Depression and cancer are similar in many ways: both make you feel like s**t, can last for extended periods of time, and affect loved ones as well as yourself. The difference between them for me is that one made me want to die while the other made me fight for my life.
Tag Archives: depression
When heading to my urologist for my 5-year check-up for testicular cancer I wasn’t concerned at all from a cancer standpoint. Just two weeks earlier, I had returned from a spring break trip with my girlfriend and her daughter so I was completely relaxed. In fact, being a huge self-advocate, I had already requested my medical records from my CT scans, chest X-ray and tumor marker blood tests that I had a few days earlier so I knew all was fine. All that was left was the physical exam. However, in the preceding few months, I was feeling physically worse than any time since my diagnosis. Unbeknownst to me, I was suffering from a perfect storm.
Using scientific research as a springboard for discussion, CKN is distilling this research into practical narratives that will improve the quality of life for patients and offer deeper understanding and connection for physicians. Please join this Doctor-Patient conversation about Depression.
by Anne Marie Cerato, CKN Young Adult Co-Editor, Living with Cancer
I have cracks and they are starting to show. Actually I’m crumbling. I tried an experiment, it failed. Or maybe it was a raging success, because I’ve come to the grim realization that for the rest of my life I will depend on anti-depressants to regulate my mood. I suppose that you should be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.
by Angie Giallourakis, Caregiver
It is a parent’s nightmare come to life when they are told their son or daughter has cancer. I vividly remember that moment when Steven was diagnosed with cancer. I can see the doctor’s expression, hear her words “malignant tumor in the L4 of the spine” and “approximately 40 metastases in the lungs” and then experiencing the feeling of complete and total horror.
Horror: a feeling of dread, panic, fear, apprehension and hysteria.
by Anne Katz PhD, RN
It is well established that depression is a common experience for those with cancer. Depression rates among survivors are two to five times greater than the general population; it has been suggested that as many as 38% of cancer survivors experience depression [Boyajian 2010]. Survivors experiencing depression may experience poorer quality of life than non-depressed survivors as well as higher rates of cancer progression and even death [Pirl, 2009]. Anxiety is also acknowledged as a significant problem and is often associated specifically with fear of recurrence that can persist for years after diagnosis (Glaser et al., 2013).
When I was thirteen I had overwhelming periods of sadness that I chalked up to teenage angst. When it followed me around like a dark cloud through my early twenties and other things in life became too much, the feeling that my life wasn’t worth it interfered with my ability to enjoy what the world had to offer.
People were always there to offer words of support but the feelings of loneliness wouldn’t pass. I reached out to search for ways to handle it all, but it was never good enough. Only when I was introduced to a counsellor and psychologist, did my ability to talk it out and fill up my virtual toolbox, begin to wane the ebb and flow of pain.