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11/14/10 6:41 P

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I'm like Meridith. I've been on an antidepressant for several years. I did not do chemo, just radiation following two surgeries, but depression hit anyhow. I am on a low dose of Paxil, and it has kept me quite level for as long as I've been on it. Getting outside each day helps immensley too. Of course it's better if its sunny, but just being outside does seem to help. I expect I'll be on it for life too, as I did try going off about 1 1/2 years ago, and I plunged over the cliff again. It's not a shame to ask for help. Some people just need help for a while, others, like me, will probably be on it for life. I talked to a counselor several times, thought I liked her, then her reccomendation was for me to get a dog, and to have my husband take me to Europe on an extended vacation.....1. I love dogs, but I don't want the responsibility at this stage of my life, and 2. I can't afford an extended trip anywhere! I never went back. Good luck. Hugs.

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Albion, PA
Joined 2/10/08

Co-leader of Managing Diabetes, Over 50+Over 50+
View my photos @ flickr.com/photos/joysgarden

 Pounds lost: 30.0 
11/14/10 3:29 P

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I've had problems with depression for years, and have a pretty strong family history. I had been taking Wellbutrin and really liked it, but unfortunately, it makes Tamoxifen less effective. So when I started Tamoxifen, I switched to Effexor. It works pretty well. I think for me that it's a chemical imbalance issue as opposed to circumstantial stressors (except for, say, that whole cancer thing). So I expect to keep taking something the rest of my life, since I feel "normal" on an antidepressant and more easily upset and prone to feeling hopeless without one.


"Imagine that in front of you is a castle. That's where you want to be. But surrounding that castle is a moat, full of piranha. The only way to get into Sexy Abs Castle is to swim across the moat and let the little fish painfully chew off hunks of fat. The real situation is exactly like that, only the swim will take years."

 current weight: 151.0 
KARENAZ's Photo KARENAZ Posts: 312
11/14/10 3:12 P

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Hi I did find that finishing treatment was unexpectedly a lot harder - it's like the anxiety rushes in because you are not 'actively' fighting the cancer with treatment.

I focused on walking daily (this helps a lot), joined a curves gym (marginally liked that but did help with arm mobility) trying to eat better - furits and vegetables daily. So when the anxiety hit (daily) I at least didn't beat myself up too badly about the things I could control. I found a glass of wine a few nights a week (not every night) helped me too.

I saw my primary care dr. for a checkup and when she asked how I was sleeping I realized I wasn't, and she prescribed Ambien CR for sleeping and that has been a God-send for me, as not sleeping was a huge problem during treatment but it never occurred to me to ask for help.

I saw a counselor after I finished treatment, and that helped some but it has to be the right one, and eventually mine seemed to make me more anxious and I am looking for another.

I recently came under a lot of stress due to my daughter not wanted to visit (my ex) her father, and resulting court actions that are dragging on into next year with a lot of stress and fear. Scares me that the stress will make the cancer come back, and it touched off panic attacks.

I saw my primary care dr. again and am trying a low dose anti-depressant Lexapro for past few weeks, I seem to be feeling somewhat better.

And maybe most importantly, my faith increased during my illness and treatment, so I've turned to God and ask for help. I know He puts these other treatments in my path to help me. Praying, reading inspirational books, journaling has really helped me, especially now with the fear and worry.

I hope this helps. Many people I've talked to have increased depression / anxiety / fear AFTER treatment, so it's somewhat unfortunately normal I think. Reach out for help in ways that speak to you, and try different things, as I found that I had to do that to try to find some times of peace. This is an evil disease that threatens you long after treatment ends, and we have to keep fighting.

 current weight: 173.0 
CARPROTH's Photo CARPROTH Posts: 19,335
11/14/10 3:00 P

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I am extremely fortunate to live in an area served by The Wellness Community - an incredible resource center available to any cancer patient, survivor, supporter, or family member - and EVERYTHING is totally free of charge. I participate in a support group (way helpful), nutrition/cooking classes, and to help relieve stress and depression, tai chi and yoga classes. The tai chi is healing, not martial arts variety and it's recovery yoga (stretching, balance, opening energy pathways) not pretzel bending. I've taken to doing the positions and exercises at home as well when I start feeling in a down or crabby mood - definitely helps keep me balanced (both physically and emotionally).


Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land amongst the stars.

Nothing changes when nothing changes.

 Pounds lost: 19.0 
11/14/10 2:46 P

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I have taken antidepressants, but they did not help and I was sick from them too. I have had a few counselors, they help, just found a really good Christian counselor and had a phone consultation, from our conversation she sounds like the one who God sent me to find for my help at this time in my life. I hope you can find what works for you. You know I ate too when I was depressed, sad, lonely, that did me no good and I am trying desperately to end that. Praying that you feel better.

Co-Leader of Breast Cancer Survivor's & Those Who Care. Days Go By...So Live Your Life.

Motivational Quote:
"You have within you a supply of energy limited only by your ability to discover and develop it. In body, mind and spirit, you are endowed with capabilities far greater than you know, keep reaching for your potential. "

 Pounds lost: 29.0 
11/14/10 2:20 P

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Really curious.... how many of you are dealing with depression since finishing chemo?
Seems like I am struggling with serious depression more than when I was actually going through treatments!!

How about you? And ... if you are dealing with depression how have you handled it?


It is not enough to simply show up. You need to step up for results.... keep on stepping! Dee

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