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How long will it take?

emmie
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2002

hi i'm new to this group, and find that i have to talk to someone. i was a sophmore in high school when i was diagnosed with bone cancer. i went through two years of treatment, and now only suffer from a limp and sometimes stress fractures.
After my treatments i suffered from anxiety and panic attacks, but through drug therapy and seeing a psychologist i made improvements.

Now i am 18 yrs old and in the middle of my freshman year in college and all the bad stuff is coming back. my anxiety is out of control and my panic attacks are daily and paralysing. My hands are always shaking. i feel very disappointed that i'm not getting better, like i thought i was and i feel like by now i should be moving on with my life. What makes it harder is living with girls my age that honestly just don't understand and it makes me feel extremely disconnected from everyone around me.

But my main concern is that i am taking to long to get my life back together. i am terrified the cancer is going to come back, but also that i'm not strong enough to move forward.
Any advice would be great, and appreciated!

peace and love
emmie

crtsang
Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2000

As nearly as I can tell, it's only been two years since you finished treatment. Give yourself a break. Have you talked about your greater anxiety with your psychiatrist? The first year of college is very stressful for everyone, and it's no wonder that it's churning up lots of stuff you had hoped to be "done with". Maybe there's something that can be done for you, such as adjusting the medication. (Stress--caused by things like starting college--can alter the chemistry in your brain, resulting in greater anxiety, etc.)
You ARE getting on with your life. You ARE moving forward. It is not taking "too long". It takes what it takes.
Carol

amasurvivor
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2002

Hi emmie, I sure can relate. I've been dealing with panic attacks since I was 16, now 30, and I've been through cancer twice (Hodgkin's lymphoma). I'm curious to what type of treatment you are getting for the panic? There is unbelievable ammounts of hope for this situation, however it sure is hard to see when you're in the worst of it! Starting college was rough for me, and that was before cancer. I would love to talk more in depth with you, either posting here, or you can email me personally: reezer@tampabay.rr.com

soozi
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi emmie,

So much depends on the treatment you received and the support you had during what must have been an extremely difficult time.

I'm reaching my ten year marker in Feb. Sometimes i just want to fast forward to march. i had a long and difficult treatment for rectal cancer which left my body permanently altered. For many, when treatment is short and side effects minimal, recovery can be short and sweet. Denial works really well for some people i've spoken with. It doesn't sound like it works for you. Difficult treatment is rarely a quick fix. I had so many really bad things happen to me in the hospital that i have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The good news is that the more i understand about what i am feeling the easier it gets.

My parents died the year after i finished treatment and last year my Grandmother died, so this year is particularly hard.

Beginning college is HUGE!!!!!! I've seen some good advice here. Review your medications, see someone for counseling, find a support group, go for a walk, take very good care of yourself, you deserve it. Don't know if this helps. I think it takes as long as it takes. Warmest regards, Sooz

litldunk11
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2003

hey emmie--I am a junior in college and man was my freshman year hard and I didn't have cancer to battle with. You said that girls that age don't understand. Unfortunately, no matter what age people are, they never understand unless they go through it. My dad had cancer and I wanted my friends to listen when I talked about it because sometimes you just need an ear. They would not listen to me either. They thought I was just complaining and "I never just forget about it". Its not that simple and I know you know that. I found someone who would listen. She is like my best friend now. It took sorting through friends to figure out who the true ones are. You will find one I promise. I am always here. Fill free to e-mail me..litldunk11@hotmail.com. Also, I want to congradulate you on going to college and "moving on". You are doing it girl. Taking that huge step to further your education and improve your life is a huge step forward!!! Keep it up. You're awesome! God bless. :)

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