Facing Cancer Recurrence, PTSD & Acknowledging Mental Health

Posted by Merry, Volunteer Mentor @merpreb, Dec 6, 2018

It’s extremely difficult to face the fact of recurring cancers. After treatments we try and get away from it all and live our life. Then along comes another CT scan or PET scan and POW, you have to face another cancer. My reaction was developing PTSD.

You can read what I wrote in my blog: https://my20yearscancer.com/blog/

How do we cope? How do we react? What do we do?
How have you all reacted to another cancer? Or the possibility of another one? Has your “already compromised” mental health been able to deal with it? How? Or not?

I don't feel numbed with the Prozac. DO\on't know about being a sweetie–really have my moments :-). Am working with a psychiatrist and we think the Prozac is the best. Tried Zoloft and it just wan't a good fit. I have been through o many anti depressants and Prozac (generic) seems best for me. Thank you for sharing the "lobotomy" saying with me. I wish I could have taken picture of the nurse's face when I said it. Don't need a lobotomy–I think I was born with one :-).

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@merpreb

@cindyhb – thank you. That's the reason I wrote my blog, to hopefully help someone. Now I know for sure that I have. How did it help you?

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Appreciate you ability to be so honest about all your feelings and experiences during your ordeal with cancer. I pick up helpful bits and pieces—this my first experience with VATS. So many who have not had our trials and tribulations seem to think we can bounce back in no time. You make it clear that this is not so. You are so right in this. Also the lingering fear of recurrence is always there. Sometimes it lurks beneath the surface and sometime it is right there at the surface. I go from optimist to,pessimist several times a day. I cannot imagine having the number of treatments that yiu’ve Had and not completely breaking with reality! I admire your strength and honesty. God bless you for your blog and for just being You!

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I understand the fear of recurrence as I am approaching my third year post surgery. Knowing i’m not alone and that I can rely on this forum of people who will be a great support system if it happens is comforting.

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@alamogal635

Appreciate you ability to be so honest about all your feelings and experiences during your ordeal with cancer. I pick up helpful bits and pieces—this my first experience with VATS. So many who have not had our trials and tribulations seem to think we can bounce back in no time. You make it clear that this is not so. You are so right in this. Also the lingering fear of recurrence is always there. Sometimes it lurks beneath the surface and sometime it is right there at the surface. I go from optimist to,pessimist several times a day. I cannot imagine having the number of treatments that yiu’ve Had and not completely breaking with reality! I admire your strength and honesty. God bless you for your blog and for just being You!

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Good morning @alamogal635. Thank you. I truly believe that honesty with myself and sharing my journey with others has helped me over the "hump", and out of PTSD. Many times I feel that I'm teetering long it's rim, and that's just fine. Each time I have to right myself is one more notch of survival! Stay as strong as you can, being as honest with yourself as you can. and write. You are an excellent writer. I truly believe that writing helps more than a shrink sometimes!

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@musicflowers4u

I understand the fear of recurrence as I am approaching my third year post surgery. Knowing i’m not alone and that I can rely on this forum of people who will be a great support system if it happens is comforting.

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@musicflowers4u– Good morning. Thank you for being with us. as you know survivors represent hope to so many people! How are you feeling? I have one small nodule in my left lower lobe (lung) that my doctors are keeping an eye on. I rely on Connect to keep me grounded and safe. It is part of my security blanket family!

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@merpreb

@musicflowers4u– Good morning. Thank you for being with us. as you know survivors represent hope to so many people! How are you feeling? I have one small nodule in my left lower lobe (lung) that my doctors are keeping an eye on. I rely on Connect to keep me grounded and safe. It is part of my security blanket family!

