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AN Community => AN Community => Topic started by: Soundy on January 19, 2015, 05:11:40 pm

Title: Survivors remorse or just depression
Post by: Soundy on January 19, 2015, 05:11:40 pm
I think I am having a bit of depression , my doctor says I have survivors remorse

I have a friend who lost a son to an undiagnosed brain tumor about 6 months before my surgery... he was sick at his stomach one day, vomiting the next treated for virus and dead the third day ... autopsy fund a large benign tumor of unknown origin... no symptoms til it nudged his brain stem a little too hard and he was just gone

have a friend now that has a 2 year old grandson with a cancerous brain tumor that has had two surgeries and is on second round of chemo ... one day the doctors think they have a handle on it the next day they are not sure ... check out public page on facebook Pullin" For JC

Last week I lost a friend in Anniston Alabama to a cancerous brain tumor... she helped me through the worst of my AN adventure... she was 45 and left three girls behind with no mom just as the youngest is beginning college... she was told that they had got it and then it came back ... but they did more treatment and said it was shrinking ... talked to her a few days before she died ... her and her family were making plans and then she is gone ... we all thought she was gonna lick it

I am tired , mopey, can't accomplish many tasks around house because all this is on my mind and I start thinking "why am I still here?" ... I pray and feel at ease for a while then fall back into wondering ... doctor wants me to go into therapy and heavy duty  drug treatment ... I think a low dose of an antidepressant and a little time and I will bounce back  ... he thinks I am feeling guilty for being alive when these others have passed on... I think I am just a little down and will not go into any heavy duty treatment ...

anyone have anything like this post survival of AN treatment or surgery???

just venting I guess...thanks for being here   
Title: Re: Survivors remorse or just depression
Post by: Echo on January 21, 2015, 10:12:10 pm
Hi Soundy,

It sounds to me like you are experiencing a very real, intense and justified grief for a dear friend lost.  Depression would be completely understandable. Because of our AN's, we can identify with those we hear or read about who are diagnosed with brain tumors whether benign or malignant.  What makes your situation extra difficult, is knowing directly about the loss of 3 individuals to invasive brain tumors. Two losses being children, which at anytime is difficult to process.

Whenever I read or hear of someone diagnosed with a brain tumor I feel a lump in my throat initially.  I feel compassion for them because I know they are facing a difficult road ahead. I feel sad that in many cases their outcome will not be as good as mine.  I don't question why I'm still alive, there is no easy answer to that question. I try to focus on the good things about my life and find ways to pay it forward. I hope you start to feel better soon. 



Title: Re: Survivors remorse or just depression
Post by: arizonajack on January 23, 2015, 09:30:44 am
doctor wants me to go into therapy

Good advice. Heed it.

My sister walked out of the World Trade Center minutes before it collapsed. Therapy helped her cope with that experience.

Title: Re: Survivors remorse or just depression
Post by: MDemisay on January 27, 2015, 10:19:32 am
Dear Soundy,

Just after my diagnosis in 2004, I initially looked up brain tumors (not the ANA) and I listed myself as having one at this time I knew relatively little about brain tumors (whether benign or malignant) BIG GIGANTIC MISTAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! of epic proportions!!! You see I had mistakenly listed myself on a malignant site.

Pretty soon my aol box became full of messages from people that were mostly dying!!!! and the relatives of those who were going through loss! Sufice it to say I became extremely worked up and depressed. Until I did one thing, I got off that site double quick!

If you become overly concerned about this aspect of it, know this that there is little you can do about it once it has become malignant other than pray! You don't have a malignant one do you?

We (benigns) differ from the malignants in that our tumors don't spread and that's a GOOD thing!

Don't worry be happy! We are very fortunate that way! Don't get me wrong, we will all die someday! Just not that soon, or as soon as the people with the malignant ones do!

Title: Re: Survivors remorse or just depression
Post by: Soundy on January 28, 2015, 09:26:44 am
Thanks for replies.
Arizonajack... one child (the 2 year old) is still alive and fighting. He is having a rough time but still fighting. he is preparing to have another round of chemo which the doctors are going to be "his worse yet". Pray for JC Bass in his fight.

I am glad I am alive but don't fear dying.I don't regret being alive and try to take each day as a gift.  That is why I disagree with the survivor remorse thing. We all have to go sometime. And I am OK with that. I didn't even lie to my girls then 8 and 10 when they asked if I could die in surgery. Death is just the final chapter in living. I almost drown nearly 30 years ago and figured God had more for me to do, so the Elk River was ordered to spit me up and not take me. I am feeling better than I did when I posted originally.

Talked to a counselor on the 21st who says he thinks I have MDD (Major Depression Disorder) I disagree. I am a bit depressed. Maybe a little more than what I went through shortly after surgery. He wants to put me on a cocktail of  Ambien, Bupropion, aripiprazole,  L-Triiodothyronine. This is not going to happen. Other than Ambien, I haven't heard of any of these. Still have scripts in truck with no intention of filling them. I am not that depressed. When I had issues before I took a low dose of Prozac with no problems. It took the edge off and helped me relax enough to function and work through everything that was going on. That would be my first choice in treatment. Even my regular doctor said that the cocktail was too much to just jump into taking. I go back Friday to both doctors. Head shrink first then regular.

