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Friday, May 4, 2012

Triply at risk for Depression

I have been finding lately, especially since the abrupt termination of my chemotherapy (which is now mimicking hormonal withdrawal) that I cannot stop crying. The littlest thing can set it off (from a child refusing to hurry to breakfast so we are not late for school) to a perceived slight from a friend (emphasis on perceived) or family member, and I find that I am so lonely I can cry for hours and hours until I dehydrate myself. I was just doing some reading on some of the various physiological and emotional reactions to breast cancer treatment, particularly when mastectomy is involved, and found that over the next year or so (and I should expect the recovery to take that long after radiation which has not even started) and I am at triple-risk for severe depression. I am going to have to be very strong to combat this, which is not going to be made easier with the half-emptying of my own nest this fall. I will plan to spend more and more time with my puppy, even though I continue to feel so exhausted that walking a block is overwhelming. I have to ask for more physical and emotional help, as humiliatingly hard as that can be for me. Miss Independent. What is likely to make it worse is the inception of tamoxifen, which I am likely to have to take orally for five years to prevent recurrence after radiation ends at some point this summer. I just hope I avoid the burns and broken skin where it is so delicate at the cancer site, and further hope that my heart muscle will not be damaged by the gamma rays.

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