Topic: Just Need to Vent

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

Posted on: Apr 27, 2019 11:40AM - edited Apr 27, 2019 11:49AM by bookworm14

Posted on: Apr 27, 2019 11:40AM - edited Apr 27, 2019 11:49AM by bookworm14

bookworm14 wrote:

Sorry if it sounds like I am whining, but I really just need to vent and if the post rambles on I am sorry about that as well (chemo brain is not fun)

I guess I really just need to vent to someone, anyone really. I am just so tire of pretending like everything is okay and my life does not feel as though it is imploding. I will say I am truly fed up of people asking if I am okay and before I even answer start telling me I will be okay....I mean let me actually answer you before YOU start telling ME how I am! I hope that I am okay and I pray every day that the stuff I am going through will work and destroy the cancer. But you know it is all a crap shoot, we can only hope and pray that we have done all we can to stop it, but there is always that chance that it did not work.

I do feel lucky that I have not had as bad of side effects from treatment so far compared to so many others in this community, so I do not want to offend anyone with this post. I also know that this could be much worse...and I worry about that as well.Scared I guess my anxiety is just going through the roof right now. New aches and pains showing up that just seem to add that much more worry about did it spread or is it just a normal side effect? The doctor does not seem to be worried and says it is just a side effect of treatment....trying to believe him.

It is not just the cancer, the fatigue, and side effects of treatment. I have a business that is greatly declining and we could potentially lose our only means of income and health insurance. So now I have to worry what is going to happen if we have to close the doors for money and how I would be able to continue my treatment. Not to mention the sense of failure of that happening. My husband and I are constantly fighting because of all the stress of the cancer, the business, and then he is still grieving from his father passing away from liver cancer. Just crappy!

All this stress is just really getting to me and bringing me down. I have not really cried very much since the cancer diagnosis was confirmed back in August 2018, but it seems as every little thing sets me off now. I work really hard at not crying in front of my husband or letting my son see me cry so sometimes it just comes out while I am driving or when I am trying to go to sleep at night. I am working really hard not to let this get to me. I tell myself to keep fighting that God would not put more on me than I can handle, but I just do not know how much more I can handle.

Once again sorry for the whining, but I needed to get that out!

Diagnosed @35, BRCA2 + Dx 8/7/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/14/2018 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Dx 10/25/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/26/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 5/21/2019 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Apr 28, 2019 10:33AM salamandra wrote:

Hey Bookworm,

I'm so sorry. I'm glad you came and vented. This illness has a huge mental/emotional component that I think is NOT adequately supported by many medical practitioners.

Do you have access to any mental healthcare support, maybe through the cancer center? If you are open to seeing a psychiatrist, there are some meds that make a huge difference with anxiety. A therapist for a weekly check in and emotional support and tools could be really helpful too. This kind of healthcare is just as important as physical health care.

I think it should be ok to cry in front of your husband. What is family for if not people you can be weak and vulnerable with? He might need instructions from you on how to respond when you're crying, if he's not so strong on his emotional/social skills, but he should want to be supportive.

Sending good vibes!

Dx at 39. 1.8cm. Oncotype 9. Dx 9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/17/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal Hormonal Therapy 11/1/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 12/3/2018 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2019 Fareston (toremifene)
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Apr 28, 2019 01:27PM hapa wrote:

OMG Bookworm, you're only 35?!?!?? This is a soooo much to deal with. I agree with Salamandra that it's okay to let things get to you sometimes. I know everyone says you need to stay positive, but it's okay to feel down and cry sometimes. I think you need to let yourself have those moments. And I know you need to keep your head together to run your business and your life, but maybe just set aside some time every day and allow yourself to get upset and worry and cry.

Dx 3/20/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, 3/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/28/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/22/2018 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Right): Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Right); Prophylactic mastectomy; Prophylactic mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction (Left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (Right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/22/2018 Whole breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/21/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Nerlynx
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Apr 28, 2019 02:43PM bookworm14 wrote:

Salamandra,

Thanks for posting. I was on anxiety meds before the cancer diagnosis. However, when added with the chemo it makes it harder for me to focus at work so I discontinued the meds until chemo is over. My insurance will cover weekly visits with the therapists, but right now is just about finding time. I work about 40-50 hours a week, then chemo, then fitting in lymphedema appts, blood work, and my family. I hope that just by posting this may help me work through it. I do think that too many people do not place enough significance on how mentally exhausting this all can be. My husband, while awesome, does not handle emotions very well. He will try to comfort, but you can tell that he is upset. I hope that you are doing well. How are you handling the Tamoxifen

Diagnosed @35, BRCA2 + Dx 8/7/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/14/2018 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Dx 10/25/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/26/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 5/21/2019 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Apr 28, 2019 02:51PM bookworm14 wrote:

hapa,

Thanks for stopping by on my venting post. Yep 35,but now 36 (hopefully many more to come). Really unexpected since there is absolutely no history of breast cancer in the family. Staying positive in the beginning seems pretty easy, but now there are some days that I feel pretty down in the dumps. Those days just keep getting more and more common. One would think that most of the crying would be at the beginning, but I really did not. Maybe I am making up for lost time or it is just everything going on at once. All I know is that I am just tired of it all right now. My car is probably the place I cry the most just to get it out before I get home.

My next stop is radiation....how did that go for you?

