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    post mastectomy depression
    tucson18 posted:
    I had a successful bilateral mastectomy for DCIS, 4 weeks ago. I am feeling better physically and am happy that everything went well. Unfortunately, I am now suffering from depression. I am not sure why I am so sad. Has anyone else felt this way? I don't understand why I am depressed when everything went well and the doctors said that I only have a 1-2% chance of reaccurance. I seem to understand all this intellectually but not emotionally.
    wendy08 responded:
    I had a bilateral mastectomy on 12/30/2008. All went well for me also and I had a great prognosis. However, I was very depressed afterward. I believe we grieve the loss of our breasts. Even now, from time to time, I can sit and have a good cry for "no reason". There's no telling what will bring it on, but it never lasts for more than a few minutes or so and I feel much better after. Don't know if this really helped, but just know you are not alone in how you are feeling.
    kiwiallright responded:
    I think a lot of women go through this - I have mentioned this before - my shower and I are the best of friends. I do how my emotions but a lot of the time I hide it and just cry all I want in the shower. If you are able to go outside and walk do it, find some sunshine or increase your vitamin D levels - eat foods that say they may help with depression. If there is a BC support group close by join and talk with other women - it really helps - - I am all for excercise.

    Have a great day
    An_188713 responded:
    tucson18: Depression hits a lot of us with breast cancer survival. It doesn't seem to matter how well physically we are doing, it's this scare we have been through. Also, there's the future, we have good reports that it may not recur but do WE believe that. It helps tremendously to keep your mind on other things. Easier said than done. I call it cancer cloud, a fog that drifts through my mind. Don't let cancer dominate your life; I let it happen and had to go on anti-depressants. Please know that you're not alone. We all deal with the aftershock, some do better than others; yet, some hide their emotions. I'm doing much better now - I hope and pray you too will overcome. Try to get into a BC group where you can get answers and support. By all means, don't forget to come here! This site has been a blessing to me and a lot of other survivors. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers, you will overcome with time and effort.
    susancham responded:
    I too had blm Oct 22,2010 did not need chem or radiation, but trying to get adjusted to needed meds is throwing me for loop,
    I have great days where I feel like my old self other days like yesterday that I just was sad, weepy & stayed in bed all day. This is happening even with antidepressent drugs
    I know one of my problems is that once the MAJOR surg was over & I didn't need follow up treatment, everyone thought oo okay she is find, cancer is cancer, no matter how severe- so I am dealing with feeling stranded even thos I did have cancer.
    Just hang in there- the days will get farther apart when you feel like you are having a pity party, Don't feel guilty about pity party just share it with someone

    Has the doctor put you on antidepressent? Please may I recommend researching it before you start. Be very wary of Effexor
    susancham replied to susancham's response:
    sorry I was wanting to ask if you were doing reconstruction? Expanders? I am and find that every week even tho I am happy I growing I ususally have at least 2 days of blah.
    It is on going procedure that does bother the emotions
    janinbwa responded:
    Oh I do understand. I have finished my 9th surgery the last one being a full reconstruction of my right breast. I did not have cancer but a negligent doctor. I have felt suicidal at times, after surgery #8 from an open wound at the t zone my breast was removed and just reconstructed here in Seattle at the Polyclinic. I too am suffering from depression, I am sad because I realized I could die and almost did. The doctors cover for each other and after almost 2 years and thousands later, I still have no answers. She is still operating in Bellevue....
    An_247872 responded:
    My reply is for anyone reading now...Yes I also was very happy with the surgery but am also very very Depressed!
    An_254358 responded:
    How did you get yourself out of the depression?

    rachael67 replied to An_254358's response:
    Bruce, there is no set way to get out of the black pit of depression...If there were, I think many of us would not feel so trapped and sad. However, there are many paths that can and do make a big difference to one who is battling it.

    To begin with, BE KIND TO YOURSELF!! Accept the fact that you are not feeling "happy" (..Often when logically it would seem you should be!! It's amazing how we can be in the midst of what could be good times; great people, music, etc. and we feel like crap! And reversely, we can have a great attitude when waging several wars on financial, health and emotional fronts!! Go figure!!) But give yourself permission to such feelings! Most of us do deal with that monster at times throughout our lives...It is part of being human!)

    Now, after you have given yourself the very best "Pity Party" possible...complete with balloons and party favors!...switch your focus. (One never wants to overstay their welcome at their own Pity Party!!) Look around and see if there is someone who is also hurting or battling their own demons. Most likely you won't have to look very far. Ask yourself what you can do to help them. What would you like someone to do if you were in that place?

    You might find this sad soul living right next to you or on some distant shore or anywhere in between. (If it can be on a more personal level than merely contributing to a charity, it will serve your needs more though both will definitely help the other folks!) When we reach out to aid our fellow man, what happens can be nothing short of one of the "little miracles" we often overlook! To begin with you have the knowledge that in a big or small way you have eased another! WHOOPPEE!! AND...going back to that previous sentence: "YOU" have done IT!!! The pride and fulfillment that you will right feel is amazing!! It enhances your self image and makes you feel a new reason for getting up in the morning!! And, with any luck, it gets you to take a look around at this ole world and see where else you can perform another "little miracle"!!

    Sometimes it helps to "give up" a bit in order to "get"! For instance: Do you always feel you must be right? Or in control? Or blaming another for your troubles? Or feel you must always act "mature"? (BORING!!!!!) Do you find that you often are grumpy and have to complain about everything? (Would you want to be around anyone who did that all the time? Never saw the positives?) Do you too often feel inadequate when you compare yourself to others? (Wasted energy, my Friend!) What about the fears that hold you from exploring the possibilities? Or the avoidance of change???? (The word change sends shivers down your spine, right?) Well, you get the idea! Work on letting go of all these anchors which keep you in that black hole of depression...Now is the time to slowly let out your wings and challenge life head-on!! Do you really think you will feel worse than you do under that cloud?

    Watch your diet and eat foods that both please you as well as assist your body in it's good health! Now, you are on a good path! Stay on it by reading inspiring books or books that make you laugh! Movies that make you laugh are definite pluses too! And positive companions can make a world of difference!

    One of the most joyful and inspiring quotes regarding living that I ever found was: Most of us go to our graves with our music still inside us!

    Make sure you don't!!!

    Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
    sam1985 replied to An_188713's response:
    losing such a key part of womanhood is very challenging, it doesn't have to mean the end of life as you know it. What also helps is focusing on overall attractiveness and for women to continue doing the things that make them feel good, such as wearing make-up and nice clothes and planning romantic evenings.
    wendymreid responded:
    had dcis last year and still get depressed and upset i dont know why i still feel this way but find it hard to come to terms with so i know how you am feeling i know its hard
    jenna291 replied to wendymreid's response:
    It is tough to have a cancer diagnosis. Going thru chemo, it was hard to feel attractive and looking in the mirror I felt like I was looking at a stranger.
    I had a lumpectomy 6 years ago and even with that some clothes don't hang right anymore. I try and pick things that look good and do things that make me happy.
    I hope you can focus on positive things in your life. Believe me, sometimes I get angry or depressed because of all I have been thru, but mostly I am grateful that I am here, healthy, and have made some wonderful new friends along the way.
    Good luck to you and I hope with time you will think about the cancer less and less and enjoy a happy, fulfilled life!
    many blessings,
    julitajones responded:
    I was inspired by this lady comic and her story. She says she "loves having cancer" and has "not missed a beat." She has gone the natural route so maybe it's the way to go.
    wendymreid replied to An_247872's response:
    feel exactly the same i dont know why i cant move on im really trying but cant seem to stop the depression

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