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Feeling alone as it gets toword the end of chemo. How did you handle it?

janaes
janaes Member Posts: 799

Hey, im getting closer to being done with chemo.  this thursday it will be done.  I am glad for that.  Im glad to know what the plan is for radiation.  I really am.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel more than i did before. I even had some really good days last week and felt more hope for the future. I dont want this to come across the wrong way.  I think i just need to process this stuff and get it out so i can move forward.  Coming to the end of this isnt that easy.  In fact its kind of scary.  My extended family i can tell is ready for this stuff to be done.  My dad doesnt talk to me like he used to.  He used to be more understanding about my symptoms that go along with chemo.  I told him today when he called and asked how i was doing, that i was crying and sad.  He asked why and i told him that i was still sad even though its toward the end and he tried to understand but then said just remember its the last one and he said that the chemo is the hardest part.  I didnt say it but wanted to say to him, "sitting in that chemo chair and having meds put through me is NOT the hardest part."  I was thinking that was pretty easy accually.  He used to say things like "Of course your sad you have cancer."  I think he is anxious to have me get better.  I think he is scared i wont get better.  He keeps telling me to do thing and giving me advice insteed of the empathy he was giving me which really motivates me more and gives me more strength.  I dont know if i am going to get as much empathy from him any more.  He so much wants me to get better.  The thing he doesnt understand is is that getting too far ahead stesses me out. Ive tried to talk to him and it doesnt seem to help.  He is determained to help me get passed this which leaves me feeling alone and scared for now.  Im left to deal with all the emotions and  things that come with endining chemo. Does any one understand where I am comming from?  What was it like forn you as you got closer to the end? How did you feel?

Comments

  • Lou Ann M
    Lou Ann M Member Posts: 996
    edited September 2016 #2
    It is hard

    Odd as it my sound I found the end of my first go round with treatment difficult.  At the,time, all three of my oncologists. thought I had beaten this and was NED.  I was excited thinking I was done with this monster and looked forward to getting my chemo port out, and having hair again, but I did have a feeling of uneasiness-and uncertainty.  I think a suffered from Doctor withdrawal.  I missed having someone tell me every two or three weeks that I was doing fine.  I even missed the blood tests that also told me I was doing OK. And all of a sudden it was a three month wait.  I even missed the doctors and nurses that I saw so often.  Along with everything else, cancer does a job on your emotion.

    i am sorry that your family is not more sympathetic.  I do think they love you a lot.  I am sure that they are glad you are almost through this, but don't understand how you are feeling.  Hang in there.  You are strong and will make it through this too.

    Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

  • janaes
    janaes Member Posts: 799
    edited September 2016 #3
    Oh Lou Ann,  I love you. 

    Oh Lou Ann,  I love you.  Thank you so much for your honesty. It was just what i needed to hear.  I am having withdrawal symptoms.  I am going to miss going to chemo with my dad.  I am going to miss the kind words he has said to me.  Those have been blessings of cancer.  Radiation wont be the same.  That is really interesting that we can have withdrawals from cancer (that dumb beast. We dont want to hear we have it, but when its time to say good bye we dont want to leave)  but    that is exsactly what is happening to me.  Its not quite time for this but i have definetly felt the withdrawal of going 3 months with out knowing how my cancer is doing.

    Once again thank so very much for your help.  Your empathy and truth means alot to me.

    Hugs back to you, Janae

  • brissance
    brissance Member Posts: 192
    My Thoughts Exactly

    Weird hearing your concerns.  I was going over the same thoughts just before I read your post.  I was suppose to have my last treatment 2 weeks ago but low wbc and I am on my 3 try this coming Friday.  I am really having a hard time.  I have always felt there was chemo to kill the beast.  Now I will give any stray cells a chance to thrive and grow again.  I agree with LouAnn (a very smart lady, I must say) I like having the doc tell me I am doing well.  Now, if I ever get my wbc up, I will be finished this Friday.  No chemicals on guard and I am really worried that it will just take over as soon as the chemo stops.  

    I do so hope that your final treatment is really final and you will remain NED forever.  Good luck dear lady.  

  • ConnieSW
    ConnieSW Member Posts: 1,578 **
    Me, too

    I experienced the same emotions that Lou Ann did when I finished chemo.  Also, I think it's normal for family and friends to want us to put the cancer chapter behind us, forget about it and p/u our lives where we left off.  That's where we on this board come in.  Give them a break and continue to come here for support and understanding.  It's worked for me.

  • Soup52
    Soup52 Member Posts: 905
    edited September 2016 #6
    Yes, I totally get your

    Yes, I totally get your feelings.

  • Soup52
    Soup52 Member Posts: 905
    I shall continue. Suddenly

    I shall continue. Suddenly this quit when I wasn't finished. Part for me too is the fear that the cancer is still in there hiding while everyone thinks I've beat it and I'm fine. I think it's only those who have or who've had cancer that can understand. Our new normal maybe a little different from what others expect and we don't have the comfort of doctors checking us on a regular basis. You may feel that you will get some comfort from radiation as in feeling something is being done to keep the cancer at bay. I forget are you having both external and internal? If you are having external, it is daily. I really loved the people at my radiation center except for the doctor. At any rate we are all here for you and will understand your feelings. Vent as often as you like as we understand!

  • beccabtown
    beccabtown Member Posts: 234
    edited September 2016 #8
    I completely understand that

    I completely understand that we might feel this way. Treatment gives us a structure for confronting this disease and all of its unknowns. I imagine that once it's over, you might feel you're left with just the unknowns stretching out before you. But we have this group that will continue to accompany us down the road!

