The Road Ahead

roadahead

 

I apologize for the absence. Honestly, I’ve been feeling a little down lately, and I haven’t known how to properly recognize/express my feelings until recently. Let me back up …

During my recovery through May and June my Oncologist informed me that he wanted me to start on an oral chemo medication in conjunction with my radiation. Needless to say that was disappointing to me. Actually, it was more than disappointing. I was pretty upset and depressed about it. I won’t bore you with the details of the reasoning behind this, but it’s a pretty much a “better safe than sorry” precaution.

I began feeling like myself again by the middle of June (as far as surgery), and we even went away at the end of the month (to Atlanta to see my favorite band, The Cure.) However, now that I was off pain meds, my arthritis pain has consistently been getting worse. For those of you living with chronic pain, I know you understand how exhausting that is.

Chronic pain hasn’t helped the depression. But I’m able to take some pain meds as needed, and I am getting ready to start a non-drug therapy to help block pain signals. Add to that the start of Chemo and Radiation, and, well, I am one exhausted chickie!

I am happy to report, though, that I am mostly tolerating the chemo well (as in the past). I’m experiencing some nausea/food aversion and it disrupts my sleep, but things could be much worse. Radiation is purely a nuisance to me at this point, for which I’m grateful. I need a little bit of time to readjust my self-expectations and schedule before the pain/irritation sets in.

Once again, I am struggling with whether my lack of interest/motivation is from chemo/radiation fatigue or depression or both. Tonight I plan on an early bedtime with a little extra Trazadone to help me stay asleep longer (I typically only take one because I sleep really late when I take two; but at this point I’m feeling like a walking dishrag, so I probably need to catch up a bit).

My plastic surgeon told me/warned me that all I’d feel like doing in the first weeks after surgery was watching TV/Netflix and shopping online. Much to hubs’ chagrin, I’m still shopping online. Mostly filling my carts and abandoning them, but occasionally I take on all the way through, a brief wave of excitement washes over me upon arrival, and then I’m once again paralyzed by both mental an physical fatigue.

I do feel confident, though, that my mood is nothing that can’t be fixed by some sleep, some prayer, and some realistic exceptions of myself. In the meantime, I remind myself that I could be having more severe side effects; and all of this is better than being dead.

Over the next few weeks, I will try to update more regularly. In the meantime, I would love your tips on getting out of this mood!

xo

 

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6 thoughts on “The Road Ahead

  1. I like how you said to be realistic. I had an epiphany a couple weeks ago, I said ” I have to stop letting this illness define me. It doesn’t own me!” It was liberating and I need to keep repeating it. You don’t own me!

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  2. Persistent depression is serious stuff. It interferes with the healing process and your ongoing health. I’ve had problems with depression on and off for most of my life. Here’s what I would do in your place. First, I’d see a counselor/psychologist to see if you can talk through the depression. Many times that’s all you need. If, after a month or so of going once a week, things aren’t getting better, I’d get a referral to a psychiatrist. You’d probably be placed on a mild antidepressant. You’ll probably be told it can take up to 4 weeks for the drug to reach maximum effect. In my case I could start to feel the effects in just a few days. My outlook was greatly improved and I had a lot of energy come back, more than I thought I lost. It was really a godsend. After a few months you can try coming off the antidepressants. I did, but then I was hit by cancer and now I’m on them for the duration. Hope this helps.

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    1. Thank you! I am on an antidepressant, and have used a counselor before, but not since I was diagnosed with cancer.

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  3. You have been through so much it’s not surprising that you are tired of being sick! Sending warm thoughts to you and yours. You are an inspiration and very brave. You have so many people who love and support you and, of course, Jehovah understands more than any one of us can. Keep holding on!

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