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Depression over Mets

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Marianne63
Marianne63 Member Posts: 23
edited November 2016 in Metastatic breast cancer
Hi Everyone, I'm new here and thought I would share my story.  I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2012. A lump was removed then 2 weeks later I went back in to get the lymph nodes removed. All went well with the op and all but then a year later another lump was discovered in the other breast so back into hospital to have that removed but no lymph nodes this time.  All was going well until February last year when I started getting pain in my back muscles which felt like I'd been doing strenuous exercise and pulled the muscles. I went to have massages which didn't help and I also had injections of saline to relax the muscles which provided some relief but the pain would move from one part of my back to another at different times. I thought enough was enough so I went to have a blood test done and then got referred to my oncologist...then I knew something serious was wrong. She diagnosed mets in the liver and the bones. I was in total shock. I thought this can't be happening. So a few months later I started chemo and things were going well. I was responding well to the treatment, lost my hair, got a wig and I was coping. It's been a year since I stopped intravenous chemo and my hair is growing back nicely. I was on Xeloda for almost a year but was suffering with hand and foot syndrome and they were really red and peeling so the dr has now put me on Navelbine and things are looking up. My hands and feet are getting better and I've found that I can do most of the things I could do before. But lately I have been suffering with depression. I have been crying at all different times of the day. Thinking...... why me...is it going to come back.....how much more of this can I handle. It doesn't help that cat I had for seven years and that was companion since I was diagnosed died suddenly and that has made me oven more sad. Coming home and not having him greet me makes the house seem empty. I have the support of my family but sometimes that's not enough. My cat used to sleep with me on my bed as well. It might sound as if I'm whinging but sometimes you just have to get these things off your chest to make life seem a little easier to deal with.  Has anyone else had these feelings of depression or am I the only loopy one???                                                                                                                                                                                        
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  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,392
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    You're not loopy, very normal by the sound of it. I haven't had the same experiences as you but depression is a common side effect of any cancer treatment. And I mean real clinical depression, as distinct from feeling upset, confused, weary and scared! So take heart, your reactions are extremely normal and bouts of misery can also occur when things are actually looking better. The improvement 'allows' you to have the reaction you have kept back when you knew you were too unwell to cope with it. So let it out. Chances are you will feel better. If it continues of course you should seek medical advice as depression can be treated. Sharing your feelings here is a useful outlet, you will find lots of support. Coping can be hard work. Take care.
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
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    Of course you're not  loopy. Gosh it's hard enough coming to terms with an initial diagnosis never mind twice then mets. I don't  know anyone who wouldnt feel depressed. My pets have been with me in this journey. If I had a lay down it would not be unusual to wake up with 3 cats on me and a dog by my side. They were my guardians. I lost my guniea pigs at the start of this journey and still feel  guilty  prepping  veg and  not  sharing. I had to move the  empty cage as it broke my heart seeing  it.  So ...with tge depression. You are dealing  with a life changing event with a course you just don't  know. I would imagine beibg able to discuss this with someone outside the family would be helpful. The cancer council have free counselling services or alternatively you could have a GP mental health plan done and see a private psychologist under Medicare. As to your loss. That pain will improve. But may I suggest you  consider getting a new pet. They will never replace the one you have lost of course. But there are so many animals in need of a loving home and they might just bring you a little joy each day and a reason to want to come home. Best of luck. Take care. Kath x
  • Marianne63
    Marianne63 Member Posts: 23
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    Thanks for the advice. Yes I'm thinking of getting another cat in the new year. I have noticed that when I was first diagnosed with the mets I was very strong. I wouldn't let anything get me down but yes Afraser as you said that now I know I'm getting better (went to see dr yesterday and the tumour markers are coming down and I'm due for another scan next month) the depression has been getting worse. Thinking that having gone through this for the third time will it come back again. That is my greatest fear. Going through it three times....can I handle it coming back again......hopefully not...as they say three times lucky......
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,606
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    Hi Marianne - no you're not loopy!  Your feelings are very normal as you scramble your thoughts into logic and everything into perspective, easier said than done when you roll from one diagnosis to another!  We are all here to read and offer support where we can.  Kath has suggested the Cancer Council counselling service, you may find benefit from this.  I am sorry that your cat is not here with you now but maybe another cat will help you through as well as - company for each other!  Not knowing which State you are in but here is the link to the Victorian one, http://www.cancervic.org.au/how-we-can-help/phone-support - you can always google to find the right one!

    Also on this site there is a multitude of information and if you're muddling through the staff will certainly help you!

