I'm only four weeks out of surgery but i already know i will never be the same. Not physically or emotionally!! It forever changes you but not all bad. Alot of wonderful things have come from this!! I have learned to be more patient, not sweat the small things, appreciate things i took for granted, found kindness where i never knew it existed, and met amazing courageous ladies, like all of you!! I get depressed, but i try to focus on the good things that have happened. We just all have to find and accept our new "normal" We can do it, with each others help!!! Us pink ladies ROCK!!! Stay strong and focused!!21
I am a BC survivor. Diagnosed in August of 2009. Had single total mastectomy followed by 4 rounds of chemo. As I was going through everything I was sort-of in a holding pattern. Just doing everything day by day as I needed to, but once the chemo was finished I felt this overwhelming sense of depression. I felt lost, left at the side of the road. There were no more treatment appointments, doctor's appointments went to every 3 months then every 6, and I really felt like...ok, it's time for me to pick up the pieces now. But I didn't know how. I didn't know how to feel, what to feel, or what to do for that matter. On top of all that, my body decided that it was time to launch me into menopause. Now, almost 2 years later, the depression has pretty much subsided, thanks to taking walks with my dogs. I do have a very bad case of extreme exhaustion, which has been very challenging. I can sleep from 10pm until 4 or 5pm the next day sometimes. I find I have to force myself to get up, and even then, my legs feel like they are lead. I am back to work part-time, and it is getting a little easier as time goes on. I found that most of my depression came from guilt. I felt that I should be able to bounce right back into my life. I don't think after breast cancer you ever bounce back into your life. For me, anyway, it's a somewhat "different" life. You look at things differently, you will notice that many things don't matter anymore...little things, that shouldn't have mattered before. You will also see people in a different light. I noticed the triteness in many people. People who take their lives for granted, and are focused on what they have and are going to get, rather than if they are kind to other people, and accepting of other's mistakes. Anyways, I digress. I guess in a nutshell, you very well may experience depression, but there are a whole lot of other emotions you will also experience. Just learn to take the bad with the good, and know that it WILL get better! Good luck to all you women who have yet to start on this journey. It really is a journey of the body, mind, and spirit. So, be good to all of them, because this journey really never ends...you will always be a survivor!13
I think once you have a diagnosis and you have a game plan it gets easier. The hardest part is waiting for the results. Surround yourself with positive people. My P/A had just come back from breast cancer and she told me to take the prescription for Lorazepam and there were a couple of days when she was right and I did need them. These types of websites are invaluable. God bless all you wonderful women. We are now a part of a club that we didn't chose to be in, but what a wonderful group of ladies. They are strong and beautiful! Don't you just feel like you have earned the right to wear pink????7
I think is the mind set you start out with. I know that at times, I could feel my self feeling sad and alone but I just get up and put on a happy face and would not allow it to keep me down.4
I think there might be. Many of us survivors have trouble sleeping for a few years after we push through treatment, and have at least some mild (if not profound) symptoms of depression, including crying, fear and depressed mood. Speaking personally, I think getting a good night's sleep, night after night, is the first most important thing to do. Other important things are avoiding the tempting but depressing effects of alcohol, and good pain control.
There is hope, and full recovery from the emotional hit of this diagnosis can take a few years. I must say, I was suprised by this, I thought I would recover like I did from having my gallbladder out.
Is there depression after surgery for breast cancer? Absolutely! There is a grieving process, and depression is part of that process.
You need to allow yourself to go through it, but don't let it take over your life. Ask for help if you need to. Everyone handles it differently, but eventually you have to move past it. It won't happen overnight. Just take it one day at a time. One moment at a time if you need to. The important thing is to keep moving forward.
I am just past the two year mark, and I still fight depression from time to time. It's not there everyday, but it's still there. I still have issues from the cancer. I'm taking Femara to lessen the chance of recurance. I fight with lymphedemia off and on. Then there's the scar that faces my in the mirror. But the internal scars are harder to heal. Yes, post treatment depression is normal. But knowing that your not alone, that countless women have gone through and are going through this, can help you through the low times.
When I feel myself sinking I reflect on all the blessing I have...... I may not be back to normal, but I'm here, and that's OK.4
I am a a BC survivor - Bilateral mastectomy 2007. I experienced emotional highs and lows unlike any other times in my life. Unexplained moments of tears, gratitude bigger than I'd ever felt. Even memory was effected, it was a struggle. This went on for a few years. It is much more stable now, but truthfully I have been forever changed as far as how I view the world. I am much more sensitive to other people's hardships, and of life's joyful events. That has been a gift really, almost like an enlightening experience.
I experienced side effects from Tamoxifen, so my Dr stopped the treatment. That contributed to some of my challenges.
Although life is back to "normal" I have been plagued with interrrupted sleep since this happened to me. My doctors have recommended prescriptions to help, but no solution has worked very well yet. Good rest is important so I haven't given up.
Don't feel alone, not all women bounce back and run a country a month after going through breast cancer. For most women healing is a process and grieving is a part of the process.
I lost my husband to cancer at age 40 and now I am battling breast cancer with and empty nest. My only daughter is away at college. God must want me to be like an amazon woman by putting all of these challenges into my life, but I will survive and thrive. When I get down, I listen to CDS of The Secret, I watch The Secret movie or put music on. I avoid the news like the plaque... it is of course mostly bad news. I often ask myself, what do you want... what do you wish to experience? Then I write a list and make it happen by taking action. Stay busy. Force yourself to move in the direction that makes you happier. Exercise does help. Eating well and getting enough sleep does too. Drink plenty of water. If you don't like it, try green tea or crystal light. These are things that work for me. I hope this is helpful.
I just had mastectomy 3 weeks ago and i have good and bad days. I think it's pretty normal from other breast cancer patients i've talked to. Its very hard to adjust to, but you just have to put on a brave face and be thankful for every moment you've been given!!! Some days are better than others.2
Depression is a monster I do battle with everyday. Especially when I look in the mirror. But I think of these songs: put on a happy face, smile and raindrops keep falling on my head and then go to the gym. Then things are better for a while at least.2
When part of your body fails you, and sometimes is even removed there is a sense of loss, failure, and lack of control of your own world. When doctors, books and systems start running your life depression is a given. After the surgery is over and recovery sets in, it can take at least two years to "feel normal". I am starting to feel like joining the human race again, proud of surviving and ready to let go of the depression and get back in shape!2
It's very common. I'm dealing with worse emotions now halfway through radiation than I did during chemo and surgery.
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