I finished FolFox a year ago. Since then, I’ve fallen twice and each fall resulted in a fractured tibia and torn meniscui. So I’ve been in quite a bit of pain which has taken a toll on my mental health. I’ve gone through a period of depression so bad that I was actually 5 months late on my surveillance scan. I just felt like, “I can not even.”
I’ve started working with a psychiatrist and taking meds, and I’m starting to force myself to get things done that I have been putting off. This morning, I’m getting an EKG to make sure it is safe to get my incisional hernia repaired tomorrow. A month after that, I’m scheduled to have my left knee repaired and a month after that, I’m scheduled to have my right knee repaired.
My feeling is that my falls were caused by my brain being so overactive that I’m basically a distracted walker. I might as well be staring at my phone or reading a book while I’m walking. So I’m hopeful that as the psych meds take effect, my brain will be a little quieter and I will become less of a fall risk.
My question is if FolFox could have affected bone density in any way. I’m wondering if I should ask my PCP for bone density testing? I can’t find anything online that suggests this might be the case.
Secondly, in regards to mental health, as shown in my signature, I’ve had nothing but amazing news since I finished chemo. The fact that I have been extremely fortunate considering how advanced my cancer was makes me feel guilty for not being happy and productive and appreciative every minute of every day. It is almost shades of survivor’s guilt.
18 months ago, I was in the hospital for 5 blood clots in my lungs, then they found the tumor that caused the blood clots, and the cancer was so advanced that they literally operated on me before the path report came back. But the blood clots made the surgery very dangerous. I made it through the 8 hour surgery only to have someone give me a bolus of heparin in recovery, and I started bleeding out and ended up in ICU. My psychiatrist says that it is not unusual for people who have been in ICU for more than a week to have some degree of PTSD.
I just feel like I’ve had more than my share of miracles. First, there is no way anyone would predict that I could survive 5 PEs in three lobes of my lungs. When a new nurse would read my chart, they would get to that part and yell, “Praise God!” I don’t live in a very politically correct city. LOL. Then the blood clots affected the pressure on my heart making surgery extra risky. It is never a good sign when your doctors are on their knees next to your bed holding your hand. When I was in ICU, my ward nurse brought me my clothes from my old room, and she was just sobbing telling me goodbye. There was no objective reason to expect me to survive. And once I did survive and got back the report on my tumor, there were so many factors that indicated I’d have a worse prognosis, but so far I haven’t. Even my timing was extremely fortunate. My oncologist told me that the next patient in my ICU room was our county’s first Covid case. When I was in the hospital, my oncologist, and surgeon, and gastro doctor, and anesthesiologist met multiple times a day to discuss my case and agree on a care plan. If I was in the hospital after Covid arrived, there is no way they would have the time to give me that level of attention.
And then, after all of that good fortune, I seem to be NED for the time being after only 12 rounds of FolFox. That is certainly a much better outcome than I expected.
Maybe I’m just having a delayed reaction to so much trauma which was all happening too quickly for me to react to it in the moment. I know there are so many people who would trade places with me in a heartbeat. I just feel selfish that I can’t will myself to be happy when I have so many things to be happy about.
Has anyone else struggled with something similar?
2/2020 Right colon hemicolectomy (invasive adenocarcinoma with micropillary features)
Tumor size: 4.4 in greatest dimension Metastatic Carcinoma in 12 out of 28 lymph nodes
Extranodal extension identified
3/2020 Began 12 rounds of FolFox
9/2020 Finished FolFox
12/2020 PET Scan-NED
1-2021 ctDNA Test negative
5-2021 ctDNA Test negative
7-2021 ctDNA Test negative
9-2021 PET/CT Scan-NED