    Take care x
  • Marianne63
    Marianne63 Member Posts: 23
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    Thanks for that iserbrown. I live in NSW. I did go to see a psycologist  when I first got diagnosed with breast cancer but even though I had a good discussion with her it didn't really make me feel like she helped. She gave me a relaxation cd which I played recently but my thoughts kept going back to my cat and I started crying again. This feeling is not all the time. I just get days where I feel really down but then I'm fine again for another couple of weeks until something triggers it again. I'll survive, I'm strong, I think sometimes I just need to let it out and a shoulder to cry on and this place might be just the help I need.


  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,392
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    My terrific oncology nurse recommended a councillor when I felt a bit less than brilliant at my third long term side effect in a row. The councillor specialised in understanding how energy works and is replenished, and how to maintain balance. It was splendid advice, I didn't need relaxation, I wanted something positive to do to maintain my balance and my health. She gave me practical advice about getting all the aspects of my life, not just the cancer coping ones, into greater balance. Making sure you get good things in your life, do at least one thing a day that gives you pleasure/makes you laugh, reduce the things that don't give you pleasure as much as may be possible, walk, breathe deeply. I think primek's suggestions are good too. Having just got 2 teenage cats from the pound, their antics are a tonic by themselves. You will survive, you just need to build the strength to fully live again. And yes, shoulders are here. Best wishes.
  • Marianne63
    Marianne63 Member Posts: 23
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    Thanks for all the advice everyone. I shall go and get an adoption cat in the new year and hopefully with xmas coming and being with the family and my 4 month old grandson will give me the joy and happiness I need until then. Shoulders will still be needed and I'm glad that I can come here to get that. Thanks again.xxxx
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,524
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    @Marianne63

    Goodness you are so NORMAL!!!! I think you wouldnt be human if you didnt have those moments, and it does make it hard as I also have learnt that unless you are traveling this path, you cannot fully understand the complexities of it. It is physical, it is emotional it is incredibly mental and requires every ounce of us. I too have moments like you and they knock you for a six where the frustration, anger and sadness do take its toll. Then you seem to make your way through it only to face the next thing...or maybe you wont, as in things are peaceful. There is no right or wrong, that I have learnt and the Psychologist said at a rehab course I did, that allowing yourself to feel everything is actually healthy and enables you to acknowledge it and move through it. Its damn hard!!! absolutely!!!! we fall, we get up, and keep doing it but how amazing are we really??? Youre doing well!!! and I agree, when you feel you are ready, begin a new chapter of your life with another kitty to love...xo Hugs Melinda xo
  • KatieT
    KatieT Member Posts: 56
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    You don't sound loopy at all.  I don't think you could be more normal. Sometimes too many hard things get piled up on us and then things we could normally deal with start getting too hard.

    I think you should consider getting a kitten as soon as possible.  They grow closer to you as they grow up.  It's not the same as your loved pet that you lost but it's so helpful to have a loving animal around when you are stressed or all the time really. 
  • Marianne63
    Marianne63 Member Posts: 23
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    Thanks Melinda seems like you and me are on the same page. Your message struck a chord and made me happy to see that I am going to be ok in the long run. Thank you xx
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,524
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    Im so glad Marianne, you are not alone honestly, so many of us feel the same...but lets make this a wonderful life :) I look forward to seeing a pic of your new addition xx 
  • Marianne63
    Marianne63 Member Posts: 23
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    Thanks KatieT. I will be getting another cat but don't think it will be a kitten maybe one that is about a year old but I'll see when the time comes. thanks 
  • Marianne63
    Marianne63 Member Posts: 23
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    Oh yes to be sure I'll post a pic
  • Jess_BCNA
    Jess_BCNA Member Posts: 475
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    Hi there @Marianne63 - I just wanted to also jump in and welcome you to the online network, and to let you know that we are here to support you so if you need any help working your way around the network or connecting with other members please just let me know.There are a couple of good support services available if you wanted to find additional support also  - the online network has a group for women living with metastatic breast cancer which you can connect with here: http://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/group/2-living-with-metastatic-breast-cancer, there is also the hope and hurdles pack which is a resource that can be sent out to you https://www.bcna.org.au/resource/kits/hope-hurdles/.  The cancer council also offer some really good over the phone support and can be reached on 13 11 20 - If you need any help accessing support or finding your way around the network, just let me know - Jess x
  • Marianne63
    Marianne63 Member Posts: 23
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    Thanks Jess. I have already ordered my hope & hurdles pack and look forward to receiving it. I  shall look into the other services too.  Thanks