Dealing with effects of cancer treatment

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duck
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 6/19/2009 10:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Iwas treated for cancer at the base of my brain 4 years ago. While I consider myself very blessed to be in remission at this point ,I am also frustrated with all of the health problems caused by the radiation .I can't taste or smell have trouble swallowing and keep getting sick from damage to my sinuses.  I feel tired all the time and struggle with depression. How do you accept and find joy in life when your health will never be the same? Thanks, ducklings

Raniah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 6/19/2009 12:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Duck,

Welcome to the forum. I’m so glad to know that you survived your cancer and the treatments, and that you’re in remission now. My mother had cancer of the brain, too, and experienced some tough side effects from the radiation as well. Although I don’t have personal experience with what you’re going through, I will try to help with some thoughts on your question.

I have found, through my own health struggles and changes to my abilities, that depression does seem to go along with it. It’s hard to accept a new lifestyle and new challenges, and not think about what life was like before. The best thing I can do for myself, I find, is to focus on the things that I can still do, and make a list for myself (mentally or on paper) of the things in my life that I’m grateful for. I have found that I have a better appreciation of the so-called ‘small things’ in life, and I experience more joy now by spending time in nature, taking walks in the woods, seeing the beauty of the trees, the birds, the animals…..the quieter pursuits, if you will. I have to take more time to rest when I feel the need, which you probably experience too, by the sound of it, and I have learned to cut myself a bit of slack in that area, and not try to ‘do it all’ like I used to. I also try to be more open with friends, and share things that I would have previously kept to myself. That kind of openness is liberating, in a way, and having someone listen and just be there is really comforting to me.

Another really important thing for me has been counseling. I’ve had to learn some new coping skills, and learn to forgive and accept some things that have happened, and that has eased my burdens and my levels of stress, which has in turn benefited my health, too. I don’t know if you are in counseling now, or would consider it, but it might be helpful to you, too.

I hope you will come back and post some more with us. This is a great community of caring people, and talking things out can be really therapeutic. I wish you the best, Duck, and hope that you will continue to take good care of yourself.
 
 
Moderator, Depression Forum
 
“Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.”  ~Kahlil Gibran

 

 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/19/2009 5:10 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Duck,

Hello and welcome to HealingWell and thank you for playing Trivia with me today.  :)

I have lost many family members to cancer, most recently my sister on April 30th.  I have had skin cancer removed from 3 areas and add this to my other issues I understand how you are feeling but like you I feel blessed.

Chronic Illness and Depression go hand in hand. Depression is a natural part of dealing with a chronic illness. When your body is challenged physically, it often times challenges the affects your brain chemicals which can lead to depression. Not to mention that with a chronic illness a person is dealing with an avalanche of new experiences both physical and emotional and that can affect their emotional health.

You never know when the answers you are looking for will come to your doorstep. Even if the thing that you feared does happen, there are circumstances and factors that you can’t predict which can be used to your advantage. These factors can change everything. Remember: we may be ninety-nine percent correct in predicting the future, but all it takes is for that one percent to make a world of difference.

Try to stay in the moment and from what I have read you have a good, healthy attitude and with some understanding and support and allowing yourself to feel that sadness and then let go of it you will make it through.

You have the support and caring of this duckling, my new friend.  :-)

Gentle hugs to you and know my email is open if you ever need it.

Keep on talking with us, and know you now belong to the HealingWell family.

Kitt

 


 

Kitt,
Moderator: Osteoarthritis & GERD/Heartburn
Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, & Depression
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
Not a mental health professional of any kind


duck
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 6/19/2009 6:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Kit,I wish I had found this site earlier. No one knows quite what it feels like unless you have been there.Duck

Mazfire
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 6/19/2009 9:28 PM (GMT -7)   

I used to be an Oncology nurse and have also lost several close loved ones to cancer. I myself had a partial mastectomy at 13- not something i usually share- it was benign. but my point is, i live with chronic physical illness and chronic pain daily and sometimes the best thing you can do is get into therapy and really talk your feelings through. even a short course of antidepressants might help.

you made it through a tough time and this current part of your journey may seem scary, but remember that you are a survivor with so much to offer the world. you are valuable, loved and worthy of happiness. is there any way to alleviate your current symptoms in regards to sinus etc?