I spent most of December going to PT building up abs and back muscles to support spine and hips. I have had hip and back pain for years. Bone density scan shows bone loss to hip bones and lower spine. I am trying to build muscle in order to avoid implant of rods. Now insurance has stopped paying for PT. Working on it at home. Also taking some arthritis meds , lyrica for headaches, steroids for lupus issues and blood pressure medication. It has taking a while to get right combos of these drugs to work without interfering with each other or making me drowsy. Don't want to mess up what is going right medically with addition of  four new pills to make me sleep better and cheer me up.

I also have been talking to a few friends that know me well. And our preacher. No one thinks I am as depressed as the counselor has decided I am. I know he is trained in this field, but I think he is wrong. I think I am super busy with my girls, health issues, the farm and life in general that I get overwhelmed occasionally , resulting in reoccurring mild depression. This is how I am going to present things to him Friday and go from there. I think his original diagnosis is wrong and that that handful of pills would make me into a zombie. I don't want to be so medicated that I walk around in a fog. If nothing else I can fire him and find someone else.

Again thinks for replies and just being here. I wish I had never had to join this forum but at same time not sorry. The support and camaraderie here has helped me more than I can tell you.
Title: Re: Survivors remorse or just depression
Post by: CHD63 on January 28, 2015, 10:44:24 am
Hi Soundy .....

Having followed with you for many years now, I have to agree with your personal assessment of how you feel and your situation.

You have been through a whale-of-a-lot and very few intelligent people (like you) would not suffer some ill effects from it.  You are one strong, courageous, come-back woman.

Many thoughts and prayers.

Title: Re: Survivors remorse or just depression
Post by: ANGuy on January 28, 2015, 02:08:16 pm
Just a couple of points from and uneducated viewpoint.  Some therapists are brilliant, some are terrible.  Don't dismiss the fact that the one you have might be terrible.  The brilliant ones are great and worth finding.

As for Lyrica, my wife was put on it for a bulged disc.  She took exactly one pill.  She didn't even know what planet she was on.  I'm not talking stoned, I'm talking basically hallucinating.  It is very weird, powerful stuff.  If it made my wife that whacked out, I could see how it might contribute to depression.
Title: Re: Survivors remorse or just depression
Post by: Soundy on January 31, 2015, 07:27:41 pm
Yesterday went good. Going to go on low dose prozac and pray.

When I first started lyrica
I was taking 300 mg twice a day and it made me nervous but kept headaches at bay. Then weweaned down and Ionly take 75 twice a day. On bad days I can add  one, but that is rare. My mom was on it and saw things (spiders,snakes,bugs etc) crawling on the walls. I took nerotinin and topamax which whacked me out. I am thankful there are choices so that we can usually find something that works.

As for bad therepists... I have a sister who has severe mental problems. When we were teens she had several that caused more harm than good. Never had a great one, just adaquet. I am leary of anyone telling me what is "really" going on in my head. Will see this one once a week for a while and see what happens.
Title: Re: Survivors remorse or just depression
Post by: Soundy on February 06, 2015, 07:44:25 pm
20mg Prozac a day with permission to add 20 on bad days if needed. A little draggy at times but doing OK.

Talked to doc today and he wanted to go to 40 a day then wean down. I am happier with the lower dose. Relaxes me
enough that I don't start thinking about all the stressor I am dealing with and obsess over  them. And best of
all I am dealing with house work better. I know that sounds odd but I like being able to get most of my daily tasks done
and not roll things over til I am overwhelmed. Higher dose I feel would make me too draggy. He also wanted to "delve into"
my past and relationships with parents.  ???  I almost feel like he wants to make a hobby out of me. Don't know if that
 makes sense. Just a feeling. I told him present history and back 8 years was my limit because I didn't have bouts of
depression before then. He asked if I thought I had to be in control. And I told him , of myself YES. Evidently that is an
issue I didn't know was an issue.

So I guess for now I will keep this going and eventually come back off the pill
Title: Re: Survivors remorse or just depression
Post by: Soundy on February 27, 2015, 08:56:45 pm
Still getting along OK.
Don't like who I am seeing. He is wanting to look at 30 years ago to figure out if something in my past is
causing issues now. Still holding to just prier to surgery forward. Not hiding anything. I gave him a short history
from childhood through to present. Zeroing in on when I starting melting down and what brought it on.
Been snowed and or iced in for the better part of two weeks. Mostly hanging out with my girls (now 15 and 17)
who were down with stomach bug and cruddy cough. But also did most of the feeding of the cows/chickens/donkeys
and other assorted critters  while husband was out with electric system making
sure lines were clear and power was restored.

