• ?Depression

    Asked by sheryl1986 on Friday, February 22, 2013


    This is such a wierd question for me: am having some "feeling sorry for me" time right now. It has been two weeks post treatment, have been doing well. Am staying home and have not been working but teary alot and don't like how I feel. I guess what I am trying to ask: Is this normal after finishing treatment. I was not like this during and this is definitely not me. Any ideas? Thanks

    14 Answers from the Community

    14 answers
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      Your body just went though XXX. It's going to take time to heal. In the meantime, your emotions are probably out of whack which is perfectly normal but you don't have to feel this way. I would speak with your Oncologist about the emotional issues you're having and ask if he can put on something to take the edge off. I hope you feel better.

      over 3 years ago
    • fastdog's Avatar

      I don't think it's necessarily normal for everyone finishing treatment, but when we're on chemo it's a regular schedule, we have appointments, pretty much know what to expect, and when it's finished, we may feel a bit cut adrift. When I came home from the last chemo session, I said I must be really weird, because I'm sort of going to miss it. I didn't mean the chemo, but the routine, and the wonderful nurses and people I met there. Also, when we're going to the appointments, we know we are doing something concrete to combat the cancer, when we're done, we may have the feeling that we're not actively engaged in the war. If the depression persists, I would definitely tell your oncologist or family physician. They can help. Best of luck to you, keep us informed how it goes.

      over 3 years ago
    • GypsyJule's Avatar

      It's been almost 2 months since my last treatment & my emotions are a little out of whack, too. In fact, I just got some advice from a friend about it. (Thanks, Shelby!). I was tearful after my last treatment, too. Lately I've just been mad about things. I think maybe things are going to evolve into the new normal. I'm better this week than I was last week. Give yourself permission to be emotional. If it continues, talk to your doctor. Good luck, and congratulations on completing your treatments!!

      over 3 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I think it is fairly common to feel a loss once active treatment is finished. Chemo, daily radiations, etc. becomes a way of life and when that suddenly is done it leaves a void. It takes a little bit of time to get use to a major shift in routine and focus.

      over 3 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      Sheryl, I went through some of the same feelings too. You may be suffering from depression brough on by your chemo, I did. Chemo messes with the seretonin levels in the brain which results in deopression. It is chemical and not your fault. It can easily be treated with medication. Most Oncologists are not very well trained to see this so please seek out treatment by asking your Onciologist or you primary care Dr. It will take a couple of weeks on the meds to feel better but you can feel better and become more normal again. Good Luck and let us know how it goes.

      over 3 years ago
    • Tracy's Avatar

      I try to tell people I know who are in this alternate reality of living with cancer to watch for depression. After treatment and success everyone thinks that life should get back to "normal" but in reality its a bit like PTSD. You have been in a war with your own body, now the battle is fading but the scars are real and the mind is still trying to cope. Plus your emotional mind knows that the enemy could still be hiding somewhere. Give yourself time, know this is normal and let yourself cry. I used to get so mad when people who had not gone through it tell me how happy I should feel until I finally figured out why. Take care, Tracy

      over 3 years ago
    • Kathy's Avatar

      Hi Sheryl - it's been about a month and a half since my last treatment and my emotions can be in extremes of highs and lows. Happy it's over and I'm excited to live and then the reality of what I've been through and not being able to bounce back and do all I want to do. I do see a social worker and that has helped me a lot. I think it's just going to take some time and eventually things will even out and not be such extremes. I find comfort with this site and the people and the understanding we are able to give to each other.

      over 3 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar

      This is normal for so many situations other than cancer. You had a goal, finishing treatment. It consumed all your thoughts. Then it was done. Now you feel empty. Same thing happens to some college graduates, brides, performers, writers.the recently laid off, empty nesters Etc., etc. You just need to fill the void a bit. If you are capable, start cleaning your closets, repaint the bedroom. This is nothing to worry about.

      over 3 years ago
    • warrior3's Avatar

      As most of the others have said, your feelings are perfectly normal. We're all different and respond to situations differently. Some may be celebratory, others feel almost a let-down, a "what do I do now?" kind of feeling. Just remember how strong you are - you just gave cancer a kick in the XXX!!! When I was diagnosed and went through treatment I was very goal-oriented, my thoughts were all about beating that cancer. Afterward I was able to really think about what I'd been through and I think there were some teary days for me, as well. Take a little time to take care of you now - share your feelings with others (we're always here), maybe get a pedicure or a massage. You deserve it!

