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Mental/Emotional Side Effects
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Mental/Emotional Side Effects

I was wondering if any of you would care to share your thoughts on this subject as I am going through a very hard time right now and it would be nice to know that I am not alone in this.  You all seem so brave and strong all the time but I don't. People tell me what an inspiration I am (because I haven't died?) and my Dr is always telling me that it is the tough and funny ones like me that have the best chance (so much for attitude studies)  and I feel like such a fricking phony.  I did just fine the first year and going through the carbo/taxol but this Gemzar seems to be kicking my emotional butt.  If I had not seen some of the same symptoms in my FIL who is on Gemzar for pancreatic cancer I would be really concerned but as it is I only feel like jumping out of my skin and punching somebody's lights out all at the same time.  I am a pretty decent christian woman and I don't think like that but lately everything has me alternating between tears and anger.  I am so tired of trying to be cheerful and nice.  Sometimes I would just love to tell people how I really feel but you can't do that.  They want to hear that you are doing just great.  I have cancer, what the hell do they think I feel like. I don't know if it is the Gemzar alone or an accumulation of this last year and 1/2 but whatever it is I feel awful in my head.  Nothing feels right, and my whole world just seems out of sync.  HELP
Thanks
Jan  
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30 Comments
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Are you sharing your feelings with anyone, besides us, how you are feeling, or are you keeping up the brave front all the time?  I know for me, when I stopped crying, with the help of xanax after my diagnosis, I was determined to beat this cancer.  I was the good patient, going through chemotherapy, going back to work and living a normal life.  Then came the recurrence, within a year of finishing chemo and you are back at dealing with it again.  All those questions of, why didn't I get more than a year, why couldn't I beat it, what did I do to deserve this came back. I again got xanax to shut my brain off, when I needed it.  I was equipped with knowledge about this damn cancer and nothing helped, made me angry.  I get up every morning and go to work, sometimes I feel like I am on autopilot.  I would like to retire, however I carry the health insurance and having cancer means I can't.  I don't always put a smile on my face and I talk about the what if's of this disease with my husband and friends.  I am sometimes reminded that I could be hit by a car tomorrow - somehow that scares me less.  Nothing for me has been the same since the diagnosis, it has felt like I have had one loss after another, and I want to scream.  I do have people how I feel about how I feel, my husband, some of my friends, others I can't.  My family practice physician telling me about one of his patient's who attributed her remission to prayer and God.  I told him I didn't, that I wasn't certain about a god anymore.  I don't know if this helps or not        Marie
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Jan - hello there! You have every right to feel what you do honey, didn't your last post help a little? Just venting can help me. I have never taken Gezmar, but I always have feelings of depression right after chemo for about a week. I tell my boyfriend that this is the end for me (how ridiculous), I tell my parents that I won't be doing chemo anymore, to take me out of my misery, to let me travel and live my life without chemo. I say all of this **** everytime, I cry, I vent, and then I feel better. You have to talk about your feelings. I find that after a good cry and vent, I feel much better. You are NOT alone, I think we all feel these feelings - it's OK!! I feel that you should let the feelings out, and then try to be as positive as possible so the body can follow. I don't know if this helps at all, I just wanted you to know you are not alone. With love, Deandra
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Boy, there are times in the past two years, I could have written something similar to your post.  I pride myself on keeping a good attitude, and making people laugh.  I get pleasure from that.  But there is nothing like a cancer diagnosis, and then a recurrence that suck the fun right out of a circus.  During treatment the first time, I thought I might end up in a padded cell.  This monster changes you forever, and no one can tell me the chemical effects to the brain are imagined.  When I learned it was back after 15 months, one side of me said, "Ok, time to kick this thing in the hind end again."  The other part said, "What in the hell did I do to deserve this TWICE!"  Anyway, I'll try not to ramble, but just know your feelings are completely normal, and there's not a one of us who hasn't felt like the world is against her.  

I am on Gemzar at the moment, too, along with Taxotere.  My doc keeps telling me Gemzar is well tolerated by most people.  I want to know who they are, because I know NO one who gets along well with it.  I wish I could give you some words of wisdom about how to get over the sadness, but all I can say is you have my best wishes that it will get better soon.  I agree with Marie in that if you are not already on some kind of antidepressant, maybe you could look into it.  I am on Effexor XR.  Not only does it ease the stress, but it also helps me with the terrible nightsweats.  I know they are not the answer for everyone, but it's worth a shot.

