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Topic: Podcast: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After a Cancer Diagnosis

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: May 14, 2019 02:02PM

Moderators wrote:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After a Cancer Diagnosis

December 19, 2018

Grosklags kelly

For nearly 25 years, Kelly Grosklags has dedicated her practice to minimizing suffering through her work in oncology, palliative care and hospice. An experienced therapist, Kelly is a licensed clinical social worker and a board-certified diplomat in clinical social work. She also earned a fellowship in grief counseling from the American Academy of Health Care Professionals and is the author of A Comforted Heart: An Oncology Psychotherapist Perspective on Finding Meaning and Hope During Illness and Loss. Kelly speaks frequently about end-of-life issues, including care, grief and loss, both in person and on her website, Conversations With Kelly. Her passionate and supportive demeanor helps patients, caregivers and health professionals connect with the wisdom of making life more meaningful, coping with depression and anxiety, transforming fear into hope, healing versus curing, and the wisdom of dying a good death.

Listen to the podcast to hear Kelly talk about:

  • what PTSD is, what causes it, and some of the most common symptoms of PTSD in people diagnosed with cancer
  • why people who've experienced trauma in the past may want to be proactive and schedule an appointment with a mental health professional or spiritual guide shortly after being diagnosed
  • when PTSD can happen
  • how PTSD is treated
  • three things people diagnosed with breast cancer should know about PTSD

For more information on PTSD in people diagnosed with cancer, you can read a piece Kelly wrote for the journal Oncology Issues.

Running time: 38:18

Listen now or read the transcript.

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Posts 1 - 18 (18 total)

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Mar 24, 2021 07:51PM Phoenixrose8 wrote:

I have read this transcript and it was simply amazing. I have developed PTSD type symptoms during cancer treatment and on top of other mental health issues. I have a psychiatrist to handle my physical symptoms but I'm finding it hard to find a therapist that I can afford that deals specifically with cancer in general. I wish I had an oncology psychiatrist earlier on. I stopped going to my regular therapy sessions after my diagnosis because they specialized in OCD and anxiety. How can I be a part of helping to bridge mental health and physical health for cancer patients?

Dx IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Mar 25, 2021 08:03AM Annabelle2 wrote:

I wish I had seen this 2 years ago. Phoenix I sent you a PM.

Dx 2/9/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/9/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 7/18/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/15/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 1/22/2019
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Mar 25, 2021 12:39PM Phoenixrose8 wrote:

Thank you Anabelle2!

Thank you for your PM! I haven't chatted through PM in so long! Also, let me know your thoughts on the article and we can discuss!

I hope more people find this article helpful as well!


Dx IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Mar 30, 2021 08:28PM Phoenixrose8 wrote:

Please read if you are struggling with PTSD. Hug

Dx IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Mar 31, 2021 12:56PM - edited Mar 31, 2021 12:56PM by Phoenixrose8

bump

Dx IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 3, 2021 03:16PM Phoenixrose8 wrote:

Let’s start a quotes game!

State a quote that inspires you. My first quote is from Albert Einstein:

Space-time tells matter how to move; matter tells space-time how to curve.”
Dx IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 3, 2021 10:34PM Phoenixrose8 wrote:

“Spread Gratitude.”

Dx IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 6, 2021 08:51PM Phoenixrose8 wrote:

I'm going to drop the quotations and just turn this into a log of interesting thoughts I get as bumps for this topic :

What is one of the things you learned during the experience of being a cancer patient?

I say “The difference between courage and bravery" .

Dx IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 7, 2021 05:14PM Phoenixrose8 wrote:

Take a step back and look again. Perspective.

Dx IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 9, 2021 06:30PM Phoenixrose8 wrote:

"Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world."
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Dx IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 14, 2021 01:35AM Phoenixrose8 wrote:

How do you tell a friend you haven't spoken to in years that you are a breast cancer patient?

Dx IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 14, 2021 09:20AM Betrayal wrote:

I would not tell them. If I did not need to tell them initially, then the passage of time would not change that decision. Especially if I hadn't talked to them in years since this doesn't appear to be a close relationship at all.

What did I learn from this experience? Not all doctor's are trustworthy, truthful and that I had to be my own advocate more than I expected. Perhaps I expected too much from those I trusted with my treatment so shame on me for thinking they had my interests at heart. As a member of the healthcare profession, I am saddened by their actions and lack of empathy.

Surgery 1/31/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 1/31/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 3/3/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 3/30/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/24/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 5/18/2017 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 6/15/2020 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Apr 14, 2021 12:52PM - edited Apr 14, 2021 12:54PM by Phoenixrose8

Hello Betrayal. Thank you for your advice. I'm so sorry that you had to go through that. You are absolutely right. I too have been duped by people who I thought cared about me but cancer really does weed out the “friends" out of your life. I have other friends who just plain abandoned me. One of them doesn't even know I'm dead or alive. Both people said, literally, that cancer and the tests I take are “fascinating". Yeah.

I just got off the phone with my Oncologist today for a follow up and she said stress plays a roll in getting cancer. I think we all know that. What I wish is for every cancer patient to have a psychiatrist on hand to deal with PTSD, which I now have. I have my first PTSD appointment today so we will see how it goes!

Hugs!

Dx IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 15, 2021 11:38PM Phoenixrose8 wrote:

safe.

Dx IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 18, 2021 08:05PM Phoenixrose8 wrote:

I had my first session for PTSD. My therapist has several years specializing in anxiety and PTSD. My therapist looked literally shocked and pained to hear my story and was silent throughout the whole video chat........then suggested a referral to someone else.

Many years ago I had a doctor tell me, to my face, that I don't have any anxiety at all.

This needs to stop. Mental health is just as important as physical health.

THIS NEEDS TO STOP.

There are too many suffering. Especially now. There needs to be an overhaul in quality mental health care that doesn't cost a small fortune. I was fortunate to find my previous therapists, but it took too long to find them. I have been seeing them for more than a decade for my other issues. Unfortunately PTSD is not in their wheelhouse. I decided to find my own, because, I mean, weare ALL experiencing some form of it. And then I get passed to someone else like a hot potato.

I understand, and sincerely emphasize with therapists. I can't imagine the burdens they carry. They are some of the strongest people I've met, but still, please.......something needs to be done. I felt like I took a step back.

Dx IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 19, 2021 12:03PM Phoenixrose8 wrote:

https://www.sciencealert.com/results-from-the-world-s-largest-ever-wellbeing-study-are-in-here-s-what-we-know

Dx IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 26, 2021 04:38PM Phoenixrose8 wrote:

Make your own 'stairs', step by step.

Dx IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 17, 2021 07:47PM Phoenixrose8 wrote:

bump.

Dx IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)

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