Wednesday, February 22, 2017
PTSD and Cancer
No one ever explained to me that dealing with breast cancer could lead to depression and/or PTSD. I am not sure why I would need to be told this? I guess I thought I had seen others do it and I thought, why the hell couldn’t I do it too?
After the first time of breast cancer invading my body, I didn’t have symptoms of depression until about 3 weeks into radiation. That was after chemo, surgery and having a complete pathological response to chemo.
I told Dr. H when I started having depressed like feelings, and she said this was completely normal. I thought to myself if this was so normal, why didn’t anyone gives me a heads up?
When I was diagnosed with Stage 4, straight out of the gate I asked to up my happy pills just to deal with day to day stress and life, It worked! I could function, and I even enjoyed life all the while not having a clue what was actually happing.
Then I needed brain surgery because the breast cancer moved to my brain…3 times, I somehow thought I could deal with that with no help.
After the first brain surgery, things weren’t back to my normal in my brain like they had been. I chalked it up to having a massive liquid filled sack removed from my brain. I am sure that was part of it all, but 3 weeks with no sleep, scared to be alone, throwing up from fear of the tumor being back …I broke. No one ever called it a nervous breakdown, but I am sure it was.
The 3 weeks leading up the break down, I got at least 3 MRIs I was a paranoid mess insisting I could feel another tumor.
While in for chemo and checkup Is when I was checked into the hospital for the nervous breakdown and the 2nd tumor was found right before be being checked out of the hospital.
Time for another brain surgery…2nd brain surgery in 2 ½ months.
I somehow mentally got over that one easier. Maybe I did…from what Eric tells me I didn’t get over it at all. I don’t remember much of those months.
Five months later I had a funny feeling in my leg, a few days later and was in surgery for my 3rd brain surgery in 8 months.
After the 3rd one, I woke up and said I was good to go, that I knew the tumor was gone. For almost 4 years I have been cancer free in my head!
June, 2016, I was diagnosed with pre-leukemia from one of the treatments I had from stage 1 treatment. I had a bone marrow transplant October 30, 2016. I hit my 100 day mark on February 7, 2017 and pretty sure I had another breakdown on February 8.
I could be being dramatic, but on the 8th everything changed for me. From what I had read, the 100th day mark was supposed to be my turnaround day. No one ever said those words or printed that now that I go back and look again.
I did find this though; “As many as 1 in 3 cancer patients suffers from PTSD” http://bit.ly/2mge48g for full article out of Healthline.com.
I have been struggling with this on and off unknowingly until I hit my 101 days post-transplant.
I am going to look for a new therapist over the phone because I have figured out I am more will to spill it all while not looking at someone…not sure why?
I wanted to share this with y’all because everyone always tells me how strong I am and how they couldn’t do what I have done. I want to show ALL my cracks, glued together pieces from being shattered and anything else.
I hope this helps others know we weren’t born to be non-breakable. It is ok. I will be put back together again and so will you.