By the way, you asked me in another post if I came to Nashville for treatments.  No, there is a cancer center where I live.  I chose to go there for convenience sake, but my GYN/ONC is at Vanderbilt, and I see him every 6 months.  I am thinking about moving my treatments to Cape Girardeau, MO, though, because one of the hospitals there is affiliated with MD Anderson.  I am also seeing a doctor there in Houston, but that's not exactly feasible to go there for weekly chemo treatments.  

Wishing you brighter days ahead, and lots of love and prayers.

Gail  
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I am on the phone with Leslee almost daily, she knows she can tell me how bad or good she feels, we don't just discuss her cancer, we talk about anything she wants to. She lets her hair down {what there is of it} and I listen.  I have told her that as her Mother I do feel her pain, what Mother doesn't. We just got done talking for almost 2 hours,  she is in pain, she is afraid, she is tired, all this comes through to me. She does have me to talk to, because she shields her hubby and girls from it.  Such a difference from the happy, independent gal I raised.  She is worried right now about her energy level, so we did a little research and she is going to add ginsing tea to her liquids.  I know that all of you want in the worst way, for this all to go away. All of the things that you have faced prior to this did go away. To keep searching for that positive response you need, must be one of the hardest things to handle on a  day to day basis. To have to be brave all the time is impossible. A good cry once in a while has to be good for the soul.  We tell a child it is ok to be angry, don't shut that off just because you are an adult.  Try to lose yourself in a happy, funny movie sometime, it will bring a time of relief.  Leslee said she was going to tell the next person that asked her how she felt,  "I have cancer and I feel like hell"  Said she could laugh then at the expression on their face.  Jan do you have someone you can " let your hair down with?"   We did a lot of laughing in that 2 hour talk this afternoon, and we did some planning on what to do next.  Leslee works with people with disabilities, these are people that live with their altered lives daily, they have had no days of a normal childhood to remember, she can make them smile, and feel happy when she is with them.  She has 16 of these charges daily for 5 1/2 hours, they do not sit and stare at the walls, she keeps them busy and together as a group they do things that we all take for granted.  She told me today that she feels LUCKY to be as able as she is now compared to their limited lives.  My youngest son, 37, has Downs Syndrome and lives at home with me for as long as I can possibly do my best for him.  So I guess what my message is,  do the best you can, with what you are, and live every day as if it were your last one.   I hold each and every one of you in my heart and pray every night for those miracles to happen.  Don't lose your faith, because then, who would you have to talk to, when no one else will listen.
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I too know exactly how you are feeling. It is an emotional roller coaster. From my owm experiance and from reading so many others, I feel that we all go through the same emotions at some point in time or another. You are by no means a phony, I think at times we all are like that, someone asks how you are and you tell them just fine. My self I just don't feel like going into it because most people just don't understand. But also if I say I am fine enough, I tend to believe it my self . As for the Gemzar, I also know what you are talking about, I think it was the roughest I have been on so far. But hang in there because it does get better. Our whole world is out of sync if you don't mind my saying. But when the times come around that I feel as though you do now, I just need to be alone. It seems I can work through it better by my self. The best help I have found is to vent on a message board just as you have done. That way you know that you are not alone in feeling the way that you do. Hang in there hon, it will get better. Just never give up hope.  LOL Chris
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i am so sorry you are feeling bad. i was supposed to start chemo today. i called them yesterday and told them i have had diarhea (diarrhea) for 5 weeks from surgery and did not see how i could take chemo. they put me down for thursday and finally told me to take a cholestral powder and call back tomorrow. well i don t know what was in it but i have been once instead of 10 times and its almost 7pm. i cried again about noon today and went into  i can t  do this anymore, why bother, it didn;t give me the avg. 2.5 yr remission  after doing the ip chemo that was so bad i had to have home health the day after for fluids and nausea meds. i did read on one of the cancer websites that a recurrence was worse for most people than the original diagnosis. .. .
i am supposed to get gemzar and carbo thurs. then gemzar the next thursday. i am like you, everyone is trying so hard to help me and cheer me up, now i'm telling them if they were me i wonder what they would do. its awful, getting remission and goingback  to work, i even bought myself a cadillac. i told my other half today after my spell, that was such a great day, driving home alone in the sunshine with the windows down and radio on. it was like everything was going to be ok. but in my mind, feeling guilty, knowing the odds and buying the car( actually he bought it ,an 04, and paid cash. but still a lot of money for 6 months.  i wish someone would come buy car, jewelry, and clothes. i don t even want to see the shoes and things in he closet, if i was able to get in there and take it somewhere i would. he is in denial i think, like oh do this chemo and you ll get this big remission. janalene. i think i am in as bad or worse shape than you . i haven t even gotten the gemzar yet. i am petrified of  what its going to do, or not do. i just want to be me again, i even heard people say (got back to me) why her, she was always happy and did all these things and all that. i dressed up everyday, didn t go out without makeup and hair done, now i can barely take a shower. but i do want to tell you this, i am so glad you are on this website, i look for your posts and feel we are a lot alike. and not that far away, a tn gal. we will all get thru this together, may God be with us and give us strength and see us thru these dark thoughts. look for spring and our flowers and sunny days. maybe we can get together when we get better!  praying for all of us. donna
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This is a total violation of Jan's privacy, but this Jan's husband Cory and have been following and praying for all of you.  Jan is the strongest women I have ever known and she has been hurting more each day.  Each of you mean so much to her and your words/thoughts are what gets her through most days.  

