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Fighting depression - resigned from job of 30 years

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Fighting depression - resigned from job of 30 years

Postby Kekeg » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:11 am

I know from research and previous discussions that depression after chemo is not unusual. For me, depression started a few months after completing chemo treatments . Worked with doctors Taking antidepressant meds and therapy. Seemed to be making real progress until last month, after particularly stressful time at work, became mentally and physically exhausted, felt like I a fell off a cliff and got in dangerous position. Called for help and took 3 weeks off. I returned last week to another very stressful situation, by end of week back in dangerous situation. Resigned my 20 year executive management position on Friday. Taking a leap of faith and planning a year off to concentrate on improving health. May have cheated myself out of sick time, but could not stop worrying about work when off. I feel relief already from decision. Now face telling my directors and staff so asking for prayer this week. I feel like leaving my second family but must make myself priority now. Anyone else deal with depression after treatments complete?
KeKeG age 56
Colon cancer - adneocarcinoma dx 5/2011
Stage III b
T3N1Mx
Rt colectomy 5/2011
Chemotherapy 6/2011 -2/2012
5FU, leukovorin, camptozar
PET clear 2012
Lung nodules on chest CT 8/2012, unchanged 12/2012
CT 4/9/2013 NED
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Re: Fighting depression - resigned from job of 30 years

Postby Kathryn in MN » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:34 am

Sorry to hear you are dealing with this, but glad that you recognize it and are doing something to address it.

I can't really relate because my treatment never ends. I get some breaks, but it is never done.
CRC AUG09 Age 47
Sig Res T4a N2a Mx, KRAS mut codon13
Mets bones & nodes
FOLFOX, FOLFIRI, Avastin, Radiation
Irinotecan, Zaltrap & STAR RFA
APR13 pleurisy & ascites - more chemo & draining
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Re: Fighting depression - resigned from job of 30 years

Postby pog451 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:58 am

Without wanting to be morbid, there has been a lot of press recently about research done on "deathbed regrets". On of the top five was "I wish I hadn't worked so much".

As an executive manager myself, I understand that your motivation will be different to someone stacking shelves at target, but the end result is the same - If it doesn't plunge you into a financial crisis, taking time off to enjoy life and get healthy is a no-brainer. Good luck.
09.11 Dx @ 46, uT3uN1M0 G2
11.11 radio+Xeloda
01.12 LAR
03.12 Xeloda
09.12 Liver mets, 2 LN
09.12 Folfox+Avastin
02.13 Resection
04.13 Folfox & Avastin
11.13 Local recurrence
02-07.14 FOLFIRINOX
08.14 Re-rediation
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Re: Fighting depression - resigned from job of 30 years

Postby O Stoma Mia » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:58 am

Kekeg wrote:... Now face telling my directors and staff so asking for prayer this week...


Kekeg: We will keep you in our prayers this week. Take care...
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Re: Fighting depression - resigned from job of 30 years

Postby luvmymom » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:18 am

Kekeg wrote:I know from research and previous discussions that depression after chemo is not unusual. For me, depression started a few months after completing chemo treatments . Worked with doctors Taking antidepressant meds and therapy. Seemed to be making real progress until last month, after particularly stressful time at work, became mentally and physically exhausted, felt like I a fell off a cliff and got in dangerous position. Called for help and took 3 weeks off. I returned last week to another very stressful situation, by end of week back in dangerous situation. Resigned my 20 year executive management position on Friday. Taking a leap of faith and planning a year off to concentrate on improving health. May have cheated myself out of sick time, but could not stop worrying about work when off. I feel relief already from decision. Now face telling my directors and staff so asking for prayer this week. I feel like leaving my second family but must make myself priority now. Anyone else deal with depression after treatments complete?


Kekeg, I'm so glad you resigned. I am also glad that even though there are things you are giving up, you sound very much at peace with your decision and with making yourself and your health the priority. I know you have been thinking about doing this for a long time. I am sending you good wishes for telling your directors and staff; I am sure they will both understand and wish you the best.
Daughter of mom dx @ 68, Stage IIIB (T3N1) rectal.
Colonoscopy 11/19/12. Dx adenocarcinoma 11/28/12.
LAR 1/2/13. Port 2/4/13.
2-7/13: FOLFOX6 (4x). Xeloda+radiation (28x). FOLFOX6 (4 tx).
9/25/13--1st CT post-tx. NED.
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Re: Fighting depression - resigned from job of 30 years

Postby chrissyrice » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:11 am

Oh yes, same here for me. I resigned and very glad to be rid of the stress of a top level job. I never realized how much the big money job cost me both mentally and physically.

Just from the getting out of bed early, the driving commute in Atlanta, to constant worries of the financials and employees needs. This is heavy stress and when your body is already compromised from chemo; it takes a lot of focused time on yourself to re-enter to work force. I was so afraid of making a costly mistake because I was so worn out from treatments and my mind was in a chemo fog for many months.

