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Sun Jul 9, 2017, 02:42 PM

Mood and what affects it

Last edited Mon Jul 10, 2017, 10:16 AM - Edit history (1)

You know I've been through a lot, thanks to many complications and side effects of treatment.
Well, I've been depressed and anxious for weeks...and then, suddenly, a few days ago, my sadness lifted. I could feel it happening -- just like a cloud lifting -- and I've been trying to peg it to something or other, but I can't. I felt so good that I almost started to cry!
And although I wouldn't say I'm singing all day long, the depression that I experienced is mostly gone.

It's been several months since I finished my year of Herceptin, and two months since I stopped taking Xarelto, but neither of those seems to point to depression. It could well be that I'm finally done with treatment (although I now have to deal with what seems to be some form of arthritis), except for reconstruction, and that I can do this fall or winter.

I'd appreciate any insights anyone can offer me, because I'd love to understand why I suddenly feel so much better, and how to KEEP feeling this way.

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply Mood and what affects it (Original post)
PennyK Jul 2017 OP
sinkingfeeling Jul 2017 #1
PennyK Jul 2017 #2
cliffside Jul 2017 #9
PennyK Jul 2017 #10
cliffside Jul 2017 #14
alfredo Jul 2017 #3
PennyK Jul 2017 #5
alfredo Jul 2017 #6
PennyK Jul 2017 #4
alfredo Jul 2017 #7
PennyK Jul 2017 #8
alfredo Jul 2017 #12
PennyK Jul 2017 #11
alfredo Jul 2017 #13
PennyK Jul 2017 #15
Corvo Bianco Aug 2017 #27
PennyK Jul 2017 #16
PennyK Jul 2017 #17
PennyK Jul 2017 #18
PennyK Jul 2017 #19
PennyK Jul 2017 #20
PennyK Jul 2017 #21
PennyK Aug 2017 #22
PennyK Aug 2017 #23
PennyK Aug 2017 #24
PennyK Aug 2017 #25
samplegirl Aug 2017 #26
PennyK Aug 2017 #28
PennyK Aug 2017 #29
PennyK Aug 2017 #30
Name removed Sep 2017 #31
PennyK Sep 2017 #32
PennyK Sep 2017 #33

Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sun Jul 9, 2017, 06:41 PM

1. My depression hit 10 months after I finished treatment. I had a

small piece of jaw bone deteriorate and come through the inside of my jaw. I was also fighting extreme dryness and couldn't go more than 5 minutes before my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth and I couldn't speak. I just thought if this is the way things will be for the rest of my life, why go on?

Then I went to Italy and that broke the depression for me even though I held up a boat trip because I had to go potty. With the dry mouth, I was drinking about 3 quarts of water a day and needed frequent restroom breaks!

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 9, 2017, 07:44 PM

2. Wow!

I have to give you credit for attempting a trip like that in the condition you were in!
I do have a trip to NYC planned for September...that's where my family is, and I miss everyone like crazy. I usually go every Spring, but thanks to the big C I've missed two May trips. Well, I think September is going to be just as nice, and there's a ticket to "Hello Dolly" with one of my idols, Bette Midler, waiting for me at my sister's place.

I thought about it a little more, and it may have been, perhaps partly, because I had been taking pain meds for my recent infection and wound...maybe I was getting close to being addicted? I never took a lot, but for two or three weeks there I couldn't have made it through a day without knowing I could get some relief. I'm so happy that medical magic worked and healed me so well. And I'm so happy that I'm happy, again.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 02:37 AM

9. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a roof garden ...

been to the museum on several occasions and never knew it existed until two weeks ago, it was a pleasant surprise. Since the Met is mostly surrounded by Central Park, the buildings are all in the distant. Not a destination, but if you visit the museum, worthwhile for the view. Further south we had a lovely Korean barbeque just down the street from Hope Lodge run by the ACA where lived for six months, September should be perfect!

Natural light, in small amounts can be a great healer, these can be found in both rural and city spaces. Drugs can be a necessary bridge until you make it past a dark moment, use them when needed, no shame in that, and then take another step forward. I say this only as a caregiver, but sunlight is a powerful healer.

