Is there an expected phase of depression after a lumpectomy or mastectomy? During or after chemo?

Asked by

anonymous

Family Member or Loved One over 3 years ago
  • anonymous
    Survivor since 2011

    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!!

    over 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      you go girl with one day at a time.Smile more,Love more,Hug more

      over 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Attitude goes a long way. I had cancer six years ago and now facilitate a breast cancer support group. I know how important your mental state can make the journey easier or harder. Remember, you are not alone!

      over 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes it's very common! But remember there is much more to u than 2 breasts!!
      Also, after my treatment were over- I felt lost, lonely exhausted. You phone doesn't ring as much - visits slow down, and everyone thinks- BAM!! you're well - they expect...

      see more

      Yes it's very common! But remember there is much more to u than 2 breasts!!
      Also, after my treatment were over- I felt lost, lonely exhausted. You phone doesn't ring as much - visits slow down, and everyone thinks- BAM!! you're well - they expect you to dance around every second happy, but C does a trip on your mind--- time helps-- support groups help and GOD helps! He hears your prayers. I am 3 yrs since last chemotherapy

      about 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I am just out of surgery one week. I will start chemo in a couple of weeks. I had uteran cancer four yearsago. I am much mores depressed than before. and scared

      almost 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I am just out of surgery one week. I will start chemo in a couple of weeks. I had uteran cancer four yearsago. I am much mores depressed than before. and scared

      almost 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I am just out of surgery one week. I will start chemo in a couple of weeks. I had uteran cancer four yearsago. I am much mores depressed than before. and scared

      almost 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I am just out of surgery one week. I will start chemo in a couple of weeks. I had uteran cancer four yearsago. I am much mores depressed than before. and scared

      almost 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I am just out of surgery one week. I will start chemo in a couple of weeks. I had uteran cancer four yearsago. I am much mores depressed than before. and scared

      almost 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I am just out of surgery one week. I will start chemo in a couple of weeks. I had uteran cancer four yearsago. I am much mores depressed than before. and scared

      almost 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Joan,
      First off I'm so sorry you are dealing with all this. I still have days like this and am dealing with major back issues now. It's all so overwhelming and I think we all go thru this. The unknown is the worst feeling of anxiety I have ever...

      see more

      Joan,
      First off I'm so sorry you are dealing with all this. I still have days like this and am dealing with major back issues now. It's all so overwhelming and I think we all go thru this. The unknown is the worst feeling of anxiety I have ever experienced. I will pray for you daily and try to be strong and NEVER BACK DOWN. We have all got to find our new normal and I will say there are alot of good things I learned thru cancer. I found kindness in places I never knew existed, and truly appreciate the smallest of things now. Today is my 50th birthday, and I'm getting nipples for it! Never guessed that would be my wish, but it's another step closer to kicking cancer's butt, and you can too my sweet pink friend! Stay strong and remember to rest and I pray you are treated like a princess!!
      Love, hugs and lucky shamrocks
      Sandy

      almost 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Hi I am 49 years old 3 months ago I had uterus cancer and all I needed was surgery very early stage I was very happy about that. Soon about that I went for a mammography and I want you to know I havent gone in 7 years, bad on my part. I had to...

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      Hi I am 49 years old 3 months ago I had uterus cancer and all I needed was surgery very early stage I was very happy about that. Soon about that I went for a mammography and I want you to know I havent gone in 7 years, bad on my part. I had to have two biopsies and one turned out to be cancer. Wow double whammy I was so depressed! I went to top surgeon and she told me I needed a lymsectomy which I had a week ago. The tumor ended up being a grade 2 borderline between 1 and 2 . Tumor was 2.1 in size. Grade 3, er positive and lympe nodes neg and clear margins. Once again I was very lucky grade 3 is a fast growing tumor and it was caught early. Next week I go to oncologist wondering what treatments I will need. Why did you not just have a lymsectomy.

      almost 3 years ago Flag
    • Comment
  • anonymous
    Survivor since 2009

    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!

    over 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      What a beautiful way to put things in perspective and might I mention very true :)

      over 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      very well spoken We are all survivors

      over 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Survivor since 2008

      Very well said. In a nutshell to be precise.

      Your extreme fatigue does not sound normal since you are two yrs out of TX. Please discuss this with your doc. Take care.

      over 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous

      I agree with you. I see people who are going about their everyday life, and I sometimes want to shout--"Hey, don't you know I have cancer?"

      about 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Lisa that is so true. I was diagnosed in may of this year and still in treatment. I've always been a very upbeat positive person. While this is still true, I do struggle with some depression. And tired...whew. I don't see people or things in the...

      see more

      Lisa that is so true. I was diagnosed in may of this year and still in treatment. I've always been a very upbeat positive person. While this is still true, I do struggle with some depression. And tired...whew. I don't see people or things in the same light as well. I watch them go about their lives and wonder if they really realize the importance in life. Yes....the triteness in some of them. We should care more about each other. Be kind and try to help each other when we can. It's not about who get get the most items and keeping up with the "Jones". Very well said. Good luck to you Lisa and thanks for the wonderful letter!

      Diana

      about 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      Thank you so much for your insight, It's very helpful. This is all very new to me. I am having my surgery on 10/27, a mastectomy and I am terrified. I do not know what to expect, my friends and family are amazed at how well I've been dealing with...

