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Topic: Pre-existing mental illness now w/cancer

Forum: Breast Cancer with Another Diagnosis or Comorbidity — Meet others who have breast cancer but also have another health diagnosis/comorbidity such as diabetes, MS, bipolar disorder, HIV or AIDS, Parkinson's Disorder, schizophrenia, etc.

Posted on: Sep 10, 2010 02:47PM

bellapazza wrote:

I did not read through the endless pages here, I'm sorry.  But new.  I see there is a forum and I've favorited it re: anxiety, depression, PTSD as a result of cancer, but I have had severe anxiety and depression my whole life, and now breast cancer -- I am 51.  I also have a limited support system and a very poor marriage.  My family was seriously dysfunctional and abusive.  No one left either ... which in a sense is good.  I'm an only child as well.

I don't know how to deal with this.  I have a therapist, am on psychiatric meds.  I'm awaiting an Oncotype Dx which if low would spare me that horror, but I've also been told I will need 5 years of Tamoxifen.  Apparently the side effects of that are anxiety and depression which I have anyway!

I am on three psych meds which apparently don't need to be changed, but I cannot function without them.

Is there another forum that deals with this specifically?  I will continue to post in the other forum.  I am also considering a Blog to add to a website I have about my experience with mental illness.

Thank you all strong women out there!

What a journey we all must take!

Tamoxifen 9/26/10, Oncotype 10 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Posts 31 - 35 (35 total)

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Jan 23, 2018 09:12AM Faithonfire wrote:

an interesting follow up to that story...

My oncologist really is a good doctor in most aspects and very good at clinical results but totally lacking ANY empathy for the pain caused directly by treatments! The opoid crisis being declared a doctor's responsibility to avoid spooked many good doctors into promoting patient cruelty by shaming thinking reprimand from the government for treating it at ALL was worse than spiking mortality rates for the opposite reason!! It's an industry standard attitude that is harmful to condone in ANY healthcare environment!

So anyway, her husband is a great plastic surgeon and just started doing cancer reconstructions recently. I go see this clown, and he shows me his horror show of past work Frankenstein scars photos and wanted to do 2 back flap reconstructs after leaving me flat for a YEAR first!! It was because I was a smoker and radiation treatments would completely destroy my skin and implants if I didn't bow before this jerk and beg him to mutilate me too! My LIFE was more important than my vanity wanting to keep my breasts!! I was SHOCKED but not surprised he took it that far after I kept insisting my options were SO much better than the third rate salvage option he knows how to do and would NOT admit he wasn't QUALIFIED to do the procedures I just completed with a very well trained and innovative female surgeon!! She is one of the leaders in pioneering procedures like mine in the country and she is teaching others as fast as she learns this way so it is a real honor to be a part of! She saved me and can't wait to help change the way things are done!

Now guess who gets to stand before the state medical ethics review board too!! My doctor gets to tattle on the rude jerk! Nice reputation before too but I'm the WRONG woman to bully on what's worth surviving! I told him to go slam his genitals in a car door then wait a YEAR before replacing it with shabby needlepoint! He winced and I smiled as I walked away!

Some doctors are no better than used car salesman with their limited options for treatments and NO care what happens years later with scars or pain as long as they profit as much as possible! Now that it is being seen as a potential crime to DENY pain it is changing the industry standard that's been decades overdue. It's all about standing up for what you believe in and making reality better with the changes made for all involved

Dx 6/25/2017, IDC, Both breasts, Stage IIIC, ER+, HER2- Chemotherapy 7/13/2017 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Doxil (doxorubicin), Methotrexate (Amethopterin, Mexate, Folex), Taxol (paclitaxel), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 9/1/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/8/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Tissue expander placement Surgery 1/8/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Jan 27, 2018 05:17PM Faithonfire wrote:

hi everyone!

sorry it took me so long to get back on but I have been so relieved I have slept almost the whole time since I got home from a very painful but good day of doctor visits! I started with getting my drains out and ability to shower back with my grafts but no more baths until after second surgery. I got my final reports on pathology and I was as close to total response as possible but wound up over 2/3 totality as my 5.5cm armpit tumor shrunk down to 8mm! The other 3 sentinel lymph nodes removed showed total clear in all 10 segments

I am still pouring over my own data to apply for a few studies and wrap my head around it all but I couldn’t be happier with the results! I am exhausted but happy my pain meds got increase needed to heal myself faster. The skin has shed for the first time on grafts and it is attaching so well I am excited to have the opportunity to feel like myself again one day!

I am happy with my scars and placement it is healing very well now so I can finally relax for a while.

Didn’t mean to take that long to get back on boards but it’s been quite a blur after that whole surgery and family drama that has led to my husband STILL not responding to me since surgery night!

I’m just getting used to my new shape and we can pick final size without any need to fill me first because I have plenty of room and didn’t loose as much skin as I guessed they would take! I will be a heavy c to d depends on what fits better to fill me back in so I will be very excited to go to Victoria’s Secret and get fitted again but I’m a light c now under filled to ease tension on scars straight across as they kick out glue and heal drain spots that are very painful!