She feels as if she as no worth to me or anyone else....whats that all about?!   She always has kind and inspiring words for all of us.  Gemzar is not so kind and it changes the mind/body/spirit.

Each of you, just as I, have grown to love and respect her.  However, I am the one who feels that I HAVE NO WORTH because I cannot make her better and do not have the words to comfort her.....you guys understand this more than I.... so THANK YOU for watching over and comforting my girl in ways that I cannot......Cory
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OMG Cory...you are so sweet to be so concerned and worried. I can't imagine what it must feel like to sit back and have to watch someone you love go through this. It's hard to keep up the happy-go-lucky front all the time and sometimes our husbands/boyfriends/parents are the ones that get the brunt of all the emotion that is kept bottled up. I know for me, it's awful to see my parents worry, so I tend to make sure they always see me smiling. I hate letting anyone see me cry. This disease can throw some wicked punches at us, but it's up to us to dust ourselves off and move forward. I say that today, but ask me tomorrow how I feel, and I'm likely to tell you I'm ready to call it quits! I had no idea what a mental drain this would be...
((HUGS)) to all of the ladies who are in this battle...
Becky
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it is very hard not to feel worthless in a situation like this,  just stand by her and love her, that is all she wants from you. I love my daughter and I feel just as "worthless" as you, but we have to be strong not only for them but for ourselves. Jan sounds like a very loving wife and I can imagine the hurt you feel,  do the little things that make her happy, she loves you and probably is feeling guilty herself about putting you through this.  that is why the marriage vows say, " through sickness and health"  we stand together.  HUGS from Marty
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I can completely understand where you are coming from. I hate the fact that this cancer has turned a normal sane person (well I think I am normal and sane maybe others would think different:))
into a blubbering mess at times, For example I have just had my three month checkup today and for the last couple of days leading up to it I have been snappy, teary and anxious the whole time. My beloved husband has been a honey and keeps reassuring me that everything will be OK, but I know deep down the reality could be so different and it is that I can't push out of my mind. I feel just when my life is hitting its stride again along comes checkup time and that can change my reality in a instant.

Have you thought about joining an support group that have women that are experiencing the same things that you are going through and can offer you advice of what they did to get you through the tough periods?

