Topic: Where did my motivation go?

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: Jul 28, 2020 09:28PM

Posted on: Jul 28, 2020 09:28PM

cyathea wrote:

I’m a pretty resilient person and have mostly taken my diagnosis in stride. Now that I’m just taking Herceptin every three weeks and the “tough stuff” like chemo, surgery and radiation are done, I’m feeling indifferent and unmotivated even when my rational and logical side tells me that the rewards/outcomes will be good for me (e.g. exercise). Has anyone else experienced this emotional slump? How did you motivate yourself to get back to a more normal attitude of being goal driven when previous goals don’t seem very important any more? I wonder whether treatment has changed my brain chemistry such that my Type A personality traits are no longer as dominant as they were before. How long is it going to take me to get out of this slump and start hitting home runs again?

Dx 6/17/2019, DCIS/ILC, Right, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- Targeted Therapy 8/1/2019 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/1/2019 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 10/9/2019 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 10/10/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 3/18/2020 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right) Chemotherapy 4/16/2020 Other Radiation Therapy 6/1/2020 3DCRT: Breast, Lymph nodes Local Metastases 6/1/2020 Radiation therapy: Bone Hormonal Therapy 8/21/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Jan 15, 2022 09:54PM minustwo wrote:

Cyathea - thanks for posting. I'm so glad that things are looking up for you.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Jan 16, 2022 06:08PM nopink2019 wrote:

cyathea - congratulations! I'm sure the persistent exercise & resulting weight loss helped improve your mental health. I'm experiencing little SE from meds and exercising a little more. But can't quite get over the doldrum hurdle. Lots of this is still the raging pandemic. Not much offered here anymore and I'm afraid to expose myself to much anyway. Really miss personal interactions, music venues, etc. Can't even concentrate on the book for book club, but we postponed that to Feb anyway as it's too cold to meet outside and none of us wanted to gather that many inside. Trying to sort thru & dispose of "stuff", but that is DH's least favorite thing to do or even discuss and much of it is his. Guess I'll have a beer and binge on Yellowstone some more.

But you & others keep encouraging us, we need it!

Chemotherapy 8/23/2019 Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 11/13/2019 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy 11/13/2019 Kisqali Hormonal Therapy 5/10/2021 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 5/10/2021 Afinitor (everolimus) Chemotherapy 11/28/2021 Other Chemotherapy 6/1/2022 translation missing: en.treatments.chemotherapy.chemotherapy_regimen.options.short_drugs.microtubules_inhibitor.halaven Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxotere)
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Jan 16, 2022 06:18PM - edited Jan 16, 2022 06:19PM by star2017

glad to see this post and your update, cyathea. I've been feeling much the same way since my stage 4 diagnosis, and particularly in the last few weeks, upon discovery of a new lesion (and resulting new meds).

I think I'm actually in some sort of state of shock, just kind of living and taking things in. I'm hoping this will pass, but it's very hard to focus or take initiative these days.

CURRENT: Stage IV since 2020, bone mets to rt hip, sacrum, femur, all treated with radiation. Taking Lynparza daily. Dx 9/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 4/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/17/2017 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Chemotherapy 11/29/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 4/18/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy; Prophylactic mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 5/21/2018 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 10/24/2018 Reconstruction (Left): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx 5/2021, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy Verzenio Radiation Therapy External Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant) Local Metastases Radiation therapy: Bone
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Jan 16, 2022 09:13PM cyathea wrote:

nopink2019, I have done my share of Netflix and then some. I can also relate to the need to sort and get rid of things. So far, that is still on my to- do list. (My DH is better at this than I am.) I’m impressed that you have been doing some exercising with your treatments. Way to go! My SEs were not nearly as bad as I thought they would be, but I think the meds can still have a negative effect on our mood and motivation.

star2017, the Stage IV “early days” are a shock, and the new lesion and meds are as well. I think we all wobble a bit when that news hits us and then we find our footing again

I’ll be thinking of you both and hoping that time will do its healing. ((Hugs))

Dx 6/17/2019, DCIS/ILC, Right, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- Targeted Therapy 8/1/2019 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/1/2019 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 10/9/2019 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 10/10/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 3/18/2020 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right) Chemotherapy 4/16/2020 Other Radiation Therapy 6/1/2020 3DCRT: Breast, Lymph nodes Local Metastases 6/1/2020 Radiation therapy: Bone Hormonal Therapy 8/21/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Jan 20, 2022 07:03PM gradystubs2022 wrote:

