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Changing things up


Carleen

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Hi all,

I've been off the computer for the past week. Just kind of moping and feeling blue. I know I tell others to come here when they are feeling down and need a lift. But I didn't take my own advice. I've just been wallowing in misery and depression. Top that off with some computer problems and well.... :(

We received Keith's results of his CT scan last Thursday, and it showed no change. I know people tell us that no change is a good thing, but the oncologist seemed so disappointed, and after all that we've gone through already we were really hoping for some positive change. We were both disappointed, and our positive attitudes have slipped away.

The doctor decided to change the protocol Keith was receiving to Cisplatin and VP-16 three days in a row, which started Monday. It's been kind of hectic trying to get schedules rearranged, time off work etc.... But, we've gone through this first round. Keith has taken this much harder than he did the other chemo. With the CPT-11 you could hardly tell he was on chemo. He'd come home from the hospital and paint the living room and go golfing and eat a big steak dinner. This week he hasn't done much other than go for treatment, come home and sleep. He can barely keep his eyes open long enough to eat. In fact, he's barely ate anything because he isn't feeling well. I'm really scared when I look at him all sick like this. It is tearing me apart.

To top all this off, I planned a doctors appointment for myself for last Thursday. I figured we were at the hospital, might as well get a physical and possibly join the anti-depressant crowd. I know I've really been battling my own emotions most of the time, and could really use the meds. It turns out the doctor discovered that I have a heart murmer. And I've been telling people for the last three months that my heart is breaking. Everyone just thought I was being metaphorical, but it turns out I was telling the truth.

I know I need to take care of my health so I can better take care of Keith. I've been slipping on that, and the stress, bad diet and lack of sleep are probably the cause of my health problem. But at this time I can't help feeling apathetic to it. Part of me feels the biggest favor God can do me, is to let me be strong and healthy enough to be here for Keith, but if it turns out to be His will to take Keith home to him, he can then take me too.

Boy I can't wait for these anti-depressants to kick in.... How long do they normally take until you become emotionally stable?

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Carleen

My friend. I am holding your hand today and we are going through all this Hell together. I will be there for you whenever you want to yell, cry, vent, scream, mope, shout, and pray.

the emotions are warranted and justified and dont let any one tell you otherwise. Us control freaks have issues with not getting our own ways or the news we want.

I am also trying to remember that this certain situation is out of our hands. We can only watch what god is going to do. We can pray, and hope he hears us. But its up to him. I can't tell you how to take care of yourself , because I haven't learned how to do it yet.

I am feeling all the same feelings and it sucks big time

Let it out and you may feel a little better. Things are going to turn around now for the better just wait and see

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Carleen,

Wow, you do have many things to deal with. I am so sorry. I think so much of you and I wished I could help more.

I know that giving your emotions a voice (writing it down) often helps as to reconize how we are feeling. We are here for you so let it out, vent away.

Do you know of Louise Hay, the author? She has written many self help types of books. One that I use as a desk reference is Heal Your Body. In this book she talks about how emotions left alone can grow and fester into illnesses. I think alot of what she teaches makes sence. She then gives a positive affirmation, or new thought patteren to combat the illness. I will be the first to tell you that it doesn't always turn out the way we want, but it's worth a try. Please don't think by me suggesting this that I am makeing light of your condition, I'm not. Sometimes if we can catch things before it has a chance to escalate we are really doing ourselves a favor.

How is the doctor planning to care for this murmor? Was the doctor able to tell you if this murmor is something new or if you have had it for a while? About the anti-depressant, depending on what it is you are taking, it can take up to a couple of weeks before you notice a difference. Did you get any information with the perscription? I hope it can help you.

You do have valid reasons for feeling down and I understand that when you do feel that way it is easy to be a recluse. One thing I would suggest is to find JOY in some of the simplest things around you such as children playing, or watching birds in the yard.

Thinking of you, Shelly

((((((((HUGS)))))))))

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Carleen, I missed you and am so glad you're back. Anytime you get a "stable" or "no change", even though you want positive progress, this si a good thing because it bides you time to find something else. When Lucie and I went through lay chaplaincy training, one of the modules was "Taking Care of the Caregiver" and they were very strong on a caregiver taking care of themselves foremost so they would be in physical, mental and emotional shape to be of help. The image the speaker gave us I will never forget. He said the heart pumps blood to itself first in order to be healthy enough to pump blood to the whole rest of the body. Wow! That image has stuck with me, and I am so happy the past few weeks that I have been able to get to the gym at least once a week and keep up my physical strength. I also have a lay minister I visit with once a week to get my spiritual and emotional charge. So whatever meds and other things, including breaks, that you need to do for yourself, go therefore and do! Blessings. Don