Just remember Jan you are not alone and you have people all around the world that care and are sending you positive energy to get through this chemo and can certainly relate to the feelings you have

hugs

Jenny
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Hi Jan... even people without cancer get depressed, and have mood swings, so don't feel too badly about it, but from my point of view, I just don't think about the cancer thing. It's here... I've had it for nearly 4 years, and I don't have any control over it, so I live with it. Taking chemo has made me less patient when it comes to driving... before I would sit through a change of lights if the person in front had gone to sleep... but not anymore. They get a toot a couple of secs after the change. :-)  I've not told any of my friends that I have cancer, so they don't expect anything different, than how they have always known me, so I feel that's been good for me too. I'm generally a happy person, and I stay busy... I think that is one of the keys to combatting this...stay occupied, and don't give yourself time to stew. I also think a strong willpower has helped me, so no way am I going to succumb to this lousy disease, and let it get the better of me, until the bitter end. I don't take anti-depressants, and never have. I won't let OvCa win.  I don't talk cancer with my family, unless they ask me something, then the conversation is 'short and sweet'.... I don't hang onto it. In my mind I don't have cancer, and I'm going to be around for many more years. * I like to think so anyhow :-)  *
Jan.... try not to let this take you over, and spoil your life, which it tends to do if we worry about it. Worrying won't alter anything.. this wretched disease will runs it's course, so try and stay strong.
Wishing you and everyone here all the best....hugs...Helen...
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After all this beautiful posts my own words sound and feel shallow.. Im with you.  I sometimes feel the next person who tells me I look so wonderful I am going to punch their lights out.  I have 1 cm of hair and people say Oh you look beautiful look at all that hair... shut up... I had natural red hair my whole life and now I have some white and black fuzz.  Geeze.. No one can understand how we feel.  We live every day in dread of some new who knows what getting us... kinda like the boogey man when we were kids...
Cory, you sound like my husband, so strong and caring and I thank you for your post... Jan please try xanax... I could not sleep and when I did I had nighmares... I can not tell you how anti drug I am or how now how much this has helped me... I also try staying busy.. but alas the mind wanders.. Just for today I will be grateful to feel well and be alive... Sending you hugs Jan... Ronni
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As others have said, your emotional responses are the norm.  I do think this monster wrecks havoc with our bodies and it is important to get meds for the anxiety and depression.  Please see a psychiatrist.  Just like needing a gyn/ob, we need to see a specialist for our emotional health.  Heck, we meet the mental health criterian for post traumatic stress.  I found that once my emotions were manageable, I could function much better.  Plus, I don't always respond that things are fine.  I am honest and do this for me as well as other survivors.  I tell others that this monster is scary and hope that knowing that will help them better understand the difficulty of survivors.
Corey, my husband has expressed the same feelings of not being able to make me better.  He feared that my depression was actually that I was giving up on fighting this monster.  However, his being there for me made all the difference.  Don't try to make everything ok, just be there and acknowledge the hurt she feels.
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I cried through this entire thread.  Incredibly with this disease I find myself talking (out loud!!!) about the most intimate details of my body--bowel function (or non-function), sexual issues, and body parts that never see the light of day.  But this--this is my secret shame.  I've been to a therapist who had me evaluated for depression and wants me on medication.  But, this to me is somehow so shameful that I haven't even told my medical team that I'm seeing anyone.  My oncologist tells me he wishes all his patients were like me.  My co-workers tell me I am an inspiration to them.  How can I take anti-depressants and acknowledge I'm not who they think I am?  That I'm not strong only the drugs are?  It somehow seems the final admission of helplessness over control of my life--like I can't control my body but I can control my mind.  And so, I turn on the people who love and care about me the most and then hate myself.  

