Anxiety

Hi. I have just joined and would like to say Hi everyone.
I finished chemo end if September. for breast cancer had surgery in November thankfully not a masesctany .
I'm now in herceptin injections.then to have radiotherapy in Jan. Then tablets.
My issue that i am finding difficult is anxiety and depression creeping in  I'm thinking that maybe it's the herceptin messing with my hormones.
Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
Thanks x
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Comments

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 152 mod
    Hi @wisteriablue

    Welcome to the forum, I think there are more and more people joining in which is great news.
    I don't know about the Herceptin injections, I did have breast cancer, but my meds after treatment were Tamoxifen and now Letrozole. I do think that anxiety and depression can be a side-effect of my meds, if Herceptin is similar it could be a reaction. 
    I do think also, and I was definitely like this, that it wasn't until I had gone through everything, treatment had ended that I suddenly found myself beginning to feel depressed. It felt to me like it was hovering just on the corner of my  peripheral vision. Lurking! Like being tapped on the shoulder. I did speak with my GP about it, who wasn't surprised, given everything I'd been through. I would suggest you tell your Dr how you are feeling too.
    I hope the radiotherapy goes smoothly for you, have you had your 'measuring' and tattoo appt yet?

    Lou x

  • wisteriabluewisteriablue Posts: 17
    Hi Lou. Thank you for your comments and agree. Helps to know that its not just me having/had these feelings.
    I will be taking letrozole immediately when the radiotherapy is finished. I have had the measurement and tattoo done ready for treatment 2nd Jan.
    My thoughts as you mentioned is to speak to my doctor also.thank you for your help
    Take care best wishes
    wisteriablue xxx

  • gloden02gloden02 Posts: 36 ✭✭
    Hi Wisteriablue and Lou. I think you’re right Lou. I wasn’t so low and depressed going through the treatment but now I am imagining all sorts. Every little lump, ache or pain and I start to worry it’s coming back. If feeling well enough getting out of the four walls helps. Just a coffee or lunch with a friend and a natter . Thank goodness for the phone too to keep in touch. Best wishes for a Healthy New Year both. Glo xxx
  • wisteriabluewisteriablue Posts: 17
    Hi Glo.thank you for your comments, I too didn't feel too  low going through the treatments.
    I'm beginning to think that itmay be a  thing that like Lou said is just waiting to happen when treatment has finished. I'm going through  the belt and braces treatment as my oncologist says i.e herceptin, radiotherapy,letrozole for prevention etc.
    And yeah definitely have to get out of the house.
    This forum is so useful and it really helps to speak to other people and comments who have been there as well.
     Wishing you all the best also for a happy and healthy new year.
    Visteriablue xxx
  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 152 mod
    Hi @wisteriablue ;
    I will be thinking of you on Weds when you have radiotherapy. It's ok, takes a while to set up and get you lined up in the right place. Tiredness will increase, and just make sure you use a good moisturiser every day, I had 'sunburn' in the areas that got zapped. The nurses will keep a check on your skin as they see it everyday, and if you notice anything let them know too. 

    @gloden02
    Hi Glo, yes, meeting with others is really important, like you say even just for a coffee and chat. Sometimes if we spend too much time on our own our minds can begin to go haywire. If you think you may be becoming low, go and see your dr though. Don't let it fester.

    So glad you are both on here, it is lovely to get to know others too.

    Wishing you Happy New Year and a healthy 2019. 

    Lou x
  • wisteriabluewisteriablue Posts: 17
    Thanks Lou ,for your support, 
    Happy and healthy 2019 to u also.
    Wisteria xx
  • LesleyLesley Posts: 102 ✭✭✭
    Hi Wisteria , Good luck on Wednesday will be think of you too! I suffer terribly of anxiety and depression! Always have done , that's the way I am ,so can relate to what you are feeling! Here's hoping 2019 is going to be kinder to us all ! Lesley xx
  • wisteriabluewisteriablue Posts: 17
    Thank you Lesley for the support,i will give an update how i get on.
    Hope you stay focused and beat anxiety and depression. Stay strong.
    Like u say hears to a kinder 2019
    We alll deserve it.
    Visteria xx
  • RobertARobertA Posts: 258 ✭✭✭