I can completely relate; I have no motivation and can't seem to force myself to do anything. I've had chemical depression since I was around 28 (I'm 62) but the side effects of the AI's are making sleep even more difficult. I feel just flat and dulled. I'm working with a new psychiatrist that is thru the breast cancer institute hoping he'll be able to change some of the antidepressants to better work. I hope that your mental health improves as time goes by and your body adjusts. Reach out for help if it doesn't because others may think its a "just let yourself enjoy the inactivity" but it doesn't feel good. You're not alone.

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Jan 20, 2022 07:34PM cyathea wrote:

GradyStubs2022, you have my RESPECT. To have managed depression from a chemical imbalance for that long is surely a tale of great endurance and resilience. Our bodies and brains are wonderfully complex, and there is so much we don’t yet understand about how chemicals in our brains affect our emotions, mood, and motivation. These chemicals are not something that can be controlled solely with psychological tactics (though a good psychologist can sometimes help). I’m so glad you are getting help from a specialized psychiatrist. I hope there is a better medication for you

I also struggle with getting good sleep due to hot flashes caused by Tamoxifen. Ugh! Have you tried a different AI? My mother started on one and had severe sleep issues. Her doctor switched her to another AI, and this has been better even though her sleep still isn’t ideal.

Dx 6/17/2019, DCIS/ILC, Right, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- Targeted Therapy 8/1/2019 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/1/2019 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 10/9/2019 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 10/10/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 3/18/2020 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right) Chemotherapy 4/16/2020 Other Radiation Therapy 6/1/2020 3DCRT: Breast, Lymph nodes Local Metastases 6/1/2020 Radiation therapy: Bone Hormonal Therapy 8/21/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Feb 15, 2022 04:48PM homemom wrote:

I was practically a 24/7 sales superstar when I was diagnosed. I worked through treatments and when I was done with rads I was able to stop and really look at what was going on. I re evaluated my life, not wanting to spend all my time working, but I also miss the financial part of it. My husband decided to retire early, when he really didn't deserve to ( no 401K savings and did I mention it's early?). So I'm still trying to do things on my own where I can have more of a life / family balance, but the money isn't there. So I'm sending out resumes to corporations to possibly jump back in. Hopefully a different company than the slave driver company I was in will be better. I'm finding myself constantly trying to find that balance, so I have higher blood pressure (never had that even through diagnosis) and sometimes anxiety. Money with work stress,, or drastically less money and more flexibility? My work week before always included weekends, now not so much.


I sometimes think I overreacted quitting the golden goose thinking I would die earlier because the stress would do me in even though i could handle it before cancer. Anyone else make a drastic change in their life because of diagnosis and then regretted it?

Dx 3/31/2014, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 3/29 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/15/2014 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left) Surgery 5/6/2014 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander Chemotherapy 5/30/2014 AC Chemotherapy 7/25/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 10/16/2014 Hormonal Therapy 12/15/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 15, 2022 09:28PM cyathea wrote:

Hi HomeMom, I didn’t make any drastic changes with my diagnosis, but I can relate to your struggle. My husband had to retire earlier than he wanted due to health issues. While we don’t have financial problems because we both have planned for retirement, I feel pressure to keep working at a high level to keep my health insurance and pay our bills.

The money versus QOL and time is different for everyone. Do what makes you happy.

For me, I’ve decided not to try to change jobs for more money even though the job market for my skills is hot right now. I’m giving up money for sure, but my stress level is much lower where I am now. I don’t work as many hours as I did before. Since I work from home most days, I have flexibility to work some on the weekends in order to reduce stress during the week. I love my work, so I don’t consider this burdensome. If I had children, things would be different, but I do try to reign in my work so as not to neglect my marriage. As I get older, having a partner to share life’s burdens becomes more precious.

Dx 6/17/2019, DCIS/ILC, Right, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- Targeted Therapy 8/1/2019 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/1/2019 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 10/9/2019 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 10/10/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 3/18/2020 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right) Chemotherapy 4/16/2020 Other Radiation Therapy 6/1/2020 3DCRT: Breast, Lymph nodes Local Metastases 6/1/2020 Radiation therapy: Bone Hormonal Therapy 8/21/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)

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