vegas2cr - It is just incredible.  I could have written the first paragraph of your post word for word except for the word, "red," as my hair is brown.
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I am a type 1 diabetic since I was 14 years old..and I am now 58.. Diabetics have a 50% greater chance of depression than the general populace... I have never suffered and am thankful... PF_PVD you are suffering from what is called situational depression... You need to help yourself and forget everyone else... You are still STRONG even if you take antidepressants.. I take xanax now.. I never ever thought I would ever ever need anything for depression or lack of sleep... You are like the rest of us and you know what.. thats not so bad... Get your meds and walk proudly you are a survivor now... You are still an inspiration... you haven't given up... now go... do what you need to.. I care...Ronni
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I was on gemzar and it does knock you emotionally.  I am taking Celexa.  It is a very  mild anti-depressant.   I started taking it when my Mom died of OC+VCA in 2001.  I take it every othre day and it really helps to keep me level.
This time last year I didn't think I would see Christmas.  It was very depressing and I get so sick of people saying "You look so good, not one would know you have cancer".  I want to say Kiss my yazoo!  They don't see these tumors growing, this fluid being drained off and kow one wants to talk to you about the fact you are doing to die.  Then on top of this, chemo destroys brain cells, so none of us think.  Even my chemo nurses say it effects them.  You don't have to feel up-when someone asks how you feel, tell them like ****!  You don't owe it to them to make them feel good!  Yesterday, the Ono told me the chemo wasn't working and he wants to quit it.  We are doing one more treatment (Topotecan) and then a CT next week.  Marie, don't hesitate to tell us how you feel-tell your medical team too.  Hang in there!  Hugs, Yvonne
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Thank you is just not enough to express how grateful I am for your loving support and sharing your stories.  You all have become very dear to me and as Cory said, some days you all are what gets me through the day. I am usually a very strong person which is why the last couple of weeks has just terrified me.  No matter what I tell myself I have been unable to do anything but "stew".  It's like I have a split personality.  Half of me says to get up and make those candles, or sew that quilt but there is this other person in my head that says why bother.  It's like that Pink Floyd song "there's someone in my head but it's not me".
I am on Wellbutrin and xanax although I only take the xanax at night to sleep.  I am going to start taking a half of one in the morning for awhile.  I am so sorry I lost it like that.  
I know what you all mean by the hair thing.  My hair has come in super curly (like curly sue) and I have always had long straight hair (flat iron) and I just don't feel much like a girl anymore, but everyone tells me how great it looks.  If I didn't have cancer somebody would be dragging me off to the salon to have my hair done but because I have cancer it is wonderful hair. I have spent way to much trying to cut it into some shape that I can do something with but it just curls up so I slap on a hat.
I left my laptop open last night as I ran up the stairs in tears and my wonderful husband posted.  Isn't he a great guy!  Yes, I do know how lucky I am to have him to help me through this, but you are right Marty, I feel guilty a lot for putting him through this, for marrying him knowing it could come back any day.  We got married in August when I had been in remission for 5 mths.  I was really sick on my wedding day and the day after I woke with a 102 fever and I knew the beast was back.  My FIL is dying of pancreatic cancer and only has a few more months, my husbands exwife hates me (she claims she still loves him although they have been divorced 10 years, she cheated on him and she is remarried) and has taught her 12 year old to do the same.  Thanksgiving was a disaster because of that and with me not being able to work our finances are shot for sh*t.  So yes, the stresses are starting to weigh heavily on us but we are strong people and we will bounce back from this.  
I don't belong to a support group although we have a Gilda's Club here and I am going to start doing more there.  I used to go a lot but have not been for a good 6 months.
All of your posts were wonderful and NONE sounded shallow (Ronni).  We should not let this be our "secret shame" and if a Dr has told you to be on meds get on them.  Lord knows what I would be like without the Wellbutrin.  
Today is a new day and just for today I will not let this **** get to me.
Thanks again and I love you all.
Jan
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Oh Janalene I do agree with you that lots of posters seem so strong and brave but I am not one of them. I find it very hard to be positive. Diagnosed in Jan 07, I have had 8 carb/taxol and only got about 9 weeks off chemo before starting with Caelyx of which I have had two so far. So no remission for me. It seems that whatever it is, stage, grade, operation, blood test, scan, I always seem to have the worst outcome. Like you I am so tired of trying to be cheerful just so other people don't feel miserable!

The only thing that has helped me is talking to a psychologist which here in the uk is available free of charge. He is very experienced in talking to terminally ill people which, lets face it, as recurrent/incurable cancer patients we are. I talk through various issues with him, often repeating myself and he knows just how to ask the right questions. I always feel better after seeing him and I highly recommend it if it is at all a possibility for you.

Another thing that helps is to really try to live in the present and not always to be thinking ahead. After all the present is all we have. This is hard I know especially when I wake in a fright or panic in the middle of the night. I also try to find something nice to do every day which helps a little. After all we have all given up so much in the diagnosis and treatment of this horrific disease that we need to take every opportunity to treat ourselves.

I have no experience of Gemzar but from what you and the other ladies say, your mood might well be related to that so you could ask your onco when you next have your treatment.

