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Just need to talk to someone

Teacher03
Posts: 10
Joined: Jan 2003

I posted yesterday under "lymphoma," but no one has replied yet. I guess no one who has the type of lymphoma I have is on this board . . .

I'm just newly diagnosed (Dec. 9, 2002) with non-Hodgkins lymphoma on the conjunctiva of my right eye. My CT-scan didn't show lymphoma anywhere else, and my bone marrow biopsy came back normal, so I feel pretty encouraged about my prognosis. I see my radiation oncologist tomorrow to discuss treatment, and it's my understanding that I'll have radiation (don't yet know for sure how many treatments).

I'm sort of struggling right now with the emotional roller coaster that cancer has put me on. It's like that old song - "Some days are diamond; some days are stone." Most of my days since my diagnosis have been of the "diamond" variety, but yesterday was a honkin' big boulder! I felt really tired, even after a decent night's sleep, everything and everybody got on my nerves BIG TIME, and all I wanted to do was cry whenever I was alone. The crying did help me some, and my husband has been really supportive through all of this.

I haven't taken any time off since I've been diagnosed - just that one day I had to go to the doctor. Fortunately, I was able to schedule most of my tests during the holiday break (a perk of being an educator!). I'm taking off tomorrow to see the doctor, but I'm hoping that my treatments can be scheduled at a time of day where it will fit into my schedule and I won't have to take off an entire day. But yesterday I just really wanted NOT to be at work - to go off somewhere by myself and pull a blanket over my head. I guess that's pretty much normal for a cancer patient? Or is it just me?

Anyway, I'd really appreciate hearing from someone who has "been there" and can offer me some advice/encouragement/whatever.

Thanks, and I hope everyone's day "sparkles" today!!

Hugs,
Teacher03

llb1
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2002

Hi Teacher 03,

I read your message and I thought I would send you a note.I have a feeling for what you may be experiencing, as I was recently diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer. My situation is that I delayed telling family memebers, because I did'nt want to disturb the holiday. That was probably a mistake. I stated notifing family & friends, and I feel much better. In addition, I'm in the process of "signing up" with local prostate cancer support groups. My objective is to network among the member and learn from their experiences.

This sharing of information may or may not help you. I hope that know that their are poeple that do care and I will say a prayer for you tonight.

Larry

dpomroy's picture
dpomroy
Posts: 137
Joined: Dec 2000

Like you, it was important to me to keep working as long as I could. I wanted NOT to have to have to fit my life into what I envisioned as a life of one with cancer, but instead to try to fit cancer and all it's accompanying treatments into my existing life. Work gave me something good to focus on for most of every day. It made me feel normal. However, there were days that I just needed to take off...and you should not be afraid to either. One kind of "dorky" thing that I did that worked for me was that I used my commuting time to feel completely sorry for myself. I'd be a good mom and get my kids off to school, then cry all the way into work about how this wasn't fair, that it down right sucked! Then I'd put on my brave teacher face, enjoy the positives of my students and coworkers, knowing that I only had to hold it together until I got back into my car to go home. It was a needed release of pressure, and it also meant that I wasn't dwelling in my misery all day long. That doesn't mean that I never cried on friends or family's shoulders, but it took some of the burden off of them.

Best of luck to you.
PS You sound like you're handling things pretty well to me!

Teacher03
Posts: 10
Joined: Jan 2003

Thanks for the responses, guys! I appreciate it!

I guess I've spent a good part of this past week feeling REALLY sorry for myself and mad at someone who didn't do what I thought she did. I thought someone at work had chewed out another co-worker in front of me, but it turned out that I'd completely misunderstood. Now I feel like a ninny for wasting all that anger and energy.

I saw my radiation oncologist Wednesday and have my treatments scheduled - 15 in all. They've done part of the set-up and I'll go back Monday for them to finish and fine-tune things. Instead of putting the marks directly on my face, they've made a mask of my face to put the marks on. They said they'll even let me keep the mask when my treatments are finished! Neat souvenir!

I feel better now that we are actually starting to take action instead of looking to see what they can see. I was at a cancer support group last night, and one of the women was telling me that she found her radiation treatment to be more frightening to her than her chemo was. This part doesn't scare me in the least . . . they aren't going to stick needles into my arms . . . they don't want pieces of my bone . . . they aren't going to turn me every which way but loose to see what might or might not be in my body. They're just zeroing in on this one little area and zapping it with photons and electrons (like the USS Enterprise zapping enemies with photon torpedoes - hee!hee!).

I did wind up taking off yesterday too. I just didn't feel I could handle being around people yesterday. But after a day of being lazy and an evening with a support group, not to mention a decent night's rest, I feel better today. So I was back at school with my kiddoes where I can have fun.

I teach high school students. I haven't yet told them I have cancer . . . didn't want to scare them or worry them or get untrue rumors flying around. Some of my students are aware that I've been to a lot of doctors appointments and they do know that I have some kind of problem with my eye. One of my students asked me today if the doctor had fixed my eye yet, and I told him not yet. They wanted to know what the doctor plans to do and I told them he'd zap it with radiation. I think they're putting 2 and 2 together. I might tell them next week. I guess I'll think about it over the weekend and talk to my husband and decide.

Oh, yeah. I won't have to take any time off for my treatments unless I personally need to. My supervisor is going to get people to cover my class for the last 30 minutes every day so that I can leave early enough to get to my treatment appointments on time.

Again, thanks for replying. Y'all have a great weekend!

Hugs,
Teach

dpomroy's picture
dpomroy
Posts: 137
Joined: Dec 2000

Sounds like you are getting the support you need from your husband, concerned students, support group, etc. It's so important to have that system going, and to be able to ask for the help you need.

You have a great attitude. I think you're going to do really well with whatever is in store for you. Keep it up!

hope4all
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2003

Hello hugs. I m here to talk to any time you need. My cancer if different than yours so I can't really