Diagnosed @35, BRCA2 + Dx 8/7/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/14/2018 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Dx 10/25/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/26/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 5/21/2019 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Apr 28, 2019 04:27PM hapa wrote:

Well, the good news is that my depression peaked before radiation (after BMX, before rads. I had neoadjuvant chemo) and I had no treatment related anxiety during rads. The bad news is that I am still dealing with the side effects in terms of tightness in my pec and axilla, and I have developed some capsular contracture. Rads itself made me really tired. I am surprised that you're getting comprehensive rads with only 1 node effected and a 2cm tumor. I had multiple tumors throughout my breast, two of which were RIGHT behind my nipple, and I had nipple sparing BMX. Plus, I had three nodes affected, and that was AFTER chemo, and I still had residual tumor in my breast. I almost refused rads. Still not sure it was the right thing to do, but what's done is done so I try not to think about it.

This stuff is so hard.

Dx 3/20/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, 3/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/28/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/22/2018 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Right): Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Right); Prophylactic mastectomy; Prophylactic mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction (Left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (Right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/22/2018 Whole breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/21/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Nerlynx
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Apr 28, 2019 04:51PM moth wrote:

holy cow, you're like a superwoman Bookworm! I seriously cannot imagine working through chemo and worrying about paying for health care and having a young child. I was barely capable of watching netflix and keeping the couch warm for 7 months last year while I did chemo. (I'd been a student when I was diagnosed & took the next 2 semesters off. I'm in Canada so healthcare is paid for). Rads burned but were otherwise tolerable. I had cording afterwards but it dissipated a couple months later.

I think at the beginning emotions can be easier to handle because there's stuff to do and you just go into a 'get it done' mode. But after a while reality starts to creep into the mind and you also just become exhausted with holding it together... I would suggest you try hard to make the time to see a counsellor. As much as I know it seems like a time investment, it's possible that this will invigorate you and help you focus better at work and sleep and that will end up saving you time and making you feel better.

But also just take the time to really be proud and amazed of yourself. You've been through & accomplished an awful lot since last July. This isn't minor, it isn't like getting over a broken leg...this is major, life changing stuff and you will all be forever changed by it.

I take weekends off

Initial dx at 50. Seriously?? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." blog: Never Tell Me the Odds

Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/18/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/25/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/9/2020 External Hormonal Therapy 12/15/2020 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 3/3/2021 External Local Metastases 3/3/2021 Radiation therapy: Bone Targeted Therapy 1/1/2022 Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy)
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Apr 28, 2019 05:39PM - edited Apr 28, 2019 08:58PM by bookworm14

hapa,

Did they put you in therapy at all for the tightness? I had heard that radiation would make someone very tired. I hope that you are able to get the tightness handled. The capsular contraction has to do with the implants correct? What can be done with that?

They decided to go all out on treatment due to my age, BRCA 2+ and due to some areas in my sternum that lit up in the PET CT scan. Also, all the scans and tests they did were wrong on how big the tumor was and that there was lymph node involvement. The IDC ended up being over 2cm and then 4mm of DCIS that we never knew was there, and then 10mm of macro metastasis in the lymph node. I guess they decided to throw everything at it. The first thing that was mentioned at diagnosis was surgery first, then other treatments depending on final biopsy. . I do not know why they decided to go that way other than at first it looked to be no more than a Stage I with a 4mm tumor and ended worse Maybe to cover all the bases?

Completely agree...this stuff is tough, but here is to hoping for that light at the end of the tunnel for all of us.

Diagnosed @35, BRCA2 + Dx 8/7/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/14/2018 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Dx 10/25/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/26/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 5/21/2019 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Apr 28, 2019 08:54PM bookworm14 wrote:

moth,

I think anyone going through cancer has a bit of a superhero in them. How else could we continue to get knocked down by the treatments and then get back up for the next. 😁 sorry to hear that you had to postpone classes...I’m sure it take a bit to get back in the grove of things once you are out for a bit. Best of wishes moving forward on that when you are ready or if you are already working on it. Ah cording.....I had that after my surgery. It was pretty painful, but as you said it does eventually resolve. That statement you made about reality setting in is pretty accurate. I hope you are doing well after your treatments.

Diagnosed @35, BRCA2 + Dx 8/7/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/14/2018 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Dx 10/25/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/26/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 5/21/2019 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Apr 28, 2019 08:55PM bookworm14 wrote:

For everyone posting...thank you! Being able to get this out has really made me breathe a little easier. I hope that you all will vent when you need to. Have a great night and a great tomorrow!!

Diagnosed @35, BRCA2 + Dx 8/7/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/14/2018 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Dx 10/25/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/26/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 5/21/2019 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Apr 29, 2019 04:40AM salamandra wrote:

Hey Bookworm,

Come vent any time! If not here, then where!!

I've had some really annoying side effects with tamoxifen, the main one being terrible fatigue. I had blamed radiation but I started tamoxifen at the same time and now I'm wondering if it was the tamoxifen all along. But I'm trying different brands and hoping for the best. There have been so many times though I've wished I were independently wealthy and could just ditch my job. Working through treatment is no joke. I wish none of us *had* to do to it, and it makes me so angry how health insurance is tied to employment. UGH :(

Dx at 39. 1.8cm. Oncotype 9. Dx 9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/17/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal Hormonal Therapy 11/1/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 12/3/2018 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2019 Fareston (toremifene)

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