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Dear Carleen

I have been thinking about you and keith for the past week, anxiously waiting for you to post his scan results. I am sorry that things haven't changed for him, I wish that they had, but I am hoping & praying that the new chemo will do the trick and turn things around and show some real results! I know it is not very consoling but its true that at least the cancer hasn't grown, he still has a very good chance of beating this. Maybe it just wasn't the right chemo for him. I am sorry to hear about your heart murmur, please do try and take care of yourself too, do what the doctor tells you to do and take whatever medications he prescribes. I know quite a few people with heart murmurs and they are all okay, my 16 year old grandson has one too, he has had it since he was very young. Its not a fun thing to have but if you watch it carefully I am sure you will be fine. I don't know much about anti depressants but I think I am going to learn soon. I too have been fighting with depression ever since my diagnosis and have been putting off getting them but I am going to ask for them next week at my Dr. appointment. Why try to fight it alone. As some of my friends say "better living through chemistry"! Please keep us posted about Keith and about you too.

Praying for you both

Bess B

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I was told that it took ten days to two weeks before full effects of meds kicked in. Mine took about a week and didn't stay on them long enough to tell if they really made a difference...I need to try new pills I guess.

I'm choosing to look at Keith's results from the backside and believe that no progression (as in the kind we don't want) IS GOOD news. Even though it isn't the best news, there is alot to be said about stable disease.

I am joining in all the prayers that the new treatments will WORK and that the news will be terrific come next testing time. Hang in there. Easier said than done I know but we are all praying for you both! Take care of YOU, ok. don't forget.

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Carleen,

I've been so worried about you and Keith, I've been waiting on pins and needles for your post, I almost emailed you, but didn't want to intrude. IT IS GOOD NEWS! Maybe not what you hoped for, but still good news. I hope that the new chemo will make the difference, please don't get discouraged. I'm thankful that they tested him at this point. It could take as much as 3 weeks for the meds to work for you, but don't give up, they do help. I'm so sorry to hear about your heart problem, but now you must take better care of yourself. Don't forget that we're all here for you and know what you are going through.

Jenny

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Dear Carleen,

I've been thinking of you and Keith this week. I was worried about you not posting because I knew you had mentioned that you were visiting the oncologist last Friday.

I know you are disappointed about Keith's cancer still being present in his body, but the fact that the chemo kept the cancer stable is a positive. I've been on 2 chemos that caused some physical problems--and didn't work--the cancer spread. Looking back I would have gladly accepted stable disease.

You asked about how long it takes for an anti-depressant to build up in your body. I always thought you needed to give the medication at least a month to work. Be patient, you'll feel better soon.

I was sorry to hear about your heart murmur too. I hope things are going better for you and Keith as of today.

I am thinking of you,

Ada

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Carleen -

I have to go with every one else here and say "don't consider that entirely bad news"............but I know it's hard to swallow that advice.

I'm sorry you're so down, and I'm sorry Keith is sicker with this combo of drugs. Hang in there Hon....

Hugs and prayers,

SandyS

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Oh Carleen, I am so sorry the results weren't better. THank God it hasn't grown at all though, that is good news!!!

I am so sorry also that you are feeling so cruddy. :cry: I can only imagine how difficlt it is. :cry: I also take antidepressants, for me they took almost a month for the full effect. They will help. I am praying for you guys. We're here for you.

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Dear Carleen,

I, too, have been concerned about your not posting. I'm going to try to focus on the aspect of the oncologist stepping in with an aggressive approach at this juncture, even though it makes Keith feel worse...I'll be praying that this one goes BEYOND keeping the disease stable (which is positive in itself, but not what you were hoping for, I know). Please try to take care of yourself too, and know that we are here to listen and commiserate with you. Try to choose ONE thing that might help you cope, and start there...

Blessings

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Carleen, if we met in person I would be hugging you right now. I agree with everyone else that stable is good while you find another drug. Remember the fatigue is from the treatment not the cancer. He's doing his body good with sleep. I know its hard to watch though.

Take care of yourself with that heart murmur too. Its good you are taking some antidepressants. Have you tried some counseling too, with a priest, minister, or counselor of some sort?

We are here for you to vent to, and we are here praying for you every day.

Im sending love, hugs, and prayers your way tonight, my friend.

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Here is the exact trial .... not sure if he could be taken as refractory small cell.

A Phase II, Open-Label, Multicenter Study to Evaluate the Efficacy of 90Y-SMT 487 Administered Intravenously to Patients with Refractory Small Cell Lung or Advanced Metastatic Breast Cancer Expressing Somatostatin Receptors as Determined by OctreScan® Scintigraphy [CSMT487 A-Industry Study] (PI - Thomas O'Dorisio), Contact Pam Zehr or Linda Larson

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Guest canuckwebgrrl

Carleen,

I'm sorry things aren't going the way we all hoped they would with Keith's LC. We were all pretty down when a couple of chemos back my step-dad (Steve) stopped having any progress in size of lung mass. We're finishing the 6th of 6 chemo rounds next week and then progressing to chest radiation.

