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    New here
    An_249067 posted:
    As the title states, I am new here. This is my first post. I am at a time and place in my life that has become very stressful. I am a breast cancer survivor of 5 years, and it seems that since that time, I cannot seem to stay on track with much of anything. I was a very succesfful woman, on a strong career track, making good money. I have always been self sufficient. In the last 5 years, it seems that everything I do seems to fall apart. I have sustained a back injury that causes almost constant pain, I have been let go from 2 jobs, I am depressed. My ability to perform at my work is compromised, I have no energy. I have been feeling like more and more of a burden to my husband. I don't have the enthusiasm that I used to have for the things that I enjoyed. I feel like my mind races.....I try to sit and logicallly think through my challenges and it seems that it all circles around to not being able to find solutions. I have always been a problem solver, and I just can't seem to think my way a viscious circle. I just can't keep up. I don't know what is wrong with my spirit. I go through the motions in front of others....everyone thinks I am just like I used to be. But inside and away from others, I feel like I am paralyzed. My self esteem is shot. I feel very useless. The really hard part is that I am a counselor.....I should know what to do....I do know what to do....but I just can't do it. I am not suicidal....but have to admit that at times I wonder if it would be better if the cancer came back and let me just die with some dignity and be able to get out of having to live my life like this. Oh, that sounds so awful!. But I am just so overwhelmed, every day, all the time. Some days, it is all I can do to just function.....which can consist of curling up under a blanket on the couch and watching mindless TV all day. I am not a drinker or drug user, but have smoked some marijuana lately to relieve stress. I am already on Cymbalta, I take Trazadone to sleep. I am stuck on a medication for the cancer. I take small dose pain meds. I have been the rounds of medication, went to counseling for a short time. I have been part of a breast cancer support group for the last 5 years, so I know that online support groups can be very helpful.
    I will be seeing my doctor in a few weeks and will be talking with him about what is going on....and probably will be put on a new med to help with all of this.....but I know that medication is a band aid. I will also be talking with him about possibly going for disability....between my back pain, and what I am thinking may be fibromyalgia.....working may be out of the picture for me. That is very difficult, my family needs my income....and I take a lot of my self worth from my work.
    Everything feels like it is a monumental effort.
    Haylen_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Welcome Anon! I'm glad you found us and were able to express all of the challenges you are facing. I do think that a medication adjustment could help increase your energy and unfreeze some of the paralyzed feelings that you have. I encourage you to also reach out off-line to find more support - could you return to the counselor you saw before? Or find a new therapist?

    And chronic pain is horrible - it's enough to make the most well-adjusted and upbeat person beat into the ground! We have some pain management communities here with excellent experts where you might be able to get some additional information, resources and support. Click the links below if interested: Fibromyalgia Community , Back Pain Community , Pain Management Community .

    Try not to be so hard on yourself because you should know what to do or you're unable to logically think and problem solve. That is what depression does - it robs us of our ability to handle parts of day-to-day living that used to be easy peasy!

    I know you can get to a better place - please check on therapy and a medication adjustment ASAP. And please check back in here so we know you are safe - (((HUGS)))

    Survivor2007 replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
    Haylen, thank you so much for your reply. I was beginning to think that maybe no one had noticed my post. As I had stated, I will be seeing my doc in a few weeks, and plan to talk with him about how I have been feeling. I agree that chronic pain is having a major impact for me right now. I will definately check out the links that you sent to me.
    I don't think that I will be able to see a counselor for a while. I was not all that happy with the counselor that I saw before, and it takes a lot of travel for me to find another one. I live in a small mountain mining community, and there is no one local that I can see. It is at least an hour drive one way to get to other services.
    It is very hard to get through the days, especially right now with the holidays approaching. I know that this is the time of year that is most stressful for so many people, and this year I am a part of that group. Loosing my job has had such a negative impact for me. We are struggling to just keep the utilities on. Every day there is a reminder of how my inablitiy keep my job is causing hardship for myself and my husband. I can no longer afford to do the simplest things...and will have absolutely no way to afford holiday gifts for the grandchildren. I feel like I am letting everyone down. I have always been the rock...the one that everyone has leaned on. And yes, when I was down with the cancer. I had all the support I could ever dream of. But my health issues have gone on for years now.....I am tired of dealing with them, and I imagine that most everyone around me would be tired of hearing about it if I were to let on about my current status.
    Again, thank you for your response. I will continue to post as the days go by.....and will definately be checking out the other support groups that you suggested.
    itmatsb responded:
    Sorry to hear about your struggles. You mention that you are taking Trazadone for sleep, but did you know that Trazadone helps fibromyalgia? It has greatly helped my fibromyalgia. Perhaps if you can raise the dose, with your doctor's direction, that can help some of your pain.