Kind of fun most of the time. Had a limb break under ice load and fall on electric fence. Couldn't get saw
cranked so tied it to my truck and jerked it loose. Untangled it from wires and put wires back up. Didn't want to chase
cows in snow  drug it down the road and to the hay field about a mile away. So there was a random cedar limb in
our hay field with people trying to figure out how it got there.
Would have had to fly at least 100 feet since that was the closest cedar to it. I enjoyed seeing people walk
out and look at it. Several people called to tell me about it. Couldn't figure how it got there without high winds. It was
snowing enough when I drug it down road at about 6:30 to cover my tracks. Most sensible people were snug
and warm inside. Bo had worked a 26 hour stint then home for about 5 hours and back out. I had just got him fed and
went down to check a cow we have put up at the barn with a set of twins. Came back to house and the limb was across the
drive and had the fence down. just took care of it . I didn't mean to create a mystery, I was just trying to get fence up and limb
out of the way with no working saw. But I had fun with it when the mystery developed. Some people know
but it was more fun to hear theories from those who don't know I put the limb in field.

These two weeks of being snow bound have helped me more than the therapy. A lot of work but fun and enjoyable. I felt
alive and useful. I also worked on creating a coral reef from spray foam insulation for the upcoming book fair.
I think this has shown me something I already knew. I feel useless a lot of time because I can't do as much as I used to
But the cows chickens dogs cats etc. all survived under my care even though it was not as thorough or as complete as Bo
care. I got them through. I carried the cow 5 gallons of water twice a day and took me 3 trips each time carrying  partially
filled bucket up from the creek instead of filling her trough since the water was froze from house to barn and that is all I
could manage. They (cow and twins) seem no worse for wear. 
And my inept attempts at running the farm made me feel good.

I know somewhere in me that I have value. But at times reject it and feel pretty worthless. Then the losses and illnesses
of friends and their loved ones make me go why was I spared worse than SSD, headaches and my swaggering pirate walk?

OK. Enough self analyzing. I honestly think I am on to something and plan on sharing this with my shrink and
let him pick it apart.

I think I may think too much sometimes. And type too much sometimes .  ;D
Title: Re: Survivors remorse or just depression
Post by: CHD63 on February 28, 2015, 07:23:23 am
Hi Soundy .....

WOW, just WOW .....  You are a crazy, wonderful woman!!

..... but I think you may be on to something many of us are experiencing ..... but not necessarily always connected to the results of AN treatment.  Much of our self-worth is tied up in what we have accomplished so when what we can accomplish diminishes or changes, so does our self-worth.  The trick is to find new ways to accomplish different things .....

Thanks so much for sharing your tales.

Title: Re: Survivors remorse or just depression
Post by: NYLady on February 28, 2015, 08:21:12 am
Hello Soundy....

Your post prompted me to read prior posts you have made.  You are amazing!!!  With all the issues you are dealing with, including the tragic loss of people you know, it is remarkable that you can hold it together as well as you do.  I agree about meds.  They are wonderful in their place, but sometimes doctors think to just give a script, dope you out, and that's enough.  But who wants to feel zoned out all the time.  Not only that, with balance issues to start with, that foggy headed feeling is not helpful.  If you have any doubt about your worth, I want you to know that sharing your feelings today and through all your prior posts, has provided an invaluable insight as the the struggles many of us share and how you deal with them.  That insight is priceless!  Yup, God had further plans for you my friend, you are an inspiration to who knows how many that read this forum for encouragement, understanding and acceptance.  Many of us are forever changed by this diagnosis and cannot do some of the things we used to do, the way we used to do them.  They say that is the "new normal".  Easy, uh uh.  We must keep trying to be the most we can be, however we are doing that.  Today, because of you, I am approaching my balance issues with new determination and the knowlede that things could have been so much worse.  Thank you.
I wish you peace, continued strength, and comfort in the knowledge that you are a treasure to your family, to those who know you personally, as well as to those who you share your feelings with here. 

Title: Re: Survivors remorse or just depression
Post by: Soundy on March 09, 2015, 08:40:32 am

Thanks for support and just listening.

Talked to doctor and he thinks I may have solved many of my own problems. He said he thinks I may be
too self critical.I think he is finally right about something. And he isn't trying to poke pills down my throat
anymore which makes me feel better. So I have taken him off my firing list. He laughed when I told
him I had him on a list of people to fire if I was not happy with them. We fire plumbers who unclog the toilet but
left a hole in the wall , the roofer who knocked the chimney off the house ... why not doctors who are not
getting to the root of a problem and fixing (or at least helping) it.

have a good day
Title: Re: Survivors remorse or just depression
Post by: Soundy on June 08, 2015, 07:22:04 pm
I have been released from therepy.

Glad. For now I think I have things under control emotionally.

Having lupus flair up that is occupying my mind lately

Life goes on
Title: Re: Survivors remorse or just depression
Post by: TNMTMAMA on June 17, 2015, 08:45:06 pm
I must agree with the wonderful comments and suggestions given to you. Whenever we suffer multiple losses, it is difficult. Do not be embarrassed to ask for help. Brain surgery or not, you heart is broken and needs to be fixed, too. Wishing you all the best!