    For all you lovely peeps. 
    Rob xx
  • LesleyLesley Posts: 102 ✭✭✭
    That is so lovely  xx
  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 368 ✭✭✭
    Rob, 

    That is so beautiful! Thank you. 

    xx
  • wisteriabluewisteriablue Posts: 17
     Rob Such a lovely message .
  • RobertARobertA Posts: 258 ✭✭✭
    edited January 6
    The reality is that a cancer diagnosis is not the same as the diagnosis of any other type illness.  We know that it will always be with us. No matter that we may have been given the all clear - every lump, bump, ache or pain will have us wondering. Every check up will cause us anxiety. We learn to live with that and it is no wonder we get anxious. 
    It is lovely that we have each other to talk to and I look forward to chatting together through 2019. 
    Happy New Year everyone
    Rob xx
  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 368 ✭✭✭
    Very true words Rob.

    x
  • LindaLinda Posts: 8
    I had stage 4 ovarian cancer and have been through chemo, surgery and chemo, then had 9 months of avastin, which they called housekeeping, all the way through it was like it was not happening to me, then I was given the all clear my family were over the moon I was like ok what next, I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t really happy so kept it to myself, and pretended it was great, that was 4 months ago have had a check up since and all was ok, but I feel really down and like you say any symptom has it come back, I am told you should think positive and if you are worried to phone the hospital and they will arrange a ct scan, sounds good but I’m sure a it’s all in my mind. I have had a good talk to myself and must stop worrying and looking for something that may not be their, I am finding the best treatment is to keep busy, I understand now how hard it is after treatment, you haven’t got the support you had when having treatment, and now they are relying on you to tell them if you have any symptoms that you think it could have come back, then your mind starts working  overtime. I thought I was the only one to think like this, until reading other people’s experiences. It’s nice to know I’m not abnormal and am going to keep busy and to think positive, it’s not coming back anytime soon, if it does will deal with it then, I didn’t let it rule my life through treatment so should not let it get to me now. It’s lovely to share your thoughts to other people. Take care everyone.
  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 152 mod
    @Linda

    Hi Linda, 

    Lovely to meet you, a very warm welcome to the group. Thank you so much for sharing your story, it is always encouraging to read of the success stories and victories people have over cancer. 
    It can help to bring hope to those who are still in the midst of battle, and may just be the thing someone needs to stand up and keep going.

    You are so right, when you say you didn't let it rule your life through treatment, so why let the fear of it returning do the same. Good for you. 
    You, living your life, moving forwards is the best kick in the teeth cancer can have. I know that sounds personal, but it is isn't it? 
    It is very normal to be concerned about it returning, however if and when you experience anything unusual, you deal with it then. We do need to fill our minds with other things, but it takes a while to re-adjust. 
    Are you working? What sort of things do you like doing?

    I hope you will find this a place of support as you move forwards.
    Chat to you again I hope.

    Lou x
  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 152 mod
    Hi @wisteriablue

    Just wondered how you are doing? How are you getting on with the radiotherapy? I hope your skin is reacting well, and your are able to rest to cope with the tiredness. Having to go to hospital every day can be very draining just with all the travelling to and fro, never mind the treatment.

    Chat soon, 

    Lou x
  • wisteriabluewisteriablue Posts: 17
    Hi lovely to hear from you i have finished my radiotherapy,  and found that it was definitely having to go every day that is so tiring, I'm glad to say that my skin hasn't been to bad, just minor irritation, it's been a wee now and I was advised that it can react up to 10 days afterwards.
    I had great pleasure in ringing the bell to mark the end of the treatment. 
    Have to continue herceptin injections every 3weeks have another 9 to go and started letsorol tablets now as well
    And have  to have my follow up meetings with the oncologist and breast clinic in March and April.
    My feet are stil painful though. 
    I will try a b d upload a photo of the bell. 
    So to anyone just starting radiotherapy I would like to say don't be worried it is quite painless. Follow there advice and all is well. 
    Kind regards
    Wisteria
    I will be in touch  Xx


  • wisteriabluewisteriablue Posts: 17
    Ringing the bell such fun. Xx
  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 152 mod
    @wisteriablue

