For me it was exactly because it was a difficult time that I literally just didn't have the time or energy to be depressed. Between medical appointments, dealing with side effects, being in the hospital twice for surgery, daily rads for 6 weeks, working, maintaining a home, and dealing with the issues of adult children, I just had nothing left over to give to depression.
Cervical Cancer Questions
Depression even with medication/treatment
Asked by SouthernMom on Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Depression even with medication/treatment
Does anyone have any advice for dealing with depression during this battle? I find myself having a very difficult time.
11 Answers from the Community
I am so very sad to hear that you are having a difficult time of it, you are one of my favorite posters, a ray of sunshine. Although there are many drugs out there that might lessen that feeling; in truth they only serve to mask the problem...with all the chaos in your life right now the last thing you need is another medicine to take. Typically an antidepressant takes up to 2 weeks to reach its effective dose, and most docs tend to prescribe the "Me Too" drugs because they are the newer ones on the market but in reality, no one knows how effective or hurtful they can really be, however the older ones are so much better. I think many of my patients that I council are suprised to learn that the drug Cymbalta was first trialed as an incontinence drug. I think the best thing to help you is a good conversation with someone who has a good ear to listen, a heart of compassion, and the wisdom to temper you when you try to grab onto that shovel in an effort to turn that molehill into a mountain. It is natural to feel the way that you do after all, it is the fear of the unknown that gives us all that reason to pause, and that reluctancy to take the next step forward. But, life IS forward moving...and although the best lessons in life are often backwards---we can only move forward. I know how rough this is for you because it is the cervical patients that I have the hardest time with, and I can understand why. There are many here who can help you with their similar journey, however sometimes you need the vision of a pair of eyes who walk a different path to help you see that there are better journeys, and better scenery along your path. I know that I have sent you my contact info but I will resend along with a number and should you ever need someone to listen, I am always available. My patients like Pammob, Knitkim, and mpiper (a caregiver) can tell you that I have always steadied their course when it was needed. You are in my thoughts and although I might not understand your pain or your circumstance from my position; at this moment, I am here...use me, Carm.
Dear Southern Mom,
I don't know if you are able to get out of the house everyday but that is what I do. Go out EVERY day. I eat lunch out every day and read for awhile during and after I eat. Then I run all of my errands before I go home. Have you tried groups? I joined Gilda's Club and we met every Tuesday night for what they call "Wellness Group." I don't know where you live, but chances are you may have a Gilda's Club near you or go to GildasClub.org. There 26 of them across the US. They have all sort of group meetings at no cost to members.
Their meetings are run by professionals. I remember one Tuesday evening at our meeting I, being one of the few men there, I always thought to myself how much more difficult it must be for women, especially with children, and also have cancer...going through treatments. Little children don't know what cancer is and they still want mommy to take care of them, feed them, do artwork with them, do homework with them. etc. etc. I was fortunate to get cancer at age 56...yes fortunate, because both of our children are older and have their own families.
I realize it is difficult, but you must make time for yourself! So try to get out every day, (if you are not already). Have a hobby...I began to read, and do so every day, and love it. I read strictly non-fiction. I also took up painting landscapes. I realize that you may not have the time to do any of these things, but try to if you can. Make time for yourself! If you find a Gilda's Club take the time to go to some of their meetings in the evenings.
Good luck to you and I hope you are feeling better soon. Try something different....
Everyone handles depression differently. When diagnosed I was mad...then sad..then thought it wasn't about why me etc. I went around acting like everything's fine and normal. After all I have 2 teen daughters who need me to be there for them. I became determined that I would find something that didn't take lot of time, money or effort or drug to feel happy. Friend suggested I keep a journal to write down all my feelings etc. Then yoga. And eating foods with certain herbs and spices that heal your mind and body. Sure I was like SERIOUSLY? Give up fast food, meds, tv,? But I did. Started walking with my kids and husband. You'd be surprised how much my kids & husband started talking during those walks,,, we all became closer because of CANCER! Shocking.... Cancer brought us all together which ultimately made ME happy and not depressed. Not to say I never locked myself in the bathroom to soak ( ok and sulk) in bubbles with candies and chocolates!!! anti depressants have too many side effects..that would must add to my existing #1 problem. CANCER!!
Southern Mom...I forgot to add this poem to my last email.
