• Suddenly very depressed and sad; been through chemo, surgery and now starting rads & feel like I've hit a wall

    Asked by Steph921 on Friday, June 7, 2013

    Suddenly very depressed and sad; been through chemo, surgery and now starting rads & feel like I've hit a wall

    Hi everyone, I'm just a month shy of a year since dx, have had chemo, bilatteral masc, what they thought was a recurrance but wasn't, and have just started rads on Tuesday of this week. I've been doing pretty well through most of the journey but all of a sudden feel like I've hit an emotional wall. I was taking Effexor for about 4 months but for some reason am having a hard time getting it refilled, although I discussed with onc, even upping the dose. I'm still working full time because I'm single, paycheck to paycheck, and don't want to be homeless. I owe money to onc, rad, hosp, etc, even though I have good ins, this is some expensive stuff! When I get home all I do is cry and/or sleep. I'm at my wit's end and don't know what to do? Maybe it's hormonal or just stress I don't know. Any advice will be appreciated greatly! Thanks for letting me vent!!

    15 Answers from the Community

    15 answers
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar
      Ydnar2xer

      Steph, I'm so sorry you are going through this--it sounds like--alone. I'm puzzled by your having problems getting the Effexor rx refilled---I am also on it and it took about a year of trying different dosages to figure out what combo I needed to feel like myself again. Turns out, I take 375 mg Effexor and 100 mg Wellbutrin daily. It gives me no giddiness; just makes me feel NORMAL. Could you either be more demanding of your onc team or maybe ask for a referral to a psychiatrist (who can write rx's)? Those ads on tv about depression are REAL. When you don't feel like yourself, it is VERY CRUMMY. Good luck--sounds like you'll have to be proactive on this--but it will be worth it! I will be thinking of you!

      over 4 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      I think this is normal - many of us go through this - I sure as heck did. Took me a while to refind my balance, I guess. AND - hormones played a HUGE role in how I was feeling. I went to see about hormone replacement therapy, and they asked me questions about common complaints about onset of menopause - the big one - every thing feels like XXX. Yup - I said - that's how I feel.

      I'm so sorry you are feeling this way - for me, it got loads better with time... Now, I just have this background anxiety about recurrence etc... But, I'm otherwise doing well and feeling good in life.

      I hope this helps.

      Lee

      PS - I'm almost two years from initial diagnosis.

      over 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      This is normal, I've been through it several times, it just part of the journey. Speak to your oncologist about getting a Pharma consult with someone who specializes in treating cancer patients I did, to help find the right meds and doses that work for you. My hsopital has a free 12 week program that matches cancer patients with therapist who are trained to help. It was very helpful. Check with social services or your onc to see what your treatment center offers.

      As for money - many hospitals have programs to help people who have problems paying their bills, see yours has one. Also here a site that provides information about organizations that provide financial, grants, etc for people with medical issues. Also call the companies that make your meds, most phrma companies have assistance programs -I know, I received free chemo from both Novartis & Pfizer

      https://www.pparx.org/en/prescription_assistance_programs/co-payment_programs#CC

      Best of luck, please keep us posted.

      over 4 years ago
    • Ladykarla's Avatar
      Ladykarla

      Please do not hesitate to contact the American Cancer Society. They can do so much to help you for free. They have lots of programs or resources to pass along to you. You are not alone.

      over 4 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar
      JennyMiller

      There is plenty of reason for you feeling the way that you do -- you are going through XXX on earth! However, you can get help -- remember that you are a special and unique person and you deserve the best of care -- do not be afraid to be your own advocate and request the meds and treatment that you need to feel like a human again. I wish you the best!!!!!!!!!!!!

      over 4 years ago
    • Bethie's Avatar
      Bethie

      Hey, Steph - Don't think you're alone hitting this wall. Look to your left, now look to your right. Yup, what you are seeing are the millions of dents left by cancer patients before you. Mine's the one with the mouth wide open screaming and the doubled up fists! I did everything in my power to stay positive and upbeat, my mother was upset enough for all of us. I have suffered from depression for many, many years. So, my medical team was concerned about what this would do to me. So l added a therapist to my growing list of doctors. She was wonderful because she had been there. Don't get me wrong, it was no tiptoe through the tulips, but I worked hard to stay above the major depression line. After my lumpectomy and axillary disection of 36 lymph nodes, (yes I said 36), the man I thought loved me decided that it was just too much for him to handle. So after my second chemo treatment, I moved 5 hours south to be with my family, friends and a great support system. But, I still had my days. I will never forget the day when I was done with chemo but still getting zapped, I walked in the front room and broke down. I told my momma that I was done, I just couldn't do it any more. My body had been invaded by a monster that really wanted me dead. I had willingly let a surgeon put a piece of plastic in my body so that people could inject me with dangerous chemicals and now I was letting people bombard me with crazy amounts of radiation!!!! I QUIT!!! NO MORE!!! That was when I hit the wall in a big way. So my momma, being the loving genius that she is, held me close, let me cry and told me to blow my nose. She told me that if I wanted to quit she would support me. But, did I really want to quit or was I just sick and tired of being sick and tired? Told you she's a genius. So, long story short, I finished my radiation, suffered through the after effects of chemo and held my head high. You are going to be fine! Call the American Cancer Society and get ready to be amazed at the sheer number of foundations, companies, individuals and medical companies that are waiting to help you. I know I was. Most hospitals have "charity" programs made for people just like us. I had to use the one at my local hospital when I had to have both knees replaced thanks to chemo. You will get through this. Make sure you have a good support system and people that love you. If you need to scream, scream. If you feel like crying, cry. But don't let it take over your life. Smell the flowers and laugh when life gives you lemons. Oh, one last thing. We are always here for you. I hoped this helped or at least made you smile. If not, just tell me to shut up, I won't, but you can still tell me. <3 ;)

