Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ten Years After Treatment & Still Struggling With Performance Anxiety & Depression

By Carol
Boston, MA
Guest Blogger

Ms. Davidson, Dr. Silverman,

Thank you so much for the book and the ongoing research.  My experience is similar to many patients you profile.  I'd like to offer some additional concrete examples that I've observed.
First, quick background - Br Ca Stage 2 ductal carcinoma treated with mastectomy, radiation, 8 rounds of chemo (Adriamycin, Taxol) followed by tamoxifen, then Femara.  I was fortunate to be treated at the wonderful Faulkner Breast Center in Boston (now connected to Dana Farber).  I'm 52 and ten years out of treatment; physically, I feel great. 

As the radiation effects lifted, I came out of my major fog.  No longer did it take 45 minutes just to write the grocery list only to be overwhelmed by the cereal choices!  I worked as a senior manager throughout my treatment and started to feel I was getting my mojo back.  But, the fog has not completely lifted even 10 years later.  As someone who has been 'sharp as a tack' her whole life, this has brought on depression and performance anxiety.
I often say, "yesterday" when I mean, "tomorrow" and vice versa. When writing, I sometimes start in the middle of a word (e.g. the 'p' of Maple St.; then I go back and add the "Ma").

I now have trouble with maps and directions when previously I didn't need a map.

Packing for a trip is extremely difficult as I can't 'plan out' what I will need.

I have trouble mapping out a strategy for my department at work.  I struggle to figure out the higher level actions vs. the details. Reading the newspaper is very hard.  I often can't comprehend the first paragraph if the content is new to me.

Most challenging is the effort I must put in on everyday tasks.  It takes longer to process thoughts and make decisions.  And no one knows how much I struggle internally.  

Thank you for the ideas in the book.  I have already incorporated many of these.  I also practice yoga and meditation, which has helped me live 'where I am'.



  1. Idelle,

    We found your blog and are inspired by your story. Wanted to thank you for sharing this with us and to let you know that we have added your blog to blogroll. It can be found on our home page footer and within the pages of our own blog. Keep writing - your bravery is truly inspiring!


    The Breast Cancer Discovery Staff

  2. Thank you, Tom. I am pleased to be on your blogroll and I hope that my readers also will check out Your site looks great and I'm looking forward to watching your five-part series: "Breast Cancer: Dispelling the Myths."