Topic: What are your PTSD symptoms?

Forum: Mental Health: Because Cancer Doesn't Just Affect Your Breasts — Meet and support others who are affected by these issues around anxiety, depression, and other emotional effects.

Posted on: Jul 24, 2009 09:44PM - edited Jul 25, 2009 05:12AM by leaf

Posted on: Jul 24, 2009 09:44PM - edited Jul 25, 2009 05:12AM by leaf

leaf wrote:

 What are your PTSD symptoms? 

When I'm having a bad attack, my symptoms include: I cringe, bend (a partial attempt to roll into a ball) and hold my breath.

Are these common symptoms? 

Classic LCIS.If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them- Isaac Asimov Dx 12/8/2005, LCIS, ER+/PR- Surgery 1/24/2006 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 7/15/2006 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 26, 2009 05:18AM nativemainer wrote:

Eastender--you are not alone.  I felt that way all through rads and for a good year after, and still do from time to time.  The people in our lives who have never had bc don't understand that it's not like taking out an appendix--an appendix doesn't send out cells to lurk in our bodies and maybe show up again. Next time hubby says "cancer-free" remind him that bc is NEVER considered cured, only in remission.  When you go in for rads ask to speak to a social worker--every cancer center has to have specially trained social workers available to help with this kind of thing, but you have to ask for the help, it won't be automatically offered--even if you run out of the room crying and shaking in a panic attack like I did.  How long have you been on the antidepressant?  It can take up to 8 weeks for the effects to be felt.  This is a very hard time, I know how you feel, and so do many others here.  You are not alone.  {{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}

"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival." Audre Lorde Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/14/2007 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Right) Surgery 3/28/2007 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy 4/9/2007 Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/4/2007 Hormonal Therapy 4/24/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/14/2008 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left) Surgery 6/20/2010 Prophylactic mastectomy; Prophylactic mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (Right): DIEP flap
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Oct 26, 2009 09:20AM eastender wrote:

NativeMain-

Thank you for your post.  You are right this time is extremely hard.  Yesterday I could not even talk without crying, I spent the day on the couch!!  When I went for the initial appointment for the rads (when they mark you up like a dart board!) I did reach out and ask for help, hopefully they will give me a name today and then move forward.  The meds are wellbutrin and pristique - I have always suffered with depression - but this is worse than postpartum - nothing seems to be holding me in one place - if you get my meaning.  My doctor increased all my doses but it does not seem to do anything -- patience I say which is not my middle name...lol  I am expected to get up in the morning and life is back to normal, I wish it was but this miserable disease will always be in our lives, even if you are in remission.  We all need to write a book on "what to expect emotionally...after the DX"  Thank you for connecting with me.  I will let you know how the appointment goes.

This is a very special club and not everyone is allowed to join...Lumpectomy June 09; Chemo July-Sept 09; Revision of margins October 09; Rads October 09 Dx 4/29/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 26, 2009 03:42PM nativemainer wrote:

eastender--I too, had depression before bc  During the course of surgery and rads I was struggling dispite being on medication that had me well controlled before.  I was fortunate--my PCP recognized what was going on and doubled my dose.  No messing around with incremental increases.  It took a month, but it made a big difference.  I, too, spent days where I would cry if somebody looked at me, or if somebody didn't look at me, or if I thought somebody was going to look at me. . . . Every once in a while (on days when I have multiple medical appointments) I still get that way.  And wouldn't I just love to get up tomorrow morning and have my life back to normal.  I haven't found anything resembling a "new normal" yet, begiinning to think that "normal" is nothing I will ever have again, but it has gotten easier to live with, and I am getting more and more of my pre-bc life back.  Maybe when recon is done it there will be more "normal" in my life.  Like you I am not blessed with a large store of patience.  Sometimes I wonder if bc is how God decided to teach me patience!  Hang in there, let us know how you are doing! 

"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival." Audre Lorde Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/14/2007 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Right) Surgery 3/28/2007 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy 4/9/2007 Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/4/2007 Hormonal Therapy 4/24/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/14/2008 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left) Surgery 6/20/2010 Prophylactic mastectomy; Prophylactic mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (Right): DIEP flap
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Oct 27, 2009 08:44AM eastender wrote:

Good Morning NativeMainer,

I had first rads yesterday, one down 32 to go!  It is so interesting sometimes - when you tell people that you are in remission, the natural response is well you are over the worst of it now - the rest should easy!  AH....you just sit there and say yeah...thinking to yourself you have absolutely noooo idea what being dx with cancer is like - from the first day of dx and for the rest of your life you will always be in submission and at some stage your are a survivor.  When are you a survivor?  I get so angry and frustrated with all of this.  At the moment I am not working, still on sick leave.  I am enjoying my time running around doing household errands and having dinner ready for the family, it will be tough for me to go back on Friday.  Enjoy your day and keep smiling. -- Eastender

