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I need help and advice

Guest MomOTwins40

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Guest MomOTwins40

Hi! I need some help and advice. I am deeply depressed and have horrible anxiety over my lung cancer. I am on an anti-depressant and take xanax but I can't shake this. My husband has about had it with my dark moods. I can't think of anything good, only bad and that I'm going to die. My treatments are over for now, I am waiting to get repeat scans in May which will tell where we go from here. I had the 6 taxol/carbo every 3 weeks and 7 weeks of radiation. All my scans have been good and there is every reason to believe I might be in remission. But I am paralyzed (and I do mean paralyzed) with fear. I can't get out of bed, I can't stop crying, I can't do the smallest thing. I am seeing a counselor but it doesn't seem to be helping. I tried a support group but it was so depressing hearing others stories. I just don't know how to live anymore. I know the statistics of this disease and I have this horrible feeling that I'm not going to live long. I pray and sometimes find peace with God but then all the fears surface again. I've tried just concentrating on the one day at a time thing but it just doesn't work. Please, can someone help me????? I'm terrified!!!!


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HI Veronica, I'm taking anti-deppresants also the 1st on I was on didn't help much, I switched and the new one seems to help me more paxil.

This is scary business, I try to grasp the good and not think about the doom and gloom anymore it happens sometimes and I wallow in it sometimes, but I know I don't have to stay there I have a choice

I'll say a prayer for you , hope you find some way out of your depression.

Know that you have a lot of friends here , who have been through real similar things as you. Take care

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Veronica -

Cancer rocks us to the core - and it isn't easy to just say "oh - it's over" and pretend it never happened or could never come back.

Here's a couple quotes for you from "There's No Place Like Hope":

"We will all die someday, that is a given, but let us each die but once - not each day by letting cancer, or anything else, steal the goodness from our days."

"Fear can be a great motivator, a call to action, or it can be paralyzing. Don't let fear make you a deer in the headlights. Many deer end up dead, not because there wasn't safety nearby, but simply because they were too afraid to move."

I hope your cloud lifts soon - you didn't go through everything you did to be miserable!


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Dear Veronica,

Would it help you to know that what you are experiencing is a shared experience among many, many, many people with cancer? I cried every day for six months after my diagnosis. I was devastated. I also couldn't talk to anyone on the phone. I just wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out.

Eventually, things grew calmer for me. I went on an anti-depressent, Celexa, and through the course of my treatments I just got a hold of myself. This all began for me 21 months ago. What seemed to be a very bleak diagnosis in the beginning has turned out to be what...I don't know. I just know I am still alive after 21 months--and I feel pretty good. At some point along the way, the will to live erupted in me and I just vowed that I would do everything in my power to try to get well. I know that I may not recover from this, but becoming a fighter (instead of passively allowing this to get the better of me emotionally) has made me a much stronger person.

Since you are already taking an anti-depressent that doesn't seem to be working, I would call the doctor tomorrow and tell him or her what is going on. I think you need a different medication. Since you are already going to a counselor, I would suggest seeking out a different counselor. Ask the doctor for a referral. Another thought, have you ever kept a journal? Some people feel that journaling helps them to collect their thoughts. Another idea would be to call ALCASE (find phone number on their website: www.alcase.org) and ask for a phone buddy. They match people with similar situations and this is so helpful. I forgot that sometimes chemo causes depression too.

You've been through a lot in a very short amount of time. You need to medically attend to the depression so you can get on track physically. Let me know how you are doing.

Take care,


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Dear Veronica,

EVERYTHING THAT ADA said is RIGHT ON!!!! Each and everyone that is dx.d with any kind of cancer goes through depression. And YES Chemo add's to it! I was very wheepy throughout my chemo treatments. I would cry when I would try to say, " I love you" to my family, and all I could say was "I - - - and the tears would come"

I agree you need a different medication. Everyone is different and sometimes it takes a couple try's before you find one that fits you! You HAVE To tell your doctor's all that is going on! And looking into a new counselor is also a very good idea. Maybe find one that deals with Cancer Patients, they are out there!!

And get a phone buddy through ALCASE and here is there number:

1-800-298-2436. The hell with ONE DAY AT A TIME, you need to do ONE MINUTE AT A TIME for now. BABY STEPS my DEAR BABY STEPS!!!

I know I was very depressed as well during the first couple of years of my journey. Then ONE MORNING, I got up and said, (I am either going to LIVE or DIE, and today I choose to LIVE)! As long as I have breath, I am alive!!! Hon, NO ONE wants to die, NO ONE!! You HAVE to stop focusing on death and START focusing on LIFE!! If you put as much energy into thinking your going to LIVE as you seem to be doing with dying, just think of how happy, cheerful, pleasant a person you would be to be around! :)

Maybe you need to get PISSED!! Take the BULL by the horns and say, VERONICA, THAT'S ENOUGH OF THIS CRAP!! Get up and get on with your life, TODAY!!! We all only have TODAY!!!

