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I just want to hide out.

I am finding any kind of socializing very difficult. I’ve just finished six rounds of chemo for a first recurrence of stage 3c/4 HGSOC six months after completion of primary treatment with carboplatin and paclitaxel. Through all of this I have found socializing somewhat difficult, although I think I mostly have a pretty good attitude, but now I find it almost impossible. I really don’t want to see anyone apart from my immediate family . I have thought of talking to a counsellor but don’t even have the energy to get that in place.
I have a great support system, great husband, wonderful friends and wider family. But I just really don’t even want to talk to anyone. Don’t want to phone, don’t want to text, don’t want to email, don’t want to see anyone. Really, I do just want to hide out. 
Is this depression or chemo fatigue related or what? Or am I just feeling sorry for myself? I don’t feel physically that bad except for the first week after chemo when I have a lot of bone and joint pain, weakness and of course fatigue. 
I’ve always been a happy and positive person and I want that back!


  • Flowergirl
    Hello @judek - welcome to that chat and thank you for sharing all those feelings and what you have been through.
    Many of us can relate to all or some of those feelings. I have found what you need in terms of support seems to change over time. Please take advantage of all supports your cancer centre can offer as they provide excellent resources and connections. I'll direct message you .

  • @judek I was the same way after chemo. (Finished last March, 1 year NED). I went to a support group because I just was not myself. After treatment, I think we feel like we should just get on with our lives, but all of the women in my group felt the same way, our life is not the same and never will be. You have to find your new normal. I encourage you to find a support group. 
  • kastoyles
    edited June 2019
    @judek, I was lucky enough to have a support group at our local hospice, Stedman in Brantford ON. We don't all have the same cancer (in fact I'm the only ovarian cancer member), but we do share many of the same experiences with treatments and surgeries etc.  @KarenMari53 is absolutely right, you will find a new normal, because let's face it, your life has changed. I know mine did. I don't have the same energy that I once did. So I rest more frequently. I don't sleep the same, so I developed a new sleep routine. However, the support group has made the biggest difference. I can be depressed and share my feelings with the group, we are there to build each other up, share in the set-backs, rejoice in the good check ups. Talking to our family and spouse can help, but to talk with others who have gone through the same things is entirely different. I wish OVDialogue had been available when I started my cancer journey. If you can't find a local group, you can definitely find support here.
  • judek
     Kastoyle’s, Karenmari53, and Flowergirl, thank you for your comments and suggestions. I really appreciate it. After I posted my comment last week, I thought enough already! At that point, I was about a week and a half post chemo (my last scheduled one) and it just seemed to be going on forever, and I was feeling worse and worse. I felt really beaten down. Finally I decided to take a steroid because that always makes me feel better and sure enough, it seemed to knock me back into something approaching a life. I felt so much better I couldn’t believe it. And then I had a telehealth conference with my oncologist from the BC Cancer agency to review my final CT scan. It’s all good! No more chemo for now and just get on with my life, grow some hair and have a summer. Check up in three months. She said I could call it a remission if I liked (although that language isn’t really used for solid tumours like one has with ovarian cancer, she said), but the language doesn’t matter. Bottom line I am now in the best shape I have been since diagnosis and it’s all good.
     Now I have something new to adjust to - life without chemo!
    I would love to be in a support group and was for a little while but it sort of fell apart and there doesn’t seem to be another one in my town of 60,000 people, which I find astounding. I will keep looking. I have tried an online support group but it really didn’t work very well. Not enough people. 
    I sure do appreciate you. I actually felt much better as soon as I posted my initial comment. Just needed to get to a point of desperation I guess. Thank you for being there. ❤️
  • jen_k
    I also found something about cancer diagnosis and being overwhelmed and changes in my body and hair image and just everything that made the idea of hiding out seem like a good one! I have isolated myself more from work and friends. It seems like the thing to talk about might be the whole cancer deal, but i just don’t want to talk about that and want to feel like a human being not a cancer patient. Of course, maybe I want things both ways - talk about it and not talk about it. Support might be good even through an online chat? People with cancer can get these ideas and be very accepting, and that is one benefit of a support group - if you can find one, they may help! Meanwhile hugs to you. Enjoy the summer!
  • judek
    Thank you nailed it! Not wanting to talk about it and to talk about it at the same time. And wanting to feel like a “normal” person, not a cancer patient. Exactly!
    I do really wish I could find a support group. It just feels like there’s just so much you don’t have to explain to someone who’s been there or is there. And I’m not sure it’s possible to understand what chemo fatigue feels like if you haven’t had it. Or chemo brain. Or the aching bones and joints etc. I often just don’t really feel understood. It’s not intentional, I know, and I always feel bad because I know that people are coming from a caring and loving place and I should be more appreciative. Is there such a thing as cancer guilt?