This Is My Time…My Moment
There are many moments in my life when I forget that I am battling cancer. I love those moments. They are my shield...my blanket...my umbrella. When I'm laughing with my family or friends, I love the freedom of that moment and what it means to me at that time. This Is My Time…My Moment
It allows me to move without the emotional web entangled around my thoughts. I like being in denial. It is the way I cope. It is the way I get out of the rain. Even though my normal will never be the way it used to be, and the glance in the mirror is often a stark reminder of the path I'm on, I still love life, and am grateful for every second of my cancer free thoughts. This Is My Time...My Moment
I cannot look too far into tomorrow...I don't like the piercing reality of what tomorrow may hold. I LOVE NOW....this moment! I want to hold on to this childlike attitude. I am getting good at skirting the weight of statistics, and the gut-wrenching pain of thinking too much about my future. Immaturity is a good thing. Denial can be a blessing. There are paths ahead that I don't want to know about...or think about. I like the scenery of now. I will think about tomorrow...tomorrow. This Is My Time…My Moment
I will live my life, and take each path as it appears. I will be naïve, irresponsible, and do my best to keep a light heart today. I will tell someone that I love them today and not wait until tomorrow. I will flitter away many carefree moments today. I will treat today as a gift, and tomorrow as a mystery. I will see something breathtaking today, and I will say I love now, and I will let tomorrow cover me in its own time and not a moment sooner. This Is My Time…My Moment
I know after all my surgery & treatment for breast cancer, I decided to start working part time in my local school district. I had a 12 yr old daughter to take care of & of course I was depressed, but I pushed through, getting out is the best thing for you. You'd be surprised at how strong you can be. Being home with children is hard enough, you need to get out & be with others, interact with others. Find an activity you like to do, sign up for a class in your area. Staying at home with your thoughts just leaves you alone with them, find a support group, social worker, counselor. Call a cancer wellness centers for advice, they're listed online. Many hugs to you.
Speak to your oncology team and/or treatment center social work, and get a referral to a theapist and/or psychologist that specializes in cancer patients. That's what I did. I am now on xanx and lexapro which help keep me on an emotional even keel, my doctor even joked about "steroids" keeping him in business, because of the emotional swings it causes. I am also very fortunate to have access to a free 12 week therapy program people undergoing treatment for cancer. It really helped me clarify a lot of my issues, and deal with my day to day life, which was becoming one big hot mess. I am now getting monthly booster sessions.
For me, putting my life in God's hands completely was the best thing I could have done and learned. After therapy I became depressed and pretty much wanted to die. Until I realized those thoughts were not my own. Why would I want to die after receiving the healing that I had prayed for? Why would I not want to just accept side effects and doctors appointment for a few years and be with the family I love so much? But most importantly...would God heal me just to have me feeling mad, scared, and sad? NO. So I took life day by day as it came. I chose not to read or share anything about cancer for a while. So my days became more free feeling and much brighter. I would say to you, smile, laugh, be thankful for every little thing in life, and trust God. In Him there is only peace and freedom. xxoo Hang on to Him!!
Hi Southern Mom, I also am sad to hear you're having a difficult time but it is too be expected. Don't be to hard on yourself. I also went for the first year and half and didn't take anything for depression. I was prescribed ativan from the start which is used to treat anxiety and nausea. I would take one in the morning and one at night which would help me sleep. Down the road my Dr. prescribed Celexa 20mg to take just one at night. I filled the RX but let it sit in my cabinet for months. I kept thinking I don't need this, I'm strong and I have a great support system. Then one day after getting chemo I got home and just went into a funk. I cried for days and just couldn't shake it. I called my Dr and they said please start taking the Celexa it will even you out and just make you feel even keeled. I did and within about 4 days I felt so much better. It didn't make me feel numb or zombie like, it just made it easier to cope. Just wanted to share this with you. Also music is great therapy. Sometimes I will put on one of my favorite cd's and dance around in the living room. It really helps boost my spirits. God bless and hope you soon have better days!!
Hi!!.. I don't know that I have any advice, but I know the emotions can get nuts and your like where is this coming from even when you try not to. I'm done with my treatments, but still get depressed and moods seem low alot, not sure if some due to cycle not coming back or what. I tell my boyfriend he has to get tired of me I'm a moody crazy B!... :) I can't say I even know what to do about this for myself. Great question though.