Thursday, September 3, 2009

7 out 10 Use Them

The signs have been numerous. Weeping in the shower at times. Sporadic periods of the blues. Actually telling Buck the other day, "If I need to, I'll get an antidepressant." And then a day later my conversation with my daughter in which she expressed her deep concern that I appeared very much down in the dumps to her. I did need an antidepressant a few years ago, a mild one that worked wonders without causing noticeable, long-lasting side effects. I took them for a couple of years and then I think the joy of family around me, and the unspeakable joy the birth of grandchildren bring, created the natural endorphins my brain had been lacking.

The heaviness in my heart drowns out that joy at times. It's obvious. In anticipation of facing my treatment, I went to bed Tuesday night fighting off tears. I recognize they are tears of fear, perhaps frustration is a better word, at feeling so lousy for so many days. As we sat in the examining room at the Dana Farber yesterday morning, I was surprised that the tears were back. The clinical trial nurse explored my history of depression and thought it made sense for me to take what helped me before. She told me on average 7 out of 10 women with breast cancer use mild antidepressants.

So we filled the prescription on our way back from Boston yesterday and I will begin today. It will be a week or more before they kick in, but if I can be more even emotionally, perhaps some of the things I miss will be interesting again, like reading, devotional time with God, prayer.

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