  • Kvdyson
    Kvdyson Member Posts: 789
    edited September 2016 #9
    I had the exact same experience when front line treatment ended

    I had the exact same experience when front line treatment ended. I got so used to feeling like a team of people were constantly with me, watching my health and making sure that everything was addressed and then  - poof - they were all gone. It felt something like what soldiers must experience with PTSD.

    It took time but eventually, the feeling subsided. I got back into my pre-cancer schedule, started doing the fun things that I loved but stopped doing during treatment and am determined to try to stay active on this (and other) cancer support groups. It's been almost 3 months now and I don't feel "lost" anymore.

    Hopefully you will get to that point, too. If not, you may want to talk to your oncologist about local support groups for cancer survivors that you could join or about talking to a psychologist or counselor.

    In the meantime, look back at all that you've accomplished these past few months! You are a fighter and you battled mightily to get to this point. Celebrate this victory and always remember why you went through treatment in the first place. Yours is a good life. An important life. Go live it to the fullest.  

  • janaes
    janaes Member Posts: 799
    All of you are awsome.  I was

    All of you are awsome.  I was thinking about this over the weekend and what Lou Ann said and all the sudden i didnt feel weird anymore and was able to morn the loss off some of this stuff and then felt more light again. Sounds pretty common to me.

    Brissance.  Im so sorry you have had to wait for your last chemo.  That is my worst fear.  I have not had to wait yet so i am hoping i wont have to.  I guess i will find out tomarrow when i see my doctor.

     Every one thinking about it.  This is how comfotable i got with chemo.  I was doing chemo on on tuesdays for half my visits and then just changed my chemos for thursdays because of work.  Work of course didnt work out and could have changed my chemo back to tuesdays but said yes to an activity with my son that can only be done on thursday (that is my good day and new i could go)  I guess i could have said no and been done tomarrow.  I guess i wanted to wait two etra days to be done with chemo.   Sounds crazy but because of you guys i know i am not.

    Soup.  My plan is to do internal radiation.  I had to think about this long and hard but thats the plan.  3 short weekly visits. Ha Ha!!

    Janae

  • janaes
    janaes Member Posts: 799
    brissance said:

    My Thoughts Exactly

    Weird hearing your concerns.  I was going over the same thoughts just before I read your post.  I was suppose to have my last treatment 2 weeks ago but low wbc and I am on my 3 try this coming Friday.  I am really having a hard time.  I have always felt there was chemo to kill the beast.  Now I will give any stray cells a chance to thrive and grow again.  I agree with LouAnn (a very smart lady, I must say) I like having the doc tell me I am doing well.  Now, if I ever get my wbc up, I will be finished this Friday.  No chemicals on guard and I am really worried that it will just take over as soon as the chemo stops.  

    I do so hope that your final treatment is really final and you will remain NED forever.  Good luck dear lady.  

    Brissance,  I will be

    Brissance,  I will be thinking of you on friday.  It would be great for both of us to be done

  • brissance
    brissance Member Posts: 192
    edited September 2016 #12
    Friday Shall be Good

    Janea, I will toast to you on Friday and say a prayer.

  • TeddyandBears_Mom
    TeddyandBears_Mom Member Posts: 1,801 **
    edited September 2016 #13
    Janae,

    Janae,

    I hope you tolerate the brachytherapy as well as I did. It really was a very easy process for me. I am 8 months out from it and continue to use the dialator / sex twice a week. It hasn't been too bad. Can't say I look forward to the dialator every week but it is well worth the 10 minutes to keep everything open and "normal".

    Also, at some point in the very near future, I believe you will start celebrating every month that you don't have to go to a doctor appointment. Give yourself some time. You are so close to the finish line to your new normal!Remember though, don't expect your body to bounce right back. It will take time to build up your strength and stamina. Nine months later, and I'm about 90% there. :-)

    Love and Hugs,

    Cindi

  • janaes
    janaes Member Posts: 799
    Cindi, Thanks for your

    Cindi, Thanks for your comments.  Im hoping to find out when Im going to do an MRI for my back problems today or at least making progress towards getting that.  I think thats going to be my first step to going forward with my health.

    As it gets closer i will have to learn more about that dilator.  My doctor mentioned that.  I heard people on this forum talk about the dilator the doctors give out are not the best ones to use.  Do you know the difference? 

  • TeddyandBears_Mom
    TeddyandBears_Mom Member Posts: 1,801 **
    edited September 2016 #15
    janaes said:

    Cindi, Thanks for your

    Cindi, Thanks for your comments.  Im hoping to find out when Im going to do an MRI for my back problems today or at least making progress towards getting that.  I think thats going to be my first step to going forward with my health.

    As it gets closer i will have to learn more about that dilator.  My doctor mentioned that.  I heard people on this forum talk about the dilator the doctors give out are not the best ones to use.  Do you know the difference? 

    Dialators

    Janae,

    The dialator that I was given looks kind of like a missle and is pink, firm, rubberlike material. (Think a badly designed dildo).... I have also used something called a watercone.  It worked well but requires wetting in between the 10 minutes. So, I have opted to use the standard one provided by my radiologist. It gets the job done.  The purpose of using this is to keep your vagina open. After radiation (and even after a hysterectomy sometimes) stenosis will develop - which in a nutshell is a build up of scar tissue that will eventually close off your vagina. You do not want this to happen! Even someone that is not sexually active or never plans to be, needs to keep the canal open so that the doctors can do exams.

    Feel free to email me if you don't want to ask more questions about this here. I'll share everything I know. :-)

    Love and Hugs,

    Cindi

  • janaes
    janaes Member Posts: 799
    brissance said:

    Friday Shall be Good

    Janea, I will toast to you on Friday and say a prayer.

    Brissance, let me know,

    Brissance, let me know, however you want to, if you get to do your chemo on friday.  I would like to give a toast to you too.