    Also you obviously need a better anti-depressant. First they should try to raise your Cymbalta, then either add another medication or change your anti-depressant. Cymbalta is one of those meds that many people need to taper off very gradually or it can lead to very bad side effects. So be careful there. I had been on Effexor (similar to Cymbalta) for years.

    Due to my extreme 24/7 migraine pain and poor quality of life, I became severely depressed. I was certain that it was all situational and that no med could possibly help me. I too was not suicidal, but told my husband that it might be better if I needed my brain surgery and would die that way.

    The GREAT NEWS was that after just increasing my Effexor, a month later my depression was completely gone!!!!! And anti-depressants also act as pain relievers. I believe that my migraine pain was a bit better as well. You could be so much better after just a change in your medication.

    Keep in touch to let me know how you are doing.
    itmatsb replied to Survivor2007's response:
    P.S. You really need a good psychiatrist for your medications which are not just a band-aid for your problems. It wasn't a band-aid in my case. Why would you say that when you are obviously clinically depressed?

    I know that you said that services are so far away from you. If your husband does not have a good job in your small mountain mining town, have you considered moving? And it doesn't sound like your husband does have a great job, or why would you losing your job put you in such financial stress?

    Let me know what kind of a doctor you are going to see. Make sure you show the doctor your postings here so that they know the extent of your problems and can refer you to a psychiatrist. Wish you the very best. Better days can be ahead for you.
    Survivor2007 replied to itmatsb's response:
    Actually, my husband is the head of the art department at the local community college. We own/live in a 100 yr old schoolhouse...paid off. So, moving is not an option. The financial situation is compounded by the fact that I was out of work for almost 2 years before this job, and had only been with this job for 6 months.....had just started to make a dent in getting caught up. Debts include student loans of mine that are on the edge of default. Also, there seems to be some issue with my getting unemployment.
    I am a community social worker, and mental health recovery specialist......rather amusing wouldn't you say. I have spent my career working with troubled youth....and for a short period of time worked with the adult SMI population in town here.
    I will be seeing my primary care physician. He is an internist and general practitioner.....and has been very good with me. As much as I know that I should be seeing a psychiatrist, the cost and travel are just not available right now.
    I am looking forward to better days....
    itmatsb replied to Survivor2007's response:
    I'm glad that you are looking forward to better days. Just make sure that your doctor really understands the depth of your problems so that you can get the help that you need. And I still don't know why you said that meds were just band aid. You do sound like you are clinically depressed which can be greatly helped by the right medication.

    And also hope that you can get better medication to help with your back pain. I wear an opiate patch called Butrans patch which has significantly helped my severe migraines.

    Let me know how your doctor appointment goes. Perhaps you could even contact his/her office before your appt. and see if he/she can make any changes to your medication before you see them. Good luck.
    Survivor2007 replied to itmatsb's response:
    Well, saw my doc. Actually, not my doc, his new PA. Too young and no experience. Told me that all my issues are hormone related, that since I have no estrogen that all of what I am feeling, the depression, the body aches, the fatigue, the joint probably due to my hormones. Then actually talked about hormone replacement therapy.....IDIOT!!! I am a breast cancer survivor and is it absolutley necessary for me to not have estrogen....I had bilateral cancer, a different cancer in each breast. I am concerned that I may have fibromyalgia, and he did not even want to consider it. Says my current medication should be sufficient. what do I do?? I am going to try to find another doctor to see....this kid, er doctor, even admitted that he needs to do some research to find out about hormone replacement and cancer...duh!! I could teach him....I am sooo frustrated.
    Jeune1 replied to Survivor2007's response:
    Ugg. I don't care how new the PA is, that's just bad medical care. "A woman doesn't feel well? Must be her hormones!" Why not just say your womb is butting up against your liver* and have done with it?

    Definitely see another doctor. If it were me, I'd send a sharp note to that practice, letting them know why you aren't coming back.

    *For thousands of years the sharpest medical minds believed the womb could and did roam around inside your body. Women's physical and mental illnesses could be traced to where an errant womb had gotten lodged. Hence the word "hysteria." (Hystera = Uterus in Greek.) Honest, look it up.
    Anon_130687 replied to Jeune1's response:
    I agree. I've been lucky that my doctors don't use PAs.
    Jeune1 replied to Anon_130687's response:
    To be fair, not all PAs or NPs are rubbish, just as not all doctors are rubbish. But there ARE some incompetents out there practicing medicine. I'm sorry Survivor had encounter with one.

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