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Posts (85)

Sat, Jan 11 3:15pm · Insomnia, depression, anxiety in Depression & Anxiety

Thank you I will keep trying ways to get better longer sleep.

Sat, Jan 11 3:13pm · Insomnia, depression, anxiety in Depression & Anxiety

I am trying everything. I will make my bed room darker and I have a fan for white noise it helps some people. My psychiatrist has a sleep regimen that I am working on. I haven’t started on sleep meds like Seroquel etc because I would like to sleep on my own. I also have a mind I can’t shut off! I am not “at ease” any more. It stems from my cancer diagnosis, my nephrectomy, the scans, scanxiety, the doctor appointments, the “surveillance”, it’s a cycle that will repeat. I realize it happens to others. I didn’t realize so many others have issues with insomnia my psychiatrist told me it’s a big issue! I average 5-6 hours of straight sleep sometimes less,never more. My PCP told me a drugged sleep isn’t a restful one. I told him he probably doesn’t have full time insomnia! My psychiatrist wants me try more natural ways before we go on to drugs. Well at least I am in good company. Thank you Ginger for your input.😊

Sat, Jan 11 5:43am · Insomnia, depression, anxiety in Depression & Anxiety

So here I am it’s 4 am I have been awake since 3 am I often wake up. I can’t go back to sleep. I can’t text my friends I could be they would ask why I was texting so early. I tried my usual sleepy time tea, Clonazepam, deep breathing etc etc and I still wake up! I remember when I was I in the hospital I would call the nurse and I would have morphine injected into my IV port and that would help me sleep. I can’t have morphine. OxyContin also made me sleepy. Can’t have that anymore I ran out. It would be so nice if I could get 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Maybe someday.

Sun, Jan 5 11:10am · Frequency of scans for RCC under surveillance in Kidney & Bladder

Ginger, the specialist at the Mayo Clinic said 3 months for scans. The oncologist I see in my city told me scans every 4 months because he doesn’t want it “fry” me. I didn’t appreciate his remark, I think it was an attempt at humor. I ask why not scans every 6 months? No one knows when or where the cancer may or may not strike. I will have the scans. I just dread it. The surveillance game is just another difficult aspect of life as a cancer patient. The scans and blood work and appointments with physicians all part of the “package”. It’s getting old quick and I just started. I don’t see a nephrologist. I was told I don’t need one. I have the urologic surgeon, the oncologist, my PCP, my new doctor a psychiatrist, lastly I will keep the RCC oncologist from Mayo as my go to person. I am seriously thinking of moving to the city where this doctor lives. It’s a 2 hour drive from me. Thanks for checking on me Ginger.

Sat, Jan 4 8:53pm · Frequency of scans for RCC under surveillance in Kidney & Bladder

7 months ago I had a right nephrectomy for RCC. I am stage 3 grade 2 no Mets. A RCC oncologist in another city recommended MRI abd/ pelvis and chest CT every 3 months. My oncologist in the city where I live recommends scans every 4 months. I ask why can’t I have scans every 6 months? My tumor was mostly grade 1 with less than 5 % grade 2. I was told my tumor took a long time to form. Wouldn’t Mets take time to form? The body kills off cancer cells why can’t I count on my immune system to kill off Mets? All the oncologists I have seen, there were four of them, tell me I have a higher chance of cancer recurrence because of my tumor size and because the tumor was in the Renal vein and surrounding renal fat. My adrenal gland and lymph nodes were negative. My October 2019 scans were clear no evidence of cancer. My surgeon told me the tumor was all in the lower pole of my kidney and he saw no evidence of Mets. I was told by the oncologist micromets are the issue. I want to do want is best for me without subjecting myself to excessive scans.

Thu, Jan 2 9:17am · Depression and cancer diagnosis in Cancer: Managing Symptoms

Karen it helps me knowing I am not alone as well. I find courage when I am validated by others. Sometimes I need to be with my own kind, those that get it. I went to lunch with an old friend and she was ranting about how upset she was. She couldn’t find a pair of shoes to match her new dress. I listened to hear for a while until it made me nauseous. She can’t find a pair of shoes to match a dress and I will be facing another set of scans and blood work and doctor appointments. Quite a contrast. I don’t blame her for anything. She knows about my diagnosis she just doesn’t get it. People like that I must avoid. I can’t relate to her anymore. When you go through a life changing event in life you are changed forever. I have lost friends because of my cancer but that is ok. I don’t have the patience anymore for some people. I have a circle of friends who understand. I find comfort in them. This site also provides a good measure of validation I don’t always receive. Karen you and I are kindred souls. I wish you the best! I will think of you when I can’t sleep. I am sure there are more of us out there! We are not alone!

Dec 30, 2019 · Depression and cancer diagnosis in Cancer: Managing Symptoms

Today I had a rough day. I am physically well but emotionally not so well. My mood has been low and I kept asking myself why. Then I realized a new year is starting. This will be the first year I will begin as a cancer patient. Seven months ago I underwent a nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma. So much has happened in those seven months. I am not the same person I was before the cancer diagnosis. I don’t feel as sure of myself anymore. I don’t plan for my future too much. I have been living day to day because that seems prudent. I notice certain things trigger the “sense of loss” I feel at times. It’s a difficult thing to be faced with ones mortality. I think for me my cancer journey will be hyphenated by the depression that has set in since my diagnosis. It doesn’t help that I work at a hospital. I actually work at the hospital where I had my surgery. Today a simple appointment reminder set me in a sort of emotional tail spin. I had a reminder for my follow up with the surgeon that performed my nephrectomy. Wow I thought a new year is coming. I have never faced a new year as a cancer patient. It made me feel sad and angry at the same time. I felt a knot in my gut. The worst time for me is late in the evening and early hours when I am alone with my thoughts. We all live with an illusion of immortality. When that “veil” of immortality is removed there lies reality. It’s a hard thing to grasp. I am not use to living with the reality of death in front of me like a black cloud of doom lurking nearby. It is disquieting. I try to remind myself that I am not alone. Right next to me now I feel the warmth of my dog against my leg. That is so comforting. It heals my soul. It’s the little things nowadays that mean so very much. Life is so precious. Don’t waste a minute of it.

Dec 25, 2019 · Re: My Scan Results for followup of Renal Cell Carcinoma in Kidney & Bladder

I finally went to see a psychiatrist regarding my depression and stress and was diagnosed with “anxious depression “. I am not one who likes labels much but I do experience anxiety and since my diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma and subsequent nephrectomy I have become depressed. I am coping much better as of late but the stress of a cancer diagnosis has been difficult. I feel better physically although my energy level isn’t what it once was but I do find emotionally I sometimes become frustrated and depressed since I don’t know what the future holds. Cancer is a scary disease and it is unpredictable. It is a complex disease and my cancer has no “cure”. Recurrence is a possibility. I am living under surveillance which for me means every 4 months for a year I will be scanned. I intend to live my life as fully as possible. I am grateful for this site because I have found good support from people who have been in my place. I have learned that it is good to seek health when you feel overwhelmed. I am taking medication to help with my depression and I am taking the recommendations my psychiatrist gave me. I have issues with sleep but I have a sleep regime. I stay close to my good friends and I engage in social activities because being isolated isn’t good. I am pleased this site is here because I have received good advise and suggestions which has helped me deal with my cancer diagnosis more effectively. I know I am not alone!