Venting here more often may also be helpful to you. You may wish to do it more often. It WILL GET BETTER!!! It's no cake walk, but it's for SURE


Warm and Gentle Hugs,

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Hi Veronica,

I am fairly new to this crazy upside world myself but I have found that one of the most helpful things for me is reading positive, uplifting stories of SURVIVORS -- a great one is "There's No Place Like Hope" and also "50 Things to Do If You Have Cancer". It's a step by step process of getting through treatment and getting your life back (written by a Lung Cancer Survivor!)

In the beginning, I would look at my little boy and only think sad thoughts and cry every time I hugged him. I don't know how it happened, but it was like a switch clicked on in my head a few weeks ago -- When I look at him now, I don't feel sadness -- I feel a determination deep inside me to beat this thing and make every minute of my life count, for his sake as well as mine!

We CAN beat this thing!!!!

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Guest DaveG


I have 18 wonderful months of being cancer free and Stage I. This past Friday, April 18, following 2 weeks of scan after scan, blood test after blood test, and a biopsy, I was restaged to Stage IV. I am facing 6 cycles of Carboplatin/Taxol over an 18 week period. From what my oncologist told me, I am going to get "slam-dunked". I have systemic metastases to my lymphatic system with a large mass around the lower apex of my heart, which is the reason I am now a Stage IV.

You obviously have one step on me, you have been through the chemo. Granted, the news was devastating, to say the least.

I am on Celexa, as are others on this board. Depression is part of the whole acceptance process and is actually the easist of the different steps we go through, to treat. Just ask your doctor for meds for depression.

The biggest thing I did, when I finally got home, Friday evening, I turned to my family here at Lung Cancer Survivors for Change. Everyone here understands the trivails of Lung Cancer. If we have not experienced it ourselves, a family member has experienced it. We are not alone here. We are a group of very, very close people, who are jointly fighting a very devastating disease. We share. We share our emotions from crying to laughter, from depression to elation, from downtrodden to upbeat. We share. When one suffers, we all suffers. When one has something to celebrate, we all celebrate. That's the way we are here. That's why I love the people here.

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I can only add the words "Ditto - Ditto - Ditto". Sound advice from a lot of folks who have been through the cancer grinder.

I am a heavy promoter of anti-depressants. Call your doctor first thing in the morn and tell him you need to change from Xanax to another drug and if that doesn't work get another.

When I was first diagnosed I cried a river. Every time I looked at my family I cried. Thought I was going to dehydrate myself from crying. As I switched from one anti-depressant to another, the crying eventually stopped and now I am right where I need to be. It' been a long while since I have shed a tear (boy, is my family grateful). Don't get me wrong - I still have moments of self pity but trust me when I say those moments are few and far between.

Good Luck and God Bless

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There has been so much good advice given here already that I don't know what I can add.

Cancer is devastating, and what you are feeling is completely normal. But it doesn't mean you have to suffer with it. Like those before me said, try all anti-depressants until you find one that works.

In the first month of my husband's diagnosis alone, I think I've cryed enough to flood a small village. I still lay in bed every morning for hours feeling like I can't face the day and don't want to pull the covers down. Then when I finally force myself to do it, and show up at work an hour or two late, I feel guilt for letting this feeling steal what I now consider precious time. I feel much better when I come here and read the support and positive attitudes of people just like me, and people SURVIVING lung cancer. And that is what I keep telling myself.... THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO SURVIVE LUNG CANCER! There is one person here whose father was in remission for 20 years. My husbands doctor is treating a man with SCLC, which has horrible statistics (if you believe those outdated, false things), and that man has been in remission for over 30 years. This site also posts many articles of research in progress and cancer findings that will eventually aid in the cure for lung cancer. I am inspired by some of the things going on in the medical community. For example, our doctor told us SCLC is incurable, but for limited SCLC Fox Chase Cancer Center is doing a clinical trial that they say is having a 25% curative rate, and they are expecting that rate to grow (that was as of 2002).

I HAVE to believe that if my husband puts his mind and will into living, he too can live for 30+ years. There is no reason why you too can't be an amazing exception.

Keep faith, and you will be in my prayers - God Bless


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Celexa has helped me when other drugs did very little. I agree that you should ask your doctor to give you a different prescription. Every day you spend in bed is one less day you have to live and enjoy whatever you can find that will provide you with some pleasure. Get out of the house. Take a walk, take a drive, plant a flower, do anything, just get away for a little while. It will help clear your mind. Hang in there and call your doctor. This isn't a death sentence, it justs feels like one. We've all been there.

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