at the gym last week I learned that the husband of one of the girls that works there was recently diagnosed with cancer.  You just can't seem to hide from it.

Thank you for the encouraging words.  God bless you.

Tom

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4846
Joined: Jan 2013

 I don't think meditation is the best form me.   I can't seem to sit still that long.

I too am a little over-active. In fact, I can't stand to be in the house if I can be outside hiking; BUT, surprisingly enough, I can keep still long enough to meditate and it really, really helps.

I would never have thought I could meditate had I not been basically forced to find something to calm my exploding head during chemo. I was totally shocked that I could slip into a meditative state. 

Worth a try, I'd say. 

59 is a great age. Well, not GREAT as in old, but great as in nice to be there. I'll be 58 soon enough, and I certainly count it a blessing to be there. 

I do so hope that you are able to get a grip on the depression. As you well know, life is too short to miss a moment of joy.  Talk to your Doctor if you can't find your peace. Either way, we're here for you. 

SUE    - P.S. its so sweet that you have posted replies to everyone. You're a good man!

 

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

We really need a 'like' button like on facebook. :)

mokomapa's picture
mokomapa
Posts: 24
Joined: Jan 2010

Sue,

I'll give it a try.  Thanks for your help.

Tom

mokomapa's picture
mokomapa
Posts: 24
Joined: Jan 2010

All,

One thing I forgot to mention that has been weighing on me is that when I was diagnosed in 2005 I did the genetic testing that revealed I have Lynch Syndrome.  A few months ago my 27 year old son learned he had Lynch Syndrome.  Not the kind of thing you want to pass on to you children.  

Tom

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I had to look that up. Yes, that would be scary and would make you feel bad about it being hereditary. Definitely not something you want to pass on, I'm sorry.

I have a 27 year old daughter. I worry about her health because she's phobic about needles and hasn't had a blood test of any kind since she was a child. She refuses to get herself checked out and says things like she'd rather die of cancer than go through what I went through. Quite upsetting.

I made my husband go and get checked out a few months ago. He had a couple of precancerous polyps removed during a colonoscopy. Thank goodness.

Jan

mokomapa's picture
mokomapa
Posts: 24
Joined: Jan 2010

Jan,

Thankfully my son has been very proactive with his condition by having a colonoscopy last year.  He's a very healthy, active, and positive youg man.  Maybe over time your daughter will change her mind.  Good news for your husband!

Tom

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