My GP recommended a book to me, and I can whole-heartedly recommend it to you, or any of us on the board. It's called "Close to the Bone" by Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. The description on the cover reads: "Life-Threatening Illness and the Search for Meaning"

Here's her site where you can read an exerpt: http://www.jeanshinodabolen.com/bk_closetobone.html

Remember, you're a strong person, even if it doesn't feel like it right now.

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Carleen,

I'm sorry that you and Keith didn't get the news that we had all hoped for.

But I'm gonna agree with the rest and tell you that stable is good.

Its so hard to see our loved ones sick with the cancer...then sick with the chemo. You mentioned it breaking your heart to see him down and out with the latest drugs....but keep thinking of it as just an exchange for him being cured!!

I wish you the best of luck as Keith works his way through the new rounds of chemo

Keep fighting Carleen...and remember to take care of yourself in the meantime

Laura

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Carleen,

This is Karen, David C's wife. I must tell you that I have suffered in the past from some pretty bad clinical depression. It happened after several miscarriages and infertility treatment. I had weekly therapy with a good clinical psychologist and went on an antidepressant, Celexa. With some work I was able to come out of it. Anyway, long story short, I think that experience sort of helped me when Dave got sick, I still take the Celexa but after talking to my family doctor upped the dosage when Dave was diagnosed. But I think that experience helped me with learning the danger signs of depression, I can nip it in the bud when I feel it coming on, etc. Anyway, one thing I did do as soon as Dave was diagnosed was go to our family doc (she is wonderful so we're lucky) and had a long talk about keeping me healthy so I could take care of Dave. During that visit she noticed a funny looking mole and again long story short, I had a Stage II melanoma removed about a month ago. A potentially life threatening thing nipped in the bud. My point is, you must take care of yourself right now, emotionally, mentally and physically. You cannot wish for God to take you if He takes your husband, because that is probably not God's Will. God and your husband I am sure want you to be healthy and happy and STRONG. My advice to you right now is to take the steps you need to take care of your heart problem and be thankful it was diagnosed, and to find a medical profession to talk things through with and also yes, get on a good anti-depressant. If you need to talk privately let me know and I will get our phone number to you. And know that you are not alone in this.

God Bless, Karen C

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Carleen, I know you are disappointed in the results of Keiths CT scans, but let me tell you-there is something to be said for "maintainin"...of course you would prefer shrinkage, but let me tell you, if we could get my dads cancer to just stay the same-I'd be happy with that.

Try to remember that NO CHANGE in the disease = NO PROGRESSION OF the disease...and that IS good news.

I will continue to keep you guys in my thoughts and prayers, you guys are such a beautiful couple!!

Give the meds a chance, ask your doc. when you could expect a change so that you have a guideline to see if you need something else.

Also, my mom has had a heart murmer her whole life, and her heart is just fine...but DO try to take care of yourself.

Take care, Deb

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Carleen,

"Ditto" to what everyone else has said! I have a hard time feeling good about anything except "gone" so I know your feeling crummy about this, with the roller-coaster of this damn disease, how can you not get depressed? Just try really hard to stay in today and out of the tomorrow "what-ifs". I haven't done medication as of yet, but they probably help. I'm thinking about you.

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Carleen-

First (((((HUG))))))

I am right where you are Carleen and I know how you feel ....please do not give up. When we got the news this past Monday that Tim had an enlarged lymph node under his arm and "something" on a vertebrae and has to go for tests next week, all I could do was cry (not in front of him of course)....I had hoped to hear that the cancer was continuing to shrink (we had had good news from the scans after his 4th treatment)..He is no longer saying he is going to beat it...now he says he is going to take it six months at a time. I cannot imagine losing him...I have NO ONE but him, and I just am so scared to death. I guess I never thought that this could happen to us, I just never thought about it...just assumed I would go first.

I try to have faith that what happens is God's will and that there is a reason for this, but at times I have a difficult time imagining what it could be...I love my husband just as you do yours and this is SO UNFAIR !

If you need to talk...PM me and I will send you my email address...I am always here...

Oh, and I am on Lexapro and it took about 2-3 to really work, and I tell you I am SO much better than what I was....

TAKE CARE!

Kathy

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Hi Carleen,

I need to reach out to you, too. I know how you feel. The day my husband was diagnosed with lung cancer, I left the hospital for a trip to my family doctor. I insisted he start me on anti-depressants immediately. My darling husband passed away only 6 short weeks after being diagnosed. I continued taking the anti-depressants. Thank God because only 1 year later, I, too was diagnosed with Stage 2B lung cancer. I had the lobectomy and have been cancer free now for 1 year and 9 months. I go for my 3 month scan Monday, June. 30. I still take the anti-depressant.

I must tell you that I feel terrific and Iam really in a good place with myself. It wasn't easy, but I've survived and so will you. I would be happy to converse with you via the phone if you need or want to. Please let me know and I will be happy to give you my number or call you.

Have faith. IT WILL GET BETTER!!!! I PROMISE.

Big hugs!!!!

CathyR

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