Sunday, April 5, 2009

Worst Is Over

The worst of the chemo has passed ... at least as far as the physical side effects ... mentally, I'm still struggling with the moodiness.

Every time I go through these two or three days of the cycle, I question whether this is all worth it. Does the treatment give me a quality of life that I can live with? I keep saying I'm going to talk to my psychologist about quitting treatment but somehow these couple of days pass and I forget to or perhaps my intentions where never really there ... and I don't. I guess I'm not really 'that' depressed. I say 'that' depressed because I'd be crazy not to say I'm not depressed by my disease. Cancer is very psychological and staying strong mentally is a real challenge ... at least it is for me.

So what is quality of life? Well that is a tough one. I tell you one thing, it's hard to describe. I read somewhere, it's an over all enjoyment of life, a sense of well-being and the ability to carry out various activities. When we're healthy, quality of life is easy to describe but it's when you loose your health, that's when things get ugly. How happy would you be if you couldn't do all the things you wanted to do? How happy would you be if you couldn't do half or three quarters of what you wanted to do or worse yet ... the majority of what you wanted to do?

So would anti-depressants help? I don't know if I'm ready for more drugs. I just don't feel right about taking anti-depressants ... right now.

I can tell my thoughts and ideas are disjointed so it's best stop writing now.


Sherry said...

The one major thing I learned from my breast cancer journey is that we all have our own story. We all know our own limits; we know what we need and when we need it. No one else can tell us that. What works for Sue may not work for Mary. Mary's diagnosis is different than Diane's and so on.

The best thing I know I had was great doctors, a wonderful support system of family and friends and the ability to communicate with all of them. I learned to listen to myself, to my inner voice and to trust it.

Quality of life? There are people who are missing limbs; people with ALS; people with MS; people with parapalegia and they still find that quality of life. Christopher Reeve is a great example. He never said "stop", he kept hope for a cure and he had an amazing quality of life. It's what you want it to be; what you make it...and that applies to everyone, not just those of us who have gone through devastating and life threatening disease.

Your raise some wonderful points here Daria...I hope you find the answers that ring true with you ♥

Arlene said...

Maybe now is the time to discuss all this with your psychologist. These choices are so difficult and yes, it's different for everyone. An appointment when you are feeling down would help her to see how you are doing and she can shed some light on how to make your choices. All we can do is offer our personal opinions but she might be more helpful as she has, no doubt, dealt with this situation before.

Do you want to
a) continue on with treatment as it is

b) continue on with treatment but use anti-depressants. (Using anti-depressants is not a sign of weakness. Just consider them an antibiotic for your feelings.)

c) reduce or stop treatment for an interval

Anonymous said...

This is a great post Daria! Your question is an important and valid one. Quality of life is different for each individual person. It becomes a massive ethical nightmare to try and assign one definition for all people. I guess it is for each one of us to determine what QOL means to US, and then to communicate that to our medical team. It is a tough one.
Here is what I DO know...I am so glad that you are a part of my life! You give me strength,courage and inspiration. What I want for you is happiness and contentment.

Hugs to you,

Unknown said...

All this wonderful advise hon - I'm at a loss!! So... I will simply say.. I'm sending a hug for you and hope it helps in some little way. Sarah

nollyposh said...

i was the same with chemo... Have you tried meditation?

Unknown said...

I am glad the worst is over sweet friend-dont make any choices just now, give yourself a few more days to get past this treatment xx

Daria said...


I have used meditation in the past but mostly away from chemo.

I think I may have tried it a couple or three months ago during chemo and I didn't have success.

I'll give it another try.


Jill said...

Daria, it is so hard at times to make decisions when our lives are turned upside down.Sometimes we do need a little guidance along the way but in the end the ultimate decision is your choice and only yours.
I hope today is better for you and that you can focus on some good things.