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      Thank you so much for your insight, It's very helpful. This is all very new to me. I am having my surgery on 10/27, a mastectomy and I am terrified. I do not know what to expect, my friends and family are amazed at how well I've been dealing with this but I think it's because may still be in shock. Thank you again you have given me a realistic view on what to expect.

      about 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Thanks! I have my surgery on my birthday, Nov. 9. My biggest worry is the money issue. I went back to school when my job went overseas'. I have no insurance and my unemployment will stop at the end of November when school is over. I live alone....

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      Thanks! I have my surgery on my birthday, Nov. 9. My biggest worry is the money issue. I went back to school when my job went overseas'. I have no insurance and my unemployment will stop at the end of November when school is over. I live alone. The future has me worry.

      about 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      wow im glad i signed up . this made me feel better i just was diagnosed w bc and my journey is just starting. im scared but know i have to b strong and stay possitive thanks

      about 2 years ago Flag
    • Comment
  • anonymous
    Stage 1 Patient

    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????

    over 3 years ago Comment Flag
  • anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer

    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.

    over 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      There will be better days know that there are people who love you and pray for you

      over 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      This is great ladies! I couldn't believe that i found this website and the question about feeling depression after lumpectomy. I had my lumpectomy 10 days ago, and a few days ago I was just thinking that I am feeling kind of down. Yes, I am...

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      This is great ladies! I couldn't believe that i found this website and the question about feeling depression after lumpectomy. I had my lumpectomy 10 days ago, and a few days ago I was just thinking that I am feeling kind of down. Yes, I am thrilled that the pathology report after surgery is great, and I am extremely grateful. But yet, I still am feeling somewhat sad and, I don't know, almost like people think I should be doing cartwheels because the surgery is over. I just don't know exactly how I feel. I appreciated reading all of the comments on this thread. Thank you all.

      about 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Patient

      I discovered a large lump in my right breast Apr.30/12 & had a lumpectomy & 3 nodes removed May 24th. Amazing healthcare we have in this country of ours. I am sitting here in tears even though I know how fortunate I am. We will have my ...

      see more

      I discovered a large lump in my right breast Apr.30/12 & had a lumpectomy & 3 nodes removed May 24th. Amazing healthcare we have in this country of ours. I am sitting here in tears even though I know how fortunate I am. We will have my pathology report in 12 days & I am so afraid of what it will say. Everyone is cheering me on because the surgery is over but I feel as Jan does, not sure of anything.

      over 2 years ago Flag
    • Comment
  • anonymous
    Survivor since 2006

    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.

    over 3 years ago Comment Flag
  • anonymous
    Survivor since 2009

    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.

    over 3 years ago Comment Flag
  • anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer

    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.

    about 3 years ago Comment Flag
  • anonymous
    Survivor since 2009

    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.

    over 3 years ago Comment Flag
  • Missing
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer

    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.

    about 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      Of course there is. How you choose to handle it is what's important! After my bi-lateral mastectomies I felt so unattractive, very un-lady-ish, it depressed me. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. "I'M ALIVE" I HAVE VERY MANY BLESSING'S TO LIVE...

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      Of course there is. How you choose to handle it is what's important! After my bi-lateral mastectomies I felt so unattractive, very un-lady-ish, it depressed me. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. "I'M ALIVE" I HAVE VERY MANY BLESSING'S TO LIVE FOR!!!

      almost 3 years ago Flag
    • Comment
  • anonymous
    Survivor since 2011

    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.

    over 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Sandy- You are in my prayers for a quick recovery! God bless you and keep you safe. Sounds like you have the right attitude. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. You will get through this. You have a wonderful group of women...

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      Sandy- You are in my prayers for a quick recovery! God bless you and keep you safe. Sounds like you have the right attitude. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. You will get through this. You have a wonderful group of women on your side. Wear pink- you earned it! Love and hugs your way.

      over 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Thank you Kim!!
      I have come this far because of amazing people like you!! Family and friends are great, but as much as they try to understand, they just can't. You let me know if there is anything i can do for you, my sweet friend!! I love pink,...

      see more

      Thank you Kim!!
      I have come this far because of amazing people like you!! Family and friends are great, but as much as they try to understand, they just can't. You let me know if there is anything i can do for you, my sweet friend!! I love pink, and wear it every day, even if it's a bracelet, to remind me how lucky i truly am!!

      over 3 years ago Flag
    • Comment
  • anonymous
    Survivor since 2009

    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!

    over 3 years ago Comment Flag
  • anonymous
    Survivor since 2011

    It's very common. I'm dealing with worse emotions now halfway through radiation than I did during chemo and surgery.

    almost 3 years ago Flag
    • anonymous
      Patient

      I had a "simple" mastectomy on Jan. 11. 2012 and have not found out what my next treatments will be. The tumor they removed was 5 cm. and infiltrating and growing at a pretty fast rate, so they want to do radiation, chemo and estrogen blockers. ...

      see more

      I had a "simple" mastectomy on Jan. 11. 2012 and have not found out what my next treatments will be. The tumor they removed was 5 cm. and infiltrating and growing at a pretty fast rate, so they want to do radiation, chemo and estrogen blockers. I am very depressed and anxious about my treatments. Good luck to everybody going on this journey. It all happened so fast. Went to dr. on Dec. 21, he sent me to another on the 22 for a mammo & sonogram. On the 23rd they did an incisional biopsy, and on Jan. 11 a mastectomy with sintenal node biopsy(lymph nodes came back negative!)
      Hoping for the best but not feeling very good. Good luck again!

      over 2 years ago Flag
    • Comment
  • anonymous
    Survivor since 2008

    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.

    over 3 years ago Comment Flag
  • anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer

    Ditto!

    about 3 years ago Comment Flag

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