• spirithorse's Avatar

    spirithorse posted an update

    I just finished my fifth chemo treatment this past week. I have been battling anxiety and depression big time. My psychiatrist tried numerous medications and finally effexor seemed to keep me from going deeper into the hole. I also take atavan for anxiety. I had my surgery in August and the depression and anxiety started right after that. As I have heard so many of you say, what do I have to be unhappy about. In my case I had stage IV colon cancer and was given a very short time. The doctors were able to remove all the tumor and obtain good margins and only two lymph nodes were involved. I am now cancer free and the doctors at the Mayo clinic have called me a miracle. I am on a regiment of 8 to 10 chemo sessions every two weeks. I don't have any serious side effects. I am on lucavorin and 5FU for two days. Long story short. This is the first chemo session where my antidepressant and anxiety meds had started to make a difference and now I am right back down that hole. I actually feel more depressed and anxious than before I started on the meds. Has anyone had this happen and did it do away after a few days? Thanks for all the support and friendships from this website.

    3 Comments
    • CarolLHRN's Avatar
      CarolLHRN

      Hi.

      Everyone has different experiences and feelings so don't worry about being "normal". I don't think there is such a thing in life, but especially in dealing with cancer. The best you can do is be kind to yourself. Try to just take in one day, one treatment at a time.

      I did really well during treatment but I find myself struggling through life after treatment. I try to laugh at myself when I can, especially with my numb feet making me clumbsy. I have always just pushed through life and its not working this time around. It has left me feeling low. But like I said, I just try to be kind to myself and reframe the negative thoughts.

      Hang in there and keep communicating with us here. We are here for you.

      Best wishes.

      over 8 years ago
    • PhillieG's Avatar
      PhillieG

      Feeling depressed or having anxiety is very normal in our case. I would imagine that it holds true for anyone who has had a life changing event happen. When I was first DX I thought I could go it alone but it wound up being me and Johnnie Walker.
      Not smart at all.
      Thankfully I wised up and sought help from a therapist. I went on zoloft and xanax. They are both fairly low doses and do the trick 90% of the time. As a friend said to me once, "sometimes you have to go through things and not around them". I take that to mean that I'm certainly going to FEEL things that are not always pleasant in life. I certainly don't want to go around numb....

      I would imagine that all of those who say to you "what do I (you) have to be unhappy about" do NOT have cancer. If they did they would hopefully understand that while it may be true that you're fortunate for responding well to treatment you still have/had cancer. That's a big thing to have hanging over your head every day. I've found that often people don't know what to say to "us" and instead of saying "I really don't know what to say. How can I help you?" they often "try" to cheer us up by saying something stupid :-)

      I've found that cancer is a roller-coaster ride. Sometimes it's OK, sometimes it's not. It's part of life and of being alive. I certainly have down days but I do try to take what positive things I can out of my life and focus on those. I think Carol gave some very good advice about not worrying about being "normal". What IS normal anyway? I know that since I was DX'd I've have countless New Normals and will continue to do so.

      I know that there are always others who have it much worse than I do. I'm not thrilled when that becomes my mantra but some days it helps me, not to mention that it's very true...
      Try to hang in there and take it a day or week at a time.
      -phil

      over 8 years ago
    • NanaL's Avatar
      NanaL

      I also thought I could handle my emotions and feelings on my own, always trying to put on a brave face and smile for my family and friends. Then one day I started crying and just couldn't seem to get a grip. This went on for several days and I called my oncologist and she prescribed the antidepressant Celexa which i take just one at night along with ativan for anxiety. Within a few days I felt myself lifting from the funk I was in and also started sleeping much better. Hang in there and don't be afraid to talk to your Dr about different combinations of drugs if the ones you are on aren't working. We have enough on our plates and if you can find something to keep you feeling a bit even keel then that's what you need to do. Keep us posted and know we're all rooting for you. God Bless!

      over 8 years ago