Finally it really helps me when I am feeling extra low to remember that I am not alone. There are thousands of women all over the world going through the very same things as us and lots of them are on this website. We care for each other.

love
Kate






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I just asked my husband how he feels about me with OVCA, he says it is helplessness.  There is no way the men in our lives are worthless, as Jan has related about you.  We need are partners every step of the way, and we know that you would go through it for us.  So never worthless only helpless as anyone who watches us go through the effects of chemo feels.  
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I feel like the new kid on the block because I've only started my life with OVCA (since April.)  You all have given me inspiration and I've been on some of your profiles.  The one that hit me the most was yours, Jan, as you are the only one that posted a real mood.  I don't know if it was you or Cory, but yesterday your mood was "Jan's not doing so good."  I see that it's changed and I hope for the better.  I know from today's post, you still aren't feeling so good.  I pray for all of you because you all have given so much of yourselves.  I can only hope I can give some of myself back to you, too.  I haven't started it yet, but plan on writing in a journal and posting it.  I just haven't figured this site out completely.

Please stay strong in mind and soul, if not the body.  My best, Angie
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Janalene-

Just wanted to let you know that you are such a beautiful person and if you are allowed to feel however it is you feel.  I see it daily with my mom.  I know she puts on a brave face so that I will not worry.  I allow her to feel whatever it is she is feeling at the time.  I just deal with it (it is the least I can do compared to what she is going through).  

You helped me through a very difficult point in all of this and I want to return the favor.  I know you are strong but when you are having a bad day, I would like be a part of your support group to lift you up.

Take care,
I will check on you soon
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I guess the bottom line is, we are all still here battling each day, and hopefully enjoying most of  what each of those days brings us. Personally I'm very thankful to wake each morning...see the sun (it's Summer here beginning this weekend) and know that I will have some experience on the day, even if it's just shopping for food at the market. Whatever my day brings, I'm just thankful to be alive, so the cancer plays second fiddle. Wishing everyone a good day...hugs...Helen...
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Although we all have different stories, when it comes down to it, we are all the same. Whether we feel like we are weak or strong, we are all still here, so in our own way , realize it or not, we are all fighting this battle. I was told a long time ago to take things one day at a time and I found that to be very good advice. Live today, don't worry about what tomorrow will bring. The more we worry about tomorrow, the worse it makes today. I have found that now I appreciate smaller things that before I had taken for granted. But at times I find that some little things bother me more than they used to also. I was rather lucky (if you want to call it that) that my hair came back the same as it was, brown and straight. I always hated it and kept it permed and frosted. Now I am told not to use any chemicals on it so I am learing to be glad that I at least have hair again, but for how long, I never know. When it first started coming back in, it was as soft black fuzz. My youngest granddaughter used to rub my head and all it my "baby hair" because it was so soft. I have to agree with every other post I have read here. It seems as though if you just substitute the names they all could have been written by just about any one of us. Jan, Cory you both are so very lucky to have one another. I have always said that no matter how much I hate this disease, I hate what it has done to my family even more. I just cannot stand seeing what it has put them through. I have been told many times that I was a stong person, but you know, sometimes I don't feel that way at all. But like so many of you, I don't like to let the people that care about me see me break down. Places like this are my refuge. I can read your posts, know what you are going through and cry right along with you. And I have done so many times. We have all found one another and there is a reason for that. I feel as though I have a whole new set of family and friends. I feel your joys, your pains, your losses, and your thankfulness right along with you. It has been 2 years now for me and so far things look pretty good but my biggest regret is that I never found the love and support from people like you long before I did. I know that for a long time I was down and depressed because of all the stats and info I had read on ovca. But once I started reading your stories of success and stength, I developed a whole new outlook on life. Yes the stress and fear is always there, how could it not be , but I have learned to push it away, and not let it take me over. I don't mean to ramble on but there are times when I just need to get my feelings off of my chest. And what better place to do that, with others who know what it feels like. Jan (and you can send me a cyber slap here if you want) you do sound like a stong woman. And I believe in you , just as I believe in all of you here. We can do it, though at times it doen't feel that way. I would give anything to not have to be dealing with something like this, but I guess that is not our choice. But if i wasn't dealing with it, I would never have met all of you beautiful women out there and for that I am so greatful. We can get through this because we have each other. Sorry I don't mean to sound so mushy, but that is just the mood I am in today, I woke up that way. I wish all of you a beautiful painfree day. LOL Chris
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I just want you to know you are not alone in your feelings.  I could have written your post even though I am stage 1.  I appreciate you so much because you once wrote to me that you understood that I was going through all the emotions even though I was only staged 1...you said I probably felt guilty because people tell me I'm lucky and I don't feel so lucky.  You were right on and as I have read your posts over the past months I have found you to be a woman filled with love, caring and discernment.  You have encouraged me so much in past posts because I knew you understood.   The holidays are especially tough and when you don't feel very good physically it always affect mood.  I am also a Christian and have struggled so much with feeling like why did God allow this in my life.  I feel myself in a spritual battle because I am filled with sadness, anger, fear, etc. It is hard to think of our mortality and OVCA puts it right up in the forefront of our minds.   It is very hard to understand things like cancer and suffering.  I will be praying for you and praying God will give you peace.  I have been reading a book called Heaven by Randy Alcorn and have been really enjoying it.  It is available on audiobook too if you don't feel like reading.   I also am on paxil but that just took the edge off the crying. I believe our mood is so tied to our physical state.  Unfortunately, having cancer doesn't mean we aren't also experiencing other problems like financial...relational, etc.  Having cancer just makes our cups already so full that anything else seems too hard to handle.   I just wanted to let you know I will be praying for you and let you know that I really appreciate you.  Have a good day!  Love, Shelly    
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I have not been able to respond to your many wonderful posts, because everytime I read them I just cry.  I do hate it that so many of you know exactly what I am talking about, as I would not wish this on a cockroach much less anybody I like, which is all of you. Here goes.