Enjoy your trip, you deserve it!

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Response to cliffside (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 09:40 AM

10. Thank you, cliffside

Well, I've actually been to the Met's roof garden! Years ago -- there was a bar and I was there with my older daughter. It was a wonderful moment. I really hope I'll be able to get some help with my hip pain -- no NYC trip is fun without some walking around.
Thanks for your kind words and your reminder about sunlight. I'm in hot and humid Florida, and even though I prefer to stay inside on these summer days, I do have my windows arranged to let in as much sunshine as possible. It really does make a difference.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #10)

Thu Jul 13, 2017, 01:14 AM

14. I hope they can find a cause for the hip pain ...

and not just brush it off. As we age and have other health problems we can either tend to dismiss symptoms or believe they might be associated with the disease or all the meds, sometimes they are just unrelated and we need seek out other specialists beyond the oncologist.

There still is a bar at the Met and some light lunch or snacks, but really no seating, just a special oasis to enjoy in the city with changing exhibits.

I remember when we moved into our former home 20+ years ago and felt drawn to unpack the rooms with sunlight. Staying indoors in Florida in the summer is akin to us staying inside in the winter.

Enjoy your time with family and friends! My sis and BIL went back to England last night after a short visit, but yesterday we managed a trip to the grounds for sculpture, a unique blend of sculptures and gardens. Several sculptures down narrow paths and others out in the open. We happened to be there when a portion of lotus flowers were in full bloom, what a treat!!!

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46487-d557397-Reviews-Grounds_For_Sculpture-Hamilton_New_Jersey.html

One day at a time and one foot in front of the other






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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 10, 2017, 03:42 PM

3. When out, instead of drinking the water I sip enough to wet my mouth.

i hydrate when needed.

No matter what shit Cancer throws at you, deal with it and carry on. There's no other option. Keep fighting.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #3)

Mon Jul 10, 2017, 04:44 PM

5. Yes!

I admit that in my case, it just came down to always figuring out something I wanted to do (sewing, reading, watching a movie), and always having something to look forward to. Often, those things were small, but I kept going. Beside, we CAN'T go out while this idiot is in the Oval Office!

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Response to PennyK (Reply #5)

Mon Jul 10, 2017, 11:27 PM

6. Photography was what got me up and around.

I miss cooking.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Mon Jul 10, 2017, 04:39 PM

4. Well!

Today, I was officially dismissed by the Wound Center! I'll just see my surgeon for followups at his regular office from now on. The nurses were very impressed...."what wound?" Except for reconstruction, I'm done! (Although there is that matter of a hip biopsy tomorrow -- I'm sure it's arthritis, and my oncologist is too, but this is just to make sure.)

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Response to PennyK (Reply #4)

Mon Jul 10, 2017, 11:34 PM

7. Arthritis sucks, but can be managed. Good luck with the biopsy.

Biopsies are so much fun.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #7)

Mon Jul 10, 2017, 11:57 PM

8. Thanks, alfredo

my sister's broken several bones in the last few years, and she recovered well thanks to physical therapy, so I'm hoping that between that and meds, that I'll be able to walk decently. And I got the go ahead to start back with my chiropractor, and I'm excited about that.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #8)

Wed Jul 12, 2017, 09:08 AM

12. Great. One never knows how tough they are until tested

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Tue Jul 11, 2017, 05:29 PM

11. So, I had my biopsy

Last edited Tue Jul 11, 2017, 07:25 PM - Edit history (1)

I didn't realize it was an actual surgical procedure! Before we went in, the doctor told me that based on the MRI, things looked bad. My mood dropped faster than a stone. Then we went in and got started...and he said what he saw did NOT look like cancer, but some random stuff (actually, cysts) that was 99% most likely benign in his opinion. He said he was tempted to not even biopsy it, but he went ahead just to remove all doubt. Edited to add that I've since read that these fluid-filled cysts are a symptom of ostearthritis.