    Hi, that is brilliant news. I look forward to seeing a photo!
    At my hospital they didn't ring a bell, although they may do now. I think it is a great way start the celebration of ending a treatment. I hope you rang it long and hard!  =)
    I hope you are getting used to the Letrozole, I was on Tamoxifen to begin with so when I changed to Letrozole, I didn't notice a difference with side-effects etc. I already had them with the Tamoxifen. 
    Sorry to hear your feet are painful, there are so many of us like that, it may be a while before you see an improvement, depending how severe it is. My feet have only begun to improve in the last six months, I finished treatment in 2016. 
    I hope the Herceptin injections will be effective and successful for you.

    With best wishes, 

    Lou x
  • wisteriabluewisteriablue Posts: 17
    Hi everyone felt a bit down when treatment finished, went to doctor and had a chat  his words and I quote,, depression, anxiety, stress,  is a circle when treatment is finished,  similar to pts (post traumatic stress) after having a battle with cancer, perfectly normal reaction and he can help get to get everything back on track.
    So lovely brave people speak with your doctor I found him very helpful. 
    Continue to be brave corragious. 
    Best wishes to you all 
    Wisteria xx
  • RobertARobertA Posts: 258 ✭✭✭
    edited January 30
    @Linda @wisteriablue

    Good evening ladies

    How true it is that anxiety and depression often come after your treatment is finished. I was pretty relaxed during the first six months of my treatment. Following that treatment I was told that I only needed quarterly infusions and six monthly blood tests and the medical people then melted away leaving me with a feeling of abandonment and anxiety. 

    My family and friends expected me to be the same old Rob, full of fun and positivity but I did not feel that. Hormone treatments and radiotherapy had changed me physically iand mentally and left me with extreme tiredness and problems with memory and concentration.   

    We cancer survivors have had a life altering event and our bodies and emotions have been assaulted so it is not surprising if we feel anxious and depressed. 
    My doctor prescribed me with sertraline which is not a ‘happy pill’. It simply boosts the seratonin in the brain. It takes two or three weeks before you start to feel the benefit, but it may be an option if your doctor feels it will help. 
    I also received help from a counsellor supplied by the wonderful Macmillans.  It was really helpful. She taught me about mindfulness and meditation and helped me to regain personal confidence and I am nearly there now.

    Rob x


  • wisteriabluewisteriablue Posts: 17
    Great to hear that Rob, and totally agree with everything you said, everyone thinks you are better when the treatment is finished. 
    My doctor has been great help to me. 
    Wishing you well and glad to know you are on your way. 
    Best wishes 
    Wisteria x
  • LindaLinda Posts: 8
    Thanks Rob, I also agree with you, my husband told me if he was told he was all clear he would be over the moon, and want to go out with the family to celebrate, I can understand him, that’s how I thought I would be, what a shocker it was so different. But I am getting their.    

    I am retired, walk a lot with my dog, love gardening, reading and doing jigsaw puzzles, so I keep busy which is a great help, and if someone asks me out I never refuse, it seems to be better for me.

    Love reading all your thoughts.

    Take care.
    Linda x
                                                                        
  • RobertARobertA Posts: 258 ✭✭✭
    Many thanks @wisteriablue
    So pleased to hear that your doctor has been such a great help.  I think it is reassuring to know that the way we feel is not unusual. I love being part of this community where we can talk to each other about our treatments and anxieties and know we are not alone. 

    Rob x 
  • RobertARobertA Posts: 258 ✭✭✭
    edited January 31
    Hi @linda ;

    Yes, i know that we are supposed to be full of joy but it takes time. Cancer is not like any other disease and I am not sure that we survivors are ever just quite the same. My wife and I both spoke to a Macmillans specialist counsellor and it helped us to get our heads around things and to understand how the new situation affects us both. 

    You have some great hobbies and that is so important.  I am still on hormone treatments which can increase weight and cause muscle wastage so I started working with resistance bands and taking lots of walks which I find very therapeutic.  I also play keyboards and write my own music so I keep busy too. 

    @Lesley started a great discussion called ‘Us as People not the Disease’ on which she posted a picture of her lovely little dog Barney. It is a fun link and worth a look.

    Rob x 


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