KATE: You say you are not strong but yet you are going to a psychiatrist, trying to stay focused on the present,  finding this wonderful group for support and remembering that you are not alone.  All strong tools to get you through the day.  Very pro-active on your part and wonderful signs of strength!
MARIE:  Thank you for letting Cory know that he too is not alone in this or his feelings of helplessness.  I am sorry that your husband has to feel that way also.  The looks in their eyes is sometimes so sad.  They think we don't see it.
ANGIE:  Just because you are the NKOTB doesn't mean you don't have a lot to contribute.  I have read some of your posts and you are always very sweet and encouraging.  Cory felt like he was invading my privacy just by posting so no he did not change my mood.  I did, and I was feeling a little better.  Today is the first day I feel like I am on the outside of the black hole.   Oddly enough the body has stayed strong this time but the mind and soul seem to be taking quite a licking with this Gemzar.  
ETAXITPO:  You have been very encouraging and I do appreciate you.  I don't know how I helped, but if I did I am glad.  It makes me feel a little less worthless.  Thanks
HELEN: You are just one tough cookie!!  Good for you! Can you bottle some of that summer and send it here.  I usually like winter but my summer garden was so beautiful, I am just not ready to give it up!  Enjoy your summer.
CHRIS:  You are right, Cory and I are lucky to have each other.  We are a great team, I just feel like I am not contributing much to the team these days.  No cyber slap needed.  You can sound as mushy as you want.  I have been crying for two weeks, but I honestly think it is this stupid Gemzar as today I really feel like I am coming out of a drug induced state if that makes any sense.  
SHELLY:  Aren't you incredibly sweet.  I am glad that you feel I have been helpful.  Sometimes, I feel so selfish because I just can't do the things I used to for people.  My poor husband has banned me from the kitchen because I burned something on the stove (twice) to the point where we had to have the house fumigated and everything cleaned.  The smoke was so thick, firemen wouldn't have gone in without a mask.  This happened Thurs nite and again Friday morning and we have been cleaning up the mess ever since.  Cooking was the one thing that I could still do for him so now I feel really worthless.  Thank your for your prayers, I do believe they help.  You are so right about not being able to handle all of the other stuff in life that comes along.  It just gets overwhelming at times. Anyway, it is nice to know I could be of some small help.  Thank you.
MARTY:  You are just so awe inspiring I just don't know what else to say!  Cory admires your strength, and refers to you as "TWINKLE" when he ask about you and Leslee.
EVERYONE ELSE:  Thank you again for your wonderful support.  That you would take the time to offer such beautiful words of encouragement when you yourselves are going through such awful things is emotionally overwhelming.   Some of your posts are so poetic that I cried like I was watching a Hallmark card commercial.   What you all write is so heartwrenching, and so personal, if the world could hear you, OVCA would have a real "face".   So, lets all sign up for SimplyStars group and show the world who we are and let's show Victoria that we will take her (& Dylan Thomas') advice and we will not let this dreaded monster "whisper" us into that goodnight.  
Jan