      over 3 years ago
    • LauraJo's Avatar

      At a point at which I should have been ecstatic to have finished treatment & being cancer free, I too was sad & weepy. Part of it was the change from an extremely active behavior - appointments! chemo! I'm FIGHTING cancer! - to a more normal, passive one, but I think the largest part was that while I was in active treatment, I put a lot of emotions aside, in order to deal with what I was going through. If I had cried everytime I hurt, or threw up, or had Oscar, my ileostomy leak, I would have been a puddle of tears all the time, and not been much good. However, all those emotions were waiting for me when I had time to deal with them. For all the strength I had during treatment, I became the opposite. I ended up doing eight weeks of therapy, and felt much better for it. The therapist told me that yes, I had a form of post-traumatic stress disorder, but that it was perfectly normal to feel this way. So, yes, cry....you've had a traumatic experience, and you need to process that. BUT, if it doesn't get better, or it keeps you from doing things, maybe consider some professional help. And talk to your oncologist. They may have a list of therapists who treat cancer patients. They may also suggest a short-term course of anti-depressants. My doctor did, but I didn't want to put more drugs into my body at that point. It may help just to be able to talk with the folks here, cause we've all been there.

      over 3 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      Although treatment is over, there's the worry of recurrence. There's the lingering feelings of "why me"? There's also survivor's guilt. You're physically exhausted. You must likely don't look so good (there's a reason why the class is called "Look good, feel better". You're also lost your "schedule" (it made me feel like I was being proactive fighting cancer, now just twiddle my thumbs). And, there's no longer the overwhelming attention paid by Drs and nurses.

      So, what's a person to do?

      Join cancer support group(s). It's good not to be alone in this. Plus support has been linked to lower recurrence. And good ol fashioned support from pills (better living through pharmaceuticals) and talking to a therapist can't hurt.

      over 3 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      Lets face it.The treatments are both debilitating and humiliating, or they were that way for me. In the midst of radiation, I realized that not everything I'd been told about it was Gospel. During the treatments I often thought of WW II concentration camp victims and of how I'd volunteered for this. The experience is debilitating, dehumanizing, and, in some cases, as victims, we are mutilated. Somehow, in my case, the idea of cure was different for the doctors than it was for me. I thought my health would be restored. The docs simply wanted to remove the cancer, despite diminishing me in the process and that is what happened.

      I felt like a ghost when the treatments were done. The folks who I'd always thought were there so I could feel better when I was sick had made me feel worse and told me they were done. I've been told that treatment is different in Europe in that after the hospitals finish with you, you are sent for rest and rejuvination for a few weeks. Who amongst us would not have felt 10,000 times better with meals being prepared, very light exercise, massage, and hydrotheraphy and such things as are rehabilitating?

      The whole thing is barbaric but it is what we have and have settled for what we have despite the whole concept being so unrealistic ... OK your treatments are done, back to life, back to work .. as if that were possible for so many of us.

      For me, not only was I weak as a drowning kitten, but I'd been tossed aside and felt like a ghost which was not in tune with the rest of the population. Someone described it as some sort of limbo but that is too kind a word.

      It took me 6 months of slow recovery to get strong enough, both in body and mind, to be able to begin to try to recover my strength.

      Be kind and patient with yourself.

      over 3 years ago
    • mkjetset's Avatar

      I finished treatment Dec. 8, 2012. I, too, was upbeat and positive during treatment. I had a purpose and that was to kick this cancer in the butt, literally! Now, I find myself trying to get back to 'normal' but struggling to do so. I have to remember that my body is still fighting the good fight. I am still recovering. And it will take time. I know that when I can get even the smallest amount of physical activity, I feel better. Some days I can go hiking. Other days, a trip to the grocery store is about all I can manage. But I definitely see a steady improvement. I think I am still experiencing a kind of delayed emotional reaction. And that's okay. I indulge it for a short time then find something to distract me. Hey, we've earned every emotion we experience. Just know you're not alone and it does get better!

      over 3 years ago
    • ter303's Avatar

      Thanks to all of you who posted. I too am having a hard time dealing with my emotions and it is so nice to know I'm not a lone. I was upbeat and positive during treatment, I was on a mission - no time to feel sorry for myself. Now treatment is over and I can't believe what I did and went through. I feel my wonderful family and friends think I should be all happy and having fun. It's not that easy. All I want to do is watch tv and eat. Im still in recovery and know it will take time. Sooooo, today I will take a walk, eat healthy and count my blessings. Thanks again.

      over 3 years ago

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