I should mention that this doctor, a radiologist, was given the Doctor of the Year award by the hospital this year. I know that because we happened to be there on the day it was announced (we were there for a different test).

Whew!

I'll see my oncologist in two weeks to see the official results of the test, but so far it looks good.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #11)

Wed Jul 12, 2017, 09:10 AM

13. That's good news.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 01:10 PM

15. Well. My mood is still pretty good

Last edited Sat Jul 15, 2017, 10:13 AM - Edit history (1)

I had about three minutes of "the cloud" when the doctor told me, before the biopsy, that it could be cancer and it could be serious...the idea of going through it all yet again? Then somehow, I went to "so? I could do it if I have to", and I went in for my test. His remarks on seeing what was there made me feel so good!
I'm now just looking forward to the official judgment and getting on with it. I'm happy about my hobby projects and and food and my detective shows and talking with friends and family.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #15)

Fri Aug 11, 2017, 05:30 PM

27. "I could do it if I have to" makes me so happy. Behind any present of future fears, you've proven

your strength to yourself

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sun Jul 16, 2017, 10:10 AM

16. Oy vey! Just what I needed

I finally figured out what that itching on my back must be. A mild recurrence of shingles. I had a full-blown case about three years ago. Then, about eight months ago, I started to experience an itchy feeling on one side of my back that just won't go away. I thought it might've been related to my surgery (mastectomy), and I even asked my surgeon about it (he said 'that wasn't me!).
Well, I don't think it's severe enough to get the anti-viral med I was prescribed when I had it, but I read that you can do nerve damage if you scratch too much.
When I have the reconstruction, that area of the back will be involved, so I'll just try to muddle through until then. I think I'll pull out the heavy-duty cortisone cream I've been hoarding that I got a few years ago for something else.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Jul 19, 2017, 12:58 AM

17. My vision finally improved

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has one unpleasant side effect: the 2 1/2 x normal air pressure in there affects the lenses in your eyes (temporarily). I am already very nearsighted, and this made it much worse.
It's been one month since I completed my 40 treatments, and finally tonight, when I sat down to watch TV, I could see just fine from the couch...I didn't need to move closer. Finally! That means I'll be able to drive again further than to my market two blocks away. I've read that it would take 6 to 8 weeks to get back to normal vision, and it's been quite frustrating. Yay!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Jul 22, 2017, 10:42 AM

18. Anxiety hit me yesterday.

I'm thinking it was a gift given to me by my morning coffee. I took half of one of my Klonopins and that really did the trick (except that I needed a nap in the afternoon). Today, I'm drinking half-caf, and I already cut a Klono in half just in case.
i started looking at strategies which include meditation and yoga, but I didn't really get to any of it, except to practice slow and easy breathing. I did make a list of all the things to be happy about, both in my recovery and stuff I'm looking forward to, and that is something I can look at whenever I need a reminder.
Just two days until I see my oncologist and get the results of the bone biopsy. I'm eagerly awaiting a referral to an orthopedist for osteoarthritis. Not thinking about it being cancer at all.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Mon Jul 24, 2017, 12:27 PM

19. Biopsy negative

As I expected. Now I have to find out where to go next for treatment of my hip-joint pain. My oncologist didn't really know, so I called my PCP and I'm waiting for a referral. I want to get moving (ha ha) on this!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 12:55 PM

20. Well, well (literally)

1) It somehow didn't register with me that yesterday was my LAST official visit to my oncologist. From now on it's just follow-ups to check that my blood work is good. I'm done with cancer treatment.