ETAXITPO:  You have been very encouraging and I do appreciate you.  I don't know how I helped, but if I did I am glad.  It makes me feel a little less worthless.  Thanks
HELEN: Can you bottle some of that summer and send it here.  I usually like winter but my summer garden was so beautiful, I am just not ready to give it up!  Enjoy your summer.

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You responded to me before my mom was having a CT scan due to rising CA-125 counts.  You told me not to worry until I had something to worry about.  You really helped me from pulling my hair out and I just want to return with support and thanks.  How are you feeling today?
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I just cried when reading these blogs and I am scared.  I am a 32 year-old woman who is facing surgery for a pelvic mass.  It hasn't been diagnosed as being cancerous yet, but I feel scared and the oncologyst said that there is a chance that it is because it is growing so quickly.  I can relate to all of these emotions and I feel like no one in my life can relate to my emotions.  I am facing two different issues... one... do I possibly have cancer, and two if I don't I am told that I will possibly have my uterous removed.  I have not had any children and am scared about losing the option of having children.... i recently left a nine-year relationship and all of my family lives 2000 miles away from where i live.  I guess this is nothing in comparison to what all of you are facing...  I don't know the answers to my questions yet and I feel I am going crazy waiting until my M.R.I. next week and the results from additional tumour marker blood tests that were done this week.  I wish that all of you were well... i don't understand this disease... i have heard before that you attitude can really help when you are fighting a disease... and i am trying to stay positive through this situation, but then i find myself spiralling down into the deep... scared and depressed... and friends try to reassure me, but they don't understand all of the emotions involved.  i am glad that i have found this site so that maybe i can find comfort in relating to other women who are going through such an emotional rollercoaster... i am scared...
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It is underatandable that you are scared and arxious and worrying about how the operation and diagnosis will turn out.

My first bout of cancer was found in the course of fertitlity investigations (I have had both endometrial and ovarian cancer) and as a result my hustand and I were unable to have children. It is a harsh reality to face particularly from the fact all I ever wanted was to be a mother and never had great career aspirations as I alway saw my future was at home with children.

But that was not a path I was destined to take and I am not going to lie that it was easy to come to terms with, but remember your health is everything so if the doctor says you need a hysterectomy as hard as it is to accept that is what you have to do.

Try (as my father always said to me ;)) not to cross your bridges till you come to them and deal with it as it comes.

We are all here to support you and any questions that crop up along the way.

Good Luck with your results and please let us know how you go
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I know it must be hard for you without the support of a significant other and your family being so far away from home but rest assured YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  As I tell others, we are not a bunch of faceless, nameless strangers.  We are a strong group of women who are going through various stages of our illness whether like you, just trying to find out what's going on to those who have been fighting the good fight for a long time.  We also have many caregivers who are so knowledgeable and comforting.  You can come on here pretty much anytime of the day or night and find someone to talk to.  
I know waiting is so hard.  I was actually relieved when they told me I had cancer.  At least I had an answer and could come up with a game plan.  
I know it must be hard to face the idea of not having children, but remember there are countless children out there who need a loving mom and you could be her, or find a great guy who comes with kids.  Some kid could use a good stepmom.  My mom died of this when I was 7 and I had a wonderful stepmom.  I don't know who I would be if it weren't for her. The point is there are lots of options.
I wish you all the best and will be praying for a favorable outcome.
Kindest Regards,
Jan
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Hi gals,
I continue to read all of your posts -- and they bring me to tears. I hate the fact that all of you have to go through this -- but I do want you to know -- even though I don't know you all personally, I feel like I've grown to know who you are through your posts and thoughts. I want you all to know I think about you every day -- you are all in my prayers on a daily basis and I love you all very much -- for what you do to help each other through this and for enlightening the rest of us who have no clue what it's really like -- and are only on the receiving end of "oh, i'm just fine" responses.
With much love,
Fran
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