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Topic: Stage-4 Wife struggling with Anxiety/Depression

Forum: Caring for Someone with Stage IV or Mets —

A place where family members, caregivers, and loved ones of people having a Stage IV (metastatic) diagnosis can share, discuss, and support one another through the tough times unique to this diagnosis.

Posted on: Jan 4, 2020 12:08AM

Mwbirren wrote:

Trying to help my wife cope with Anxiety/depression around her recent Stage-4 diagnosis. It hurts to see her suffer. I feel like I can't do anything to help. She pretty much feels like crap from the time she wakes up to early evening.


Wife first diagnosed with Stage-2 BC in 2001, left breast mastectomy followed by radiation and chemo, tamoxifen. She handled it well with no sign of anxiety/depression. We thought she beat it.

18 years later (Dec 2018) she felt soreness in chest which turned out to be stage-4 in her sternum and a couple nearby ribs.

January '19 began targeted radiation and Xanax to "take the edge off"

February '19 began Herceptin infusions.

Mid Feb fingertips became black & blue, rushed to ER, spent week in hospital. Dr(s) weren't able to determine the cause until mid-week. Turns out it was a rare disease called Sweet Syndrome (totally unrelated to BC) which was treated with prednizone (steroids).

Herceptin infusions resumed, but so did anxiety/depression. Oncologist referred us to their palliative Dr who tried several different meds (Zoloft, Pixal, etc.) and associated anti-nausea meds which all made my wife feel worse. Xanax was prescribed again for the anxiety but has short effectiveness and was switched to Cal---pam (I forget the spelling)

Finally, the Palliative Dr recommended seeing a psychiatrist to help focus on the anxiety/depression. Saw her today, and she recommended upping the Cal---pam while she conferred with the oncologist to ensure no interactions with cancer meds.

Anyway, long day. My wife just wants to feel somewhat normal again. Me too.

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Feb 10, 2021 05:36PM lehrski wrote:

How’s your wife doing now? Are the medications helping with the depression?

I also had depression/anxiety when I was first diagnosed with Stage 4. The thing that helped me most was talk therapy, meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy (the book “Feeling Good”). It also took several months. It does get better eventually for many. It’s a lot to deal with

Dx 7/24/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs, ER+/PR-, HER2- Targeted Therapy 8/1/2020 Verzenio Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)

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