Think of what a football player does after an injury ... they surely do not put him back in the game ASAP. He may be in rehab for a year and that is what you need too.

I did it and while I miss the $$$ and people I worked with; it has made me take the time to explore other options for income and enjoyment. Others may not agree but if you have the financial resources then go for it.
DX 10-31-09 Surgery 12-1-09 Sigmoid Colon Resection
Stage IIIb T3,N2,MX; Chemo Feb 2010-Aug 2010; 4 rounds Folfox; 8 rounds 5FU & Leucovorin
12-16-2010 PET/CT Scan Cancer Free
07-5-2012 CT Scan NED 2 years
10-13-2013 NED 3 years
08-01-2014 NED 4 years
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Re: Fighting depression - resigned from job of 30 years

Postby NWgirl » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:17 am

Leaving a job after so many years is going to throw you into a funk regardless of the reasons for leaving. It will begin a new chapter in your life - change is always stressful. Combined with completing chemo - the whole cancer thing - just amplifies it all. I think taking a year off to focus on your health is an excellent idea. I find acupuncture to help with depression and sleep challenges. You might give that a try. Especially the ear points - which sounds scary but it really doesn't hurt at all. My acupuncture therapist tells me I can come in just for the ear points - and just sit in the waiting room with the needles in my ears - read a book, whatever; no appt. necessary. Just a thought.

I've heard if you can find the right antidepressant it can be very effective. I've always been afraid to try the meds (I hate meds - all meds); but depression is a daily challenge for me. I have lots of tricks I use to manage it and so far it's working for me. Depression is very real and I'm glad you are aware of your heightened depression and are doing something about it. Kudos to you!
Belle - "Don't Retreat - Reload"DX 10/07 Stage III Rectal
Surgery 11/07; 27 of 38 nodes
Perm Colostomy 8/11
12/10 recurrence lungs & LN's
VATS Jan 2011
Radiation Oct 2013
Chemo for Life
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Re: Fighting depression - resigned from job of 30 years

Postby Ontario Guy » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:41 am

Kekeg wrote: ... after particularly stressful time at work, became mentally and physically exhausted, felt like I a fell off a cliff and got in dangerous position.


Probably a dumb question: have you had a comprehensive blood test done recently? I slid considerably in the energy department after the end of chemo. The cause turned out to be a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Worth a shot. Exhaustion can lead to frustration, depression, etc.

OG
DX rectal cancer 31/01/12, alphabet soup of tests
Xeloda and 25 radiation treatments 03/04 to 09/05
APR 16/07 - T3N1M0 - permanent colostomy
FOLFOX 4 - 8 rounds 26/09 to 03/01/13
PICC out 07/01
Colonoscopy 30/08 - clear
CT 30/09 - clear
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Re: Fighting depression - resigned from job of 30 years

Postby Guinevere » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:20 pm

I think if you feel peace about your decision, it was the right one whether others understand it or not. I liked the football player analogy given above because it's so true! I pray that the coming year finds you learning wonderful new things you never thought to explore and you can get a handle on the depression whether through meds, massage, acupuncture or therapy or a combo of those things. We're so busy fighting the disease and dealing with chemo and radiation side effects that we don't let our emotions deal with the very depression diagnosis of having cancer.
God bless ~
Guinevere
Hrt atk - Feb 11
CRC4 DX - Apr 11
APR liver rsct, procto - Jul 11
Folfox/Avastin - Sep 11
Xeliri - Nov 11
Iritux - Jun 12
Break - Jan - Mar 13
Iritux - Mar 13
Stivarga - Aug 13
Folfiri - Oct 13
Exhausted treatment options - May 14
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Re: Fighting depression - resigned from job of 30 years

Postby HardKnox » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:33 pm

pog451 wrote: Without wanting to be morbid, there has been a lot of press recently about research done on "deathbed regrets". On of the top five was "I wish I hadn't worked so much".


Somewhere recently I read something to the effect "the only thing worse than dying is the realization you had never lived".

Heck, just helping my wife through her six months of living hell made me seriously consider quitting MY job of 32 years and going to the woods to live like a hermit.

Anybody with cancer is facing one heck of an uphill battle. I would never criticize anybody for taking time off of work to take care of themselves.

I think it has to be prioritized (a) self, (b) significant other, (c) children, (d) dog, (e) work.

HK
Wife DX bowel obstruction
Hemicolectomy 1/17/13
DX Stage IV CC
Recovery Jan - March
Relapse 4/10/13. Surgery 4/12/13
Ileostomy. Gastrostomy. Jejunostomy.
Home 4/22/13
Starting chemo 5/8/13
Round 1 FOLFOX
No more chemo
She died 7/28/13.
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Re: Fighting depression - resigned from job of 30 years

Postby luvmymom » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:59 am

Kekeg, just thought I'd drop a note and say that I hope your resignation went well. I thought of you since my mom has finally run out of leave (she did not work through treatment). She returned to work two weeks ago--however she is tired, and will resign permanently in a few weeks. I think she is pretty sad both about leaving her job, as well as about the circumstances under which she had to resign.