I understand what you mean when you ask about living with no joy in your life as i have felt that way for years, but that negative thinking has to go so you can move on and reach your full potential.

Please stay with us and keep us posted. Your remission is truly a blessing.

Much love to you, Duck

Maz XX


                        Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic- Depression
 
 
 
'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)
 
Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, CFS, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Sinusitis, TMJ disorder, Asthma, Endometriosis, PCOS, Chronic E.N.T and Upper respiratory tract infections, Reactive Arthritis, GERD,  IBS, Glandular fever, Migraines, Anemia, Chemical/Noise/Light sensitivity, Trichotilomania, PTSD, Seasonal Mood  Disorder, OCD, Benign Vertigo,  Impaired immune system. Tachycardia, tinnitus, low clotting factor= bruising. Tendonitis, Bursitis.
Meds: Zoloft 150mg. Xanax 4mg. Celebrex. Mobic. Panadeine Forte. Digesic. Nexium. Phenergan.Multiple surgeries- I bear the scars of my poor physical health.
Age:29. AP first DX @ 10. Fibro etc DX @14. Proud Aussie.
 
 


duck
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 6/20/2009 7:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Maz
Thanks for your encouragement. My only option right now with my sinuses is further surgery. I am reluctant to do this because I already have posterior nosebleeds. I have resigned from my job as a preschool teacher so hopefully getting away from so many germs will help. Thanks for your dedication as an oncoloyg nurse. Some of the nurses I had made a huge impact on me with their kind words and caring spirit.I am also seeing a holistic doctor so hopefully that will help my immune system. What I said about joy is I want to regain my joy in my present situation. I don't want to be a person who thinks poor me but grasps the gift that each day has. I just am not there yet.I know that it is a process. Duck

Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 6/20/2009 11:58 AM (GMT -7)   

Dear Duck,  I can understand what you are going through.  I had breast cancer 4 yrs ago and had 35 radiation treatments.  While going through treatment the most I could do in a day was get dressed.  I have never recovered my energy and I find myself always needing to rest and only do a few things each day. I think it might help if you could talk to your oncologist to see what can be done to help you.  Do you see your oncologist periodically?  I would think you would.  I have to see my medical oncologist and my surgical oncologist every six months for 5 years. Then I have to see them once a year for the rest of my life.  So keeping in touch with your oncologists may give you an answer to help with your situation.  As Kitt always says try to stay in the moment , and as Raniah said try to find pleasure in just a few things.  Try to find something new that you might enjoy.  I do little things like work in my garden, read and walk my dog.  If you can concentrate on what is good in your life that may uplift you.  I do understand about the depression because I have suffered for years, even before my cancer. Try to be good to yourself and take very good care of yourself.  Wishing you the best and keep posting how you are doing.

Gentle hugs,

Aurora


duck
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 6/21/2009 5:28 AM (GMT -7)   

Aurora

Yes radiation is a mixed blessing. I am glad that you too are a survivor. I had a great day yesterday. My family and I went snorkeling. The colors and beauty of the ocen always uplifts me. I think a big part of all of this is accepting where I am at and that I won't have as much energy. The days I can accept that I feel so much more peaceful. Good luck to you Duck 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/21/2009 5:37 AM (GMT -7)   

Good Morning Duck,

Such great outpouring of support from the members  :-) .

The ocean, oh how wonderful,  I am land locked in Minnesota although we do have the mighty Mississippi River but the ocean, with beaches of sand and that beautiful wild ocean.  You have made me long to visit my son on the Oregon coast.

I understand how hard it is to accept so many things we must in this life and to look for the pleasures and satisfaction from within ourselves. I have had many major events to deal with and also being dx with major depressive disorder has been a hard one for me to accept.  I still will fight it after 26 years now.