This is a very special club and not everyone is allowed to join...Lumpectomy June 09; Chemo July-Sept 09; Revision of margins October 09; Rads October 09 Dx 4/29/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 27, 2009 07:38PM nativemainer wrote:

eastender--good luck with rads--sounds like your are off to a good start!  It's true that no one really understands what it's like to be diagnosed with cancer.  I still don't think of myself as a survivor--a survivor is someone who has been through something and come out the other side.  I'm never going to get out the other side of this--it's always going to be with me.  And that makes me really, really mad sometimes, and really, really sad sometimes.  All part of the package, I guess.  Good luck going back to work, I'm sure you'll feel better when you get back to a more familiar routine.  I couldn't work during rads and got really isolated and depressed--it will be so much better for you being able to work at the same time.  Good for you!

"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival." Audre Lorde Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/14/2007 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Right) Surgery 3/28/2007 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy 4/9/2007 Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/4/2007 Hormonal Therapy 4/24/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/14/2008 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left) Surgery 6/20/2010 Prophylactic mastectomy; Prophylactic mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (Right): DIEP flap
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Nov 7, 2009 09:34AM eastender wrote:

NativeMainer - I have just completed the 2nd weeks of rads and the fatigue is really whipping me - especially working full time too!  I depression is handled with care and drugs!  I try and watch comedy shows.  Monday and Tuesday the fatigue is OK Wednesday thru Friday I am absolute toast!  Four weeks to go!  I hope you are doing well, let me know how you are doing!

This is a very special club and not everyone is allowed to join...Lumpectomy June 09; Chemo July-Sept 09; Revision of margins October 09; Rads October 09 Dx 4/29/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 7, 2009 09:53AM REKoz wrote:

I am on effexor and that helps keep me from sinking below ground even though it was perscribed for hot flashes (works wonderfully for that as well.)

My largest issue as far as PTSD is that I have yet to find the person that I was. Some of that person will NEVER come back. I will never again be as "carefree" as I once was. I also just can't seem to get back into some of the things that I used to love. I no longer feel joy in the same way...if in fact I feel joy at all. I do try to keep my mind on gratitude as things could be worse but that does not necessarily make me a happy, joyful person. Right now, I just feel like I am existing and trying to finally finish up this recon process. I have learned to not allow my expectations to get too high in any regard. Especially as far as bc. My exchange is next month (after a year) and I surely hope that once that is completed, I may be able to move on in a more satisfactory way.I know that it will never be completely over unless I get something else that could kill me! There defintely needs to be more attention paid to the after effects of all this! Especially for us early stagers who many consider "all better" once treatment is over!

BMX 11/08, Abraxane/Carbo/x4 1/09 Herceptin until 1/10, Recon w expanders-1st exchange Dec. 09. Revision from 700 Style 20 to 600 Style 45-Oct 10 Dx 10/16/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Nov 7, 2009 10:13AM eastender wrote:

REKoz...

From sinking...I know the feeling!  There are days that I fight the "dark clouds" that hang over me!  I am two weeks into rads and am feeling pretty low.  (I have worked full-time thru all of this!) I have started counseling and am feeling good about my decision.  I am learning that my perspective are changing or have changed to the relationship that you might be or not be in, how you look at other people.  It does not matter whether the cancer is small or large, we all hear the words "You have Breast Cancer" and the world just stops, and you walk around in a daze for days after that!  The same for "getting the old you back" we all have to find a new person.  I have been told that we have to find a new normal, and that to tell you is the hard part for me!  I want to wake up and feel the new normal - we are too hard on ourselves - we have to be patient and do what makes us feel good.  There is a new normal out there.  We will never get over bc, it will always be on the back burner and we have to find a way to deal with that too!  Let me know how you are doing....

This is a very special club and not everyone is allowed to join...Lumpectomy June 09; Chemo July-Sept 09; Revision of margins October 09; Rads October 09 Dx 4/29/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 25, 2021 04:27AM scar1888 wrote:

Eastender,

I just read your post from years ago and wondered how you're doing. I hope well! I'm a stage 3 survivor of 23

years but, as nutty as it sounds, on days that I'm SEVERELY fatigued, I still spiral downward. Let me hear from you!

Linda

Dx 10/23/1997, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 4/22 nodes, ER+ Surgery 11/24/1997 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left); Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left) Chemotherapy 12/5/1997 CAF Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy

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