I’ll post my full stats Oncotype and risks and all after I pry it away from mom who has been glued to phone with my sister getting her testing ready too so we will have more data! I hope she comes up clean and only I had to get it!

I’m going to rest up more and feel fantastic as my hair is coming back in super soft and eyelashes are back too yay it’s like they sprouted overnight

Dx 6/25/2017, IDC, Both breasts, Stage IIIC, ER+, HER2- Chemotherapy 7/13/2017 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Doxil (doxorubicin), Methotrexate (Amethopterin, Mexate, Folex), Taxol (paclitaxel), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 9/1/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/8/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Tissue expander placement Surgery 1/8/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Jan 28, 2018 12:55AM jo6359 wrote:

Faith- hope you are able to find a medication combo which will stabilize you mentally and physically. Pain management can be frustrating. Due to strict guidelines on presciption painkillers , most doctors are reluctant to prescribe pain pills even when there is a legitimate reason. Best of luck to you with your healing. Having cancer and mental illness makes your journey more challenging. Hopefully, one day you will have an opportunity to

resume your relationship with your children. Best of luck to you and may you find peace.


Dx 1/29/2018, DCIS, Right, Stage 0 Dx 1/29/2018, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 2/15/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 2/15/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/15/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jan 28, 2018 03:20AM Faithonfire wrote:

Thanks FI,

I am doing pretty well with the meds now that we got it back to reasonable levels for post surgery and a nice step down program ready for me as I heal. I was fortunate to have palliative care office override any doctor treating me with my cancer diagnosis about all pain management so it really was empowering as a patient.

The doctors that claim to be “uncomfortable” prescribing appropriate levels of pain relief for the treatments they are all too happy to push on you that CAUSE the pain these drugs were created to TREAT find themselves dragged in front of the state medical ethics committee to explain their career audits and bedside manner that would make true psychopaths blush!

I have been the victim of enough misdiagnosis and mistreatment in my life that I went in to my chemotherapy like a warrior ready to die in battle before I would EVER allow anyone to patient shame me about my feelings or reporting drug side effects properly!

I had a ptsd specialist for weekly therapy who also happened to be an addiction specialist that lectures on ethics for the medical specialists teams and reports to the state issues like these that need to be resolved NOW because some patients just don’t have time to waste in agony until the standards are changed to suit the needs of the patient first over a doctors callous worries over liability! If a patient like me does not deserve a perscription then who DOES??!! That’s usually the LAST thing they want on record too so it’s all about using the proper argument to solve the REAL problem.

We settled on using vallium and morphine pills and it’s working SO much better than the newer classes of antidepressants I tried before there are almost no side effects other than sleeping a lot!

which is what one does after major surgery when not awakened to blinding pain every few hours for more meds! It gets counterproductive for patients and staff in the hospital so the system is now currently under review in most states thanks to dilligant patients willing to take the time to aid the process by being candid about their care.

I am working on getting school involved with our reunion and future relationships with my daughters but that will take time and a lot of patience. My husband is in for quite a rude awakening the day he is informed that ignoring me does NOT eliminate his obligations to me or allow him to violate my disabled parental rights anymore simply because I am not strong enough to stop him myself! I will tell you all more after he is dragged out and held accountable for the lies he had told so far

Dx 6/25/2017, IDC, Both breasts, Stage IIIC, ER+, HER2- Chemotherapy 7/13/2017 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Doxil (doxorubicin), Methotrexate (Amethopterin, Mexate, Folex), Taxol (paclitaxel), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 9/1/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/8/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Tissue expander placement Surgery 1/8/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Feb 9, 2018 07:57PM Faithonfire wrote:

I just thought I would give an update on how I am coping with it all.

Honestly I am feeling SO much better after a quick surgery yesterday to remove a little bit of necrosis on outer edges of scars from my reaction to the glue used. It’s not exactly tissue death as failure to thrive because the back side of tissue was connected and healed completely so after trimming up edges that did not seal as well I feel a lot better than I did!

I have not heard a word from my husband for over a month straight now and I don’t expect to anymore. My lawyer is calling me back on how to start enforcing my rights soon so it’s not like I WANT to get a divorce there are just no other legal options for me to force him to honor his debts for my treatments or his word to me in ANY way! Pretending I don’t exist anymore does NOT make me or my rights simply disappear in this country! I can’t wait to see him deny what he has done in court because the damage it has done to me has all been documented and verified.

I’m starting a new branch of treatment called abandonment therapy with my therapist and workbook structure so a tad remedial but hard subject to face so it will become what it was meant to be in my transformation . Painful process but worth the work if done right and real change occurs like it has for me so far!

Wish me luck and know I keep hoping for the best for you all too! I will let you know how the new therapy goes and third surgery to finish placements with final implants and grafts should be in a few months.

Dx 6/25/2017, IDC, Both breasts, Stage IIIC, ER+, HER2- Chemotherapy 7/13/2017 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Doxil (doxorubicin), Methotrexate (Amethopterin, Mexate, Folex), Taxol (paclitaxel), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 9/1/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/8/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Tissue expander placement Surgery 1/8/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement

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