is it possible cancer changes your personality???

Hi,

I have been diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the cervix. I have been told it's a fairly rare form of cancer.

The oncologist I saw told me that based on the size of the tumor, the cancer has been there for about 2 years and I was just diagnosed about two weeks ago.

I have been a very different person for about 2 years time now. The people closest to me had been telling me that I have been very different. I am shorter with people than ever before. They were always asking me 'what's wrong with you? why are you being this way? what's going on with you?'

I seemed to be experiencing emotions at higher levels than what was normal for me. When I was angry - I was very angry. When I was jealous or frustrated - I was very jealous or frustrated. When I was sad (and this one hit me often - I was VERY sad.

Exercising seemed to have made things worse. I was really thinking I was losing my mind so I would purposely exercise for the endorphins to lighten my mood, but then I was in worse moods after the exercise! I just assumed I didn't exercise hard enough so I would go harder and harder and my reactions would be worse. After exercise I would become SO sad, that I would stay in the washroom and just cry for a good 30 minutes. I would become dark...It was the exact opposite of how I expected to feel.

Now that I know I have had cancer brewing down there for that timeframe...I am wondering if that would be what affected my moods and behavior so much???

Is that possible?? Sort of the same way you change when you have your period - something down there is brewing so it changes or affects your mental state - causing you pain as well etc...

I'm wondering if cancer brewing down there would have the same type of effect but worsened???

It seems reasonable to me that cancer growing inside of you would affect your moods and behavior - in particular in the area it's in but I have been accused of 'using' cancer to justify my behavior. I'm not really sure what to think.

The booklet I got from the Canadian Cancer Society says not exercise but doesn't say exactly why. Is it that it makes the cancer move around and then affects the brain that way??

Has anyone else out there had similar experiences or am I just going crazy here??

 

Thank you  :)

 

Hi stak7527 its quite interesting you saying that because a couple of months before I was diagnosed I felt really emotional and just felt like crying all the time! And I couldn't figure out why I just put it down to my hormones? and it was around the time I was losing a horrible discharge then come the heavy bleeding then I was diagnosed! So I would be interested in hearing other ladies opinions on this. If it was a coincidence or can cancer mess with your emotions before you know you have it? Xx

I'd say it definitely does I don't know how long mine has been there but I found myself very anti social, didn't like large groups of people was short tempered and tired very easily. I think it changes us before and after diagnosis and I don't think I'll ever get back the person I was before cancer. Xx

It's an interesting thought that, as mine had been growing 5yr before i waa diagnosed last year & when i think about it i went through alot of the emotions that you've just described, i used to put it down to my hormones & the heavy/irregular bleeding, i can never be the person i was before the diagnosis, cancer changes us so much xx

 

This has been strange reading these posts! I definitely experienced some of the above thoughts & behaviour for about 2 years prior to my diagnosis.  Is it our bodies telling us that something is wrong?  For me it was a feeling that things just weren't the same for me but I couldn't put my finger on it. I probably put it down to the menopause at the time but I had none of the usual signs of menopause, no sweats etc, nothing  my periods just stopped that was it. But I couldn't be bothered with folk at times, even family who I love dearly I just wanted to be left alone most of the time?  It is a strange thought that it affected us in this way, all of us having similar experiences well before diagnosis?

For me, I believe it to have been the other way round. I haven't been myself for quite a while, very down and stressed, but I believe that it was my stress levels and depression that lowered my immunity to the point that I became vulnerable to serious illness.

Molly xxx

Thank you for responding gals!! I can't tell you how relieved I am (but sad that we all went through this of course) that others have had similar experiences...it makes me feel a bit normal again!

I put all of my emotions off on my period, the heavy bleeding too and it didn't click together until the oncologist told me the timeframe the cancer has been growing was pretty much identical to the timeframe I was taking the bcp's...about 2 years.

Mollz I had a whole lot of stress at that time too so I also believe stress plays a big role in cancer manifesting itself or at least latching on to whatever it can to develop and grow. I just believe the cancer is the reason for the depression and mental changes. Do you know how long it has been present? I am really curious about other people's experiences with this...

There is no doubt about it in my mnd that it has affected all of us and has been the reason for the changes...how could it not?

I mean if your period alone can cause changes in mental state when it's present - why wouldn't cancer when it's in the same area?? Crazy...

I do think it's a little sad however that no one has been able to go back to the person they were before diagnosis...but hey...maybe that's a good thing???

 

This is a interesting topic! i also was dealing with a great amount of stress and I do wonder could that be 1 of the causes of cancer? And your right mollz it defintley changes you after your diagnosed I fotgot what it feels like to be me. Xx

I don't doubt stress can cause it ot at least accelerate it...

No one has been able to be themselves again? Can I ask what you mean by that? After surgery removes the cancer is there no semblance of the person you were before it hit?

hi hun its defintley changed me made me feel more weary about my self, every little twinge is now a panic as beforehand I wouldn't give it a huge amount of thought. I can't really look forward to things neither like Christmas for example i have a little girl and I go all out for her and make it all exciting, but I'm frightened to plan ahead. She makes her communion next May and although it's months away I would of already started organising it! (Crazy I know) but it's something I've been looking forward to for ages but now am panicking because I just don't know what the future holds. And I guess no one does even if you have cancer or not but when your hit with this diagnosis you realise just how precious life is and we shouldn't take things for granted. sorry for the essay! I'm nearly 6 weeks since my treatment ended and Im a bit all over the place with my emotions I just want November to come for my scam so I can finally no if it's gone (fingers, toes and everything else crossed that it has!!) anyways take care Hunni keep us updated on how you get on xx

Oh I see...I have 3 girls...single mom and all of that, so I know how much you look forward to things. I wish you the best and hope to hear your results as well :)

No worries about the emotions...I haven't even gone through trteatments yet and I'm all over the place!!  xx

Thankyou. good luck with your treatment to Hunn. I guess the whole rollercoaster of cc is emotional whether your just getting on or just getting off! But jos is a great support for us all. Keep us updates. Take care xx

So, surgery was done and it was done laprascopoly too. It was done two weeks ago and now just waiting on pathology of the lymphnodes. I must say...in my case, trying to secure the financial aspect of taking time off work was a terrible...just terrible experience! I nearly had to postpone surgery because of it...wow.Hope everyone is doing well. xx