That said, her job was pretty stressful and I am glad she is just going to pay attention to her health now.

Anyway just to let you know that all this reminded me of you, and that I hope the transition has been going OK.
Daughter of mom dx @ 68, Stage IIIB (T3N1) rectal.
Colonoscopy 11/19/12. Dx adenocarcinoma 11/28/12.
LAR 1/2/13. Port 2/4/13.
2-7/13: FOLFOX6 (4x). Xeloda+radiation (28x). FOLFOX6 (4 tx).
9/25/13--1st CT post-tx. NED.
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Re: Fighting depression - resigned from job of 30 years

Postby teachpdx » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:48 am

Congrats to your for deciding to take care of yourself. Healing from cancer is/can be a very long road. It changes our perspective on things and can suck the joy out of life. Rearranging priorities can be very imp. and I agree that taking care of ourselves should be at the top of the list. I find that just taking care of myself and my two dogs can be a lot of work some days. I hope you enjoy your time off, your lack of stress and the new chapter in your life. Kristi
4/24/12 RC T3N1M0 age 53
5/23-7/2 - 26 chemorad - Xeloda
7/16 Lynch syndrome - MSH2
8/28 LAR w/ temp ileo, CR, 0/11,M0, rectum removed, hysterectomy
10/13 6 cycles Xeloda - completed only 1 1/2 due to HFS
3/12/13 - Ileostomy reversal
8/13 NED
Ongoing HFS
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Re: Fighting depression - resigned from job of 30 years

Postby tdsamal » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:19 pm

I just recently had to do the same thing. It was the hardest decision that I have ever made. I cried for days. I didn't want to believe that I couldn't handle work and treatment. I'm Super Woman, I should be able to do everything. NOT haha. I didn't want cancer to take anything else from me. It's hard to let go both financially and emotionally. But finally did it and I am so glad I did. Just the stress of not knowing if I could go to work the next day because of how I felt is a relief. Depression can be as evil as cancer. It is hard to find the right meds. Sometimes they work fine and then for no reason they stop working. Hopefully by taking the stress of your job away it will make daily life more manageable. Just know you are not in this alone. Everyone on this board understands.
Tammy
Dx st IV CC & colon resection 11/09
Chemo started 12/09 Folfox
4/10 bilateral lung resection
Chemo stopped 6/10 toxic reaction
7/11 PET showed 2 lung mets again!
9/11 SBRT
5/28/13 2 more lung mets AGAIN
Too much to list! But I'm still fighting!
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Re: Fighting depression - resigned from job of 30 years

Postby orcasres » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:18 pm

Both my husband and I had high pressure executive positions. I resigned first to work as a self employed consultant because my younger teenage son was showing signs of having problems and I wanted to make sure I was home when he got home and was able to respond when he needed things. (He is doing great these days at age 26.) My husband's chronic health problems finally convinced him to resign and by then we both retired, the kids were out of our house, and we moved up to Orcas. We never regretted the decisions to resign when we did and focus on health or other family members, but the decision is hard. I cannot even imagine working the kinds of jobs I had (VP of IT/CIO for international companies) either during or after chemo. It sounds like you have made a measured, well thought out decision and you need to take the time to concentrate on your health and your next steps in life.

Don't ever look back or second guess the decision. Occasionally we allow ourselves to do that when the money looks iffier, like in 2008, but it is not worth the time. Look forward never back. Best wishes and luck, Lois
61 yo F
Colon resection Sept. 2010
pT3N0M0 Stage 2A
Medullary Tumor 6.5cm long
Lymphovascular invasion
Lynch negative
12 FOLFOX 11/2010 to 5/2011 8 w/Oxi
NED so far
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Re: Fighting depression - resigned from job of 30 years

Postby justin case » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:45 pm

Perhaps your stress at work is caused by deadlines, as mine is. It's amazing how many people procrastinate on given projects, only to let others pull the rabbit out of their proverbial hat. In my case, after going through radiation and chemo while working every chance I could, so I would appear much more normal than I felt, I didn't experience any gratitude for all the troubles I endured. I feel immensely let down by my employer. I wouldn't come to the colon club, if I my thoughts were not always interrupted with cancer, and the thought of recurrence. As I cannot think of a viable means of support at this time, every day sometimes feels like an eternity, before I can end it. I don't know if that is just plain tired, or depressed, but I am exhausted on most days. I envy your decision, and may you be blessed with the answers, of which you are searching.
Regards,
Michael
7/11 diagnosed Stage 2 colon and rectal cancer
chemo/rad
lar/temp ilio
Reversal & port removal
21 round of chemo Folfox 9tx, 5fu 12 tx
Last treatment July 2012
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