Like you I will survive and I will continue to march on each day even if some days are not as good as other days I will find some pleasure in each day.

Bless you,

Kitt


 

Kitt,
Moderator: Osteoarthritis & GERD/Heartburn
Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, & Depression
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
Not a mental health professional of any kind


duck
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 6/21/2009 6:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow 26 years. Mine has not been constant up until this year.Yes we are blessed with the ocean. I have never been to Minnesota. Have a blessed day Duck

Red09
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 6/21/2009 8:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Glad to hear you're in remission!

All I can tell you, take each day as it comes. When having a bad day, accept it just as that - A bad day. Just know that there will be many good days so you won't always feel crummy during your rough times.

Counselling will help, if you're willing.

Another idea is to journal your thoughts and feelings. Either type it out or use pen and paper. Sometimes just getting out how you feel brings abit of peace and calm.

Hope this helps.


Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 6/21/2009 6:27 PM (GMT -7)   

Duck, I am glad to hear you had a good day with your family.  It must be wonderful to be near the ocean.  I think that acceptance for each day may be the key to getting through the rough spots.  If you have something that can occupy you on the bad days you will get through it. I am thinking positive thoughts for you and keeping you in my prayers.

Many hugs,

Aurora


THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18748
   Posted 6/22/2009 4:10 AM (GMT -7)   
hey duck, life is full of challenges. i focus on the stuff that is problematic at the time, others, well, i live in the moment. jamie.
 
all dx, mdd, iddm, lombroscal spine, diabetic nuropathy, genetic hormone defiecncy, possible cfs, insomnia, severe borderline personality disorder, water work issues.

snowflake
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 595
   Posted 6/25/2009 6:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Duck and congratulations on your remission but as you said unless you have gone through the treatments it`s hard to understand .
I had my radiation almost two years ago and today i`m still suffering the effects of it .Infact my last lot of cancer was caused by the radiation treatment and as a result the surgery i underwent to remove it in April this year has not gone to plan as the radiation damaged a lot more than they thought so that all the grafting the surgeon had done died as a result of the damage .I`m still in a lot of pain and on a fair amount of medication for it .
When i underwent the radiation treatment for the second lot of cancer it triggered off a major bout of severe depression where i ended up in a clinic for a few months some 900 km away from my family who i might add i was never away from in the 38yrs i have been married .
It has been a very long battle for me and if not for this forum i would not be here today .
For me talking to someone who understands really helps so much .One thing i did find wheni was in the clinic for all that time it was the friends i have made in here were the ones who stood by me with cards and letters that kept me going .
I see a psychologist when ever i can but because of where i live in a remote areaa it`s not always possible and a week ago i actually travelled 300km one way just to talk to her .
I do not have much family support at home so this site has been great one thing i have learnt is to take things slowly infact i only take each day as it comes i never plan ahead as it`s too much for me .Meditation and relaxation cd`s have helped me noend .I have limited myself to what i can do and to hell with everything else if i can`t do it i know it wont be done so the family has to live with it .Its been hard to get to where i am today and to make the decisions i have done but i now put myself first until tings improve .I have good days and bad days thats just how life is going to be .Life before my cancers well it`s only a memory now .
Take care of yourself and take it easy one day at a time .
Snowflake

duck
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 6/25/2009 7:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Sounds as though you have learned a lot of survival techniques which is what it is all about. That is a bummer that your treatment actually caused more cancer. I had my radiation 4 years ago and so far have been cancer free. I had chemo and 2 surgeries . The cancer started in the roof of my mouth and because it went undiagnosed  1 year spread to the base of my brain. I have had a lot of radiation necrosis. Had to have 3 teeth pulled and 40 hyperbariac treatments. They seemed to help. I remember how awful the pain was and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I admire your tenaciouness and spunky spirit. I had the depression before my cancer but it was always temporary and was treated with Zoloft. Lately I have had to keep switching medications. I am on Prozac now and seem to be stable today  for which I am very thankful. hang in there am sending you courage and hugs. Duck
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