2) I decided to be pro-active, and went to the chiropractor today, and she worked some sort of magic...as I walked out I realized that a lot of the hip pain was GONE. I know how this works; you get adjusted, you feel great, then everything reverts to the "bad" position. So I expect to be seeing her a lot, in fact, I go back tomorrow.
She did assure me that she'll refer me to a doctor if needed...and she has access to all my hospital tests. Best of all, Medicare pays (for a while at least). I'm feeling pretty pleased...and I should mention that I still haven't heard back from my PCP regarding a referral. Screw that.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Jul 26, 2017, 04:13 PM

21. It appears that I don't have osteoarthritis

Just had my second chiropractic adjustment. WOW! And Dr. Megan gave me a copy of my test results (the bone biopsy and the MRI). They showed nothing!
I guess the pain in my hip was from not seeing the chiro for 17 months. I will be going 3x weekly and do my exercises at home, and it looks like that is going to fix me up just fine.
I am, how you say, happy. All I've got to fret about now is my hair!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Aug 2, 2017, 11:16 AM

22. Improvements

Most important (for a female): I have worked out a hairstyle that almost looks normal! Short and curly and not looking too bad.

Chiro and the assigned exercises are helping a lot. I seem to have some neck pain, which is probably from straining it when I exercise or from just using muscles that have lain dormant for a while. Ice helps.

Still can't figure out why I seem to have lost my love for chocolate. We may need to fund a study.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Aug 9, 2017, 11:03 AM

23. I think I figured something out

I started to feel nervous and weak. Pretty sure it's my blood pressure.
MY PCP put me on two kinds of BP meds, because during my oxygen treatment it shot up.
I started measuring yesterday and it was on the low side..and got lower as the day went on. So I skipped the med I take at night, and this morning I felt a bit better, and my numbers were normal (130/75). I see the doctor tomorrow and I'll talk to him about it.
My theory is that the oxygen made it go up...it affected my eyes, which have gone back to normal as predicted, so why not this too?

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Thu Aug 10, 2017, 01:36 PM

24. Excellent!

My doctor looked at the numbers from yesterday, and suggested that I go off both BP meds. I'll monitor and go back in two weeks. He also confirmed that the itchy area on my back is NOT a shingles recurrence and prescribed a cortisone cream.

I'm looking forward to getting back to the happy feeling I had when I started this thread!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Aug 11, 2017, 04:33 PM

25. Yep, I was right

First day without BP meds and I feel great. I feel like myself! Engaged in the stuff I like. I even bought a small bag of Godiva truffles with which to treat myself tonight.
I'm keeping tabs on my pressure and it's been perfect today.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Aug 11, 2017, 04:40 PM

26. I'm suffering terrible

Depression since losing my job in March. I'm 60 years old and tired of the ups and downs of just having a job. Nowadays it imperative to have a job if you have no income for just nessesaties. Much less you die of boredom. What a funk to be in! It's just not living!!!

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Response to samplegirl (Reply #26)

Fri Aug 11, 2017, 08:23 PM

28. I'm so sorry

The work arena has changed so much over the past few decades. I know it's completely different from back in my working days...but you must have things you're good at and have experience in. Look around and try to shop your skills to anyone who might need a great baker, or editor, or organizer. We don't reach our sixties without being good at a few things!
Depression IS rough. In my case it seems to have been mostly a chemical imbalance...thanks to my doctors. They all mean well, but nobody know you like you do. I'm off those blood-pressure meds for 1 1/2 days and I feel the difference. I hope you can find your way.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 03:34 PM

29. This is tricky (blood pressure)

I've been taking it numerous times a day, and it seems to go up and down without rhyme or reason. After a day of lowish numbers, it went up to 150 in the evening. I took one of my pills (as my doctor advised), and so far today it seems fine.
One thing I will say is that I seem to feel much better when it's a bit on the high side rather than low....?
Odd.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Aug 16, 2017, 01:37 PM

30. So I'm still confused about blood pressure

I woke up feeling jumpy and anxious. I did have something to do I was nervous about (drive to the car dealer's for maintenance), but the feeling didn't go away for most of the day. And my pressure was fine all through the day
I had taken one 5 mg pain pill the night before. Could that have caused it? I feel great today.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)


Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Sep 8, 2017, 01:06 AM

32. And a possible Round Two for me

My new gyno found a small lump in my other breast. She quickly told me that it most likely is nothing, but the mammogram is tomorrow. It's tiny, soft, and right on the surface.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 10:06 PM

33. It's a cyst

We'll monitor it with another mammogram in six months.

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