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Your words have comforted me too. Thank you for sharing your cancer journey. I too have had a long journey of 17 years dealing with 3 different cancers. First was in 2002 with a Fibro sarcoma in my right breast, followed by 50 sessions of radiation, then in 2010 breast cancer followed by mastectomy & chemo. The following year I had a chest wall recurrence followed by 50 more sessions of radiation. Things went well with no signs of metastasis for 8 years. During that time I sometimes totally forgot that I ever had cancer with little side effects once I got my energy back. Last year I was diagnosed with a new cancer, not related with the breast cancer. The small cell lung cancer was a stunning shock. Thank God it was found in its early stage of 3a. Since then I have gone through 18 sessions of carboplatin & etoposide along with yet another 50 sessions of radiation. After extensive research & a long consultation with a Mayo neurologist I opted not to have the protocol of whole brain radiation because of my age. I am now having side effects from all of these treatments & trying to stay as active & positive as possible with a touch of PTSD & every day head aches. My last 3 MRIs showed no new cancers & the small lung tumor has shrunk by half. My MD prescribed the generic of Prozac, which I have not started yet. I do take a generic for Zanax to help with sleep & sometimes for panic attacks. Just taking your advice by sharing my long journey with cancer survival. The neurologist was amazed with my past history & asked if I had ever been genetically tested, which I have not. I thank God every day for the love & support of family & friends.

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@alamogal635

I don't feel numbed with the Prozac. DO\on't know about being a sweetie–really have my moments :-). Am working with a psychiatrist and we think the Prozac is the best. Tried Zoloft and it just wan't a good fit. I have been through o many anti depressants and Prozac (generic) seems best for me. Thank you for sharing the "lobotomy" saying with me. I wish I could have taken picture of the nurse's face when I said it. Don't need a lobotomy–I think I was born with one :-).

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Thank you for your insight about taking Prozac. I too am contemplating taking it for help during this small cell lung cancer journey.
After taking it for a couple of years,long ago, for menopause I do remember that it did help with many sleepless nights due to night sweats & nervousness. Now needing help with anxiety & depression.

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@lady1lake

Thank you for your insight about taking Prozac. I too am contemplating taking it for help during this small cell lung cancer journey.
After taking it for a couple of years,long ago, for menopause I do remember that it did help with many sleepless nights due to night sweats & nervousness. Now needing help with anxiety & depression.

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By any chance where you live, does your medical community have a Mindfulness Meditation group/classes offered? I signed up for myself and my husband and it has helped me tremendously in coping and with anxiety.

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I too have small cell cancer Mets 4
.to lungs and liver. 2017 Sept. Started out with urinary bladder cancer. CHOMO didn't work.had ur ostomy. Keytruda 14 cycles. Took of that bad side effects to bowel in nov. 2018 dec c scan looked ok. Mar 20 a 1cm spot on my left adrenal biopsy later. I love the Lord and thankful for his mercy.

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Hi @lady1lake! Thank you. I really appreciate the feedback that am helping even in the smallest way. I remember your long journey. I m so happy that your lung tumor has decreased in size!! and no new cancers! yahoo! When was your last treatment? You've certainly had your fill of radiation and chemicals. How are you staying so strong? May I ask what symptoms you are having? I'm sorry about the headaches What do you think is causing them? Being active is the key I believe

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@jimmy2248

I too have small cell cancer Mets 4
.to lungs and liver. 2017 Sept. Started out with urinary bladder cancer. CHOMO didn't work.had ur ostomy. Keytruda 14 cycles. Took of that bad side effects to bowel in nov. 2018 dec c scan looked ok. Mar 20 a 1cm spot on my left adrenal biopsy later. I love the Lord and thankful for his mercy.

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@jimmy2248– Hello. I'm so sorry that you are faced with metastatic cancer. How are you feeling? What stage treatment are you? We are not a religious group but I feel that when you have cancer being loved and loving is so important. We need to find comfort anywhere and how we can.

Liked by trixie1313

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@trixie1313

By any chance where you live, does your medical community have a Mindfulness Meditation group/classes offered? I signed up for myself and my husband and it has helped me tremendously in coping and with anxiety.

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@trixie1313– Who are you asking?

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@merpreb

@trixie1313– Who are you asking?

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In reply to @lady1lake (if you look at the top of any of the messages, it will say "posted by."

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@merpreb

@jimmy2248– Hello. I'm so sorry that you are faced with metastatic cancer. How are you feeling? What stage treatment are you? We are not a religious group but I feel that when you have cancer being loved and loving is so important. We need to find comfort anywhere and how we can.

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Thank you. Just sharing.

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@trixie1313

In reply to @lady1lake (if you look at the top of any of the messages, it will say "posted by."

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@trixie@jimmy2248 Yes, this is correct, however our guide lines for posting (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/get-started-on-connect/) however our guide lines for posting ask that you place the @before the person's name. I hope that you don't mind.

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