      over 4 years ago
    • Lindy's Avatar
      Lindy

      After all you have been through, the roller coaster ride of courage, fear, yes I can, no I can't...it is common for us to have episodes of PTSS, depression, and just plain emotional fatigue. Good time to gather your support group, let them be your temporary angels. Lots of help at large, guided imagery, nurturing meditation tapes, medications. Whatever you do for you to support yourself through this mine field of treatment and side effects is your right. Choose to spoil yourself, all the best for you from us.

      over 4 years ago
    • Lindy's Avatar
      Lindy

      Also, there are a lot of resources to check for financial assistance. HealthWell foundation helped me with my $1,400 every three weeks chemo co-pay. Perhaps other members can share sources that helped them.

      over 4 years ago
    • Gabba's Avatar
      Gabba

      You are receiving wonderful responses and suggestions here, let me reiterate that you are not alone in these feelings...please take some of these suggestions and act on them, the financial stress alone is causing you so much emotional turmoil...I realize you need to work but is there any chance you could take a day off ( in nursing school we were all allowed two "mental health" days) to do something for you that you would enjoy...go to breakfast or lunch with a friend , go to a movie (a funny one), my cancer center offers massages at an unbelievable discount, maybe something like that would help you relax a bit...I am sending you positive thoughts and will keep you in my prayers. God bless!

      over 4 years ago
    • Steph921's Avatar
      Steph921

      Thanks everybody but I just hit a second wall, when it rains it pours! I'm at work & just found out our company is changing insurance companies! The only reason I'm still at this dead end job is for the insurance!! Our rates are going up 40% for less coverage

      over 4 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar
      Nonnie917

      Go to your mental health doctor and get off that Effexor. That is some nasty stuff and it's no wonder you have hit an emotional wall. That stuff raises your blood pressure and can affect your kidneys. Try Prozac or Cymbalta or some other anti-depressant. You are having these problems because of the stress in your life and who wouldn't with having to deal with cancer and work too. You have a lot on your plate with bills and stuff too. Contact the American Cancer Society and get information from them on the types of financial help that IS available to you. I have a book I got that lists all the financial help available to people like us who have a lot of medical bills and can't pay them. I am going to start calling on Monday to see if I can get some help because we are on a fixed income and can't pay them so they are being turned over to collection. Here is one site you can go to www.hrsa.gov/hillburton or[phone number redacted]. Also Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act www.cdc.gov/cancer/nbccedp/legislation/law106-354.htm and Patient Advocate Foundation www.patientaccessnetwork.org or[phone number redacted]. Hope this helps you some?

      over 4 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar
      Nonnie917

      SueRae1 that is a good answer. I forgot about the hospital Financial Social Worker who could probably help too. I am going through them as well. Have to provide our tax return before they can go any further, but you are right. She needs to find a counselor that can help her as a cancer patient with her meds. I know I have one and he recently put me on a new drug called Latuda and it is working wonders, but I have bi-polar disorder so it is a different situation. You are one smart lady and I always enjoy reading your answers.

      over 4 years ago
    • lola08's Avatar
      lola08

      I have always been a very strong, positive person - "half glass full" kind of gal - a cheerleader for my family, students, co-workers. I hit my wall 2 1/2 years after completion of all of my treatments. My dr said it's very common for cancer patients to look back on what all we've been through & have issues with depression or PTSS. He prescribed a low dose of Lexapro for me & I'm doing so much better. I had never fought with depression in my life - just another inconvenience of this terrible disease!! As far as your medical expenses left after insurance pays - there are many resources for you. I would start by talking with a social worker where you go for your follow up care. They should have alot of information for you - all in one place!! ACS is also another great resource - you can call their toll free number 24/7 & speak with a real person!! Get a handle on the finances so that you can remove that stress from your plate & concentrate on your health!!! Best of luck to you - feel free to keep in touch with me.

      over 4 years ago
    • Bethie's Avatar
      Bethie

      Nonnie917, you are so right about the Effexor. I had forgotten I was on it for about 2 minutes and it turned me into a basketcase! I am on Prozac and it is great, at least for me.

      over 4 years ago
    • Baldredhead's Avatar
      Baldredhead

      I have been there too, girlfriend! We are so strong and brave when we feel that we need to be, but sometimes it just hits you out of the blue, doesn't it, that you are really going through quite a large thing. Please take comfort that you are not alone, and reach out when you need to - also, I have found that it is helpful to try to refocus from time to time - I know that I find solace in painting, music, even house cleaning - just anything to focus my mind on a different task - might be worth a shot...I'm not suggesting that you go as far as cleaning....Lord, no...but I am certain you can find your own brand of refocusing. Please know that you can do this!

      over 4 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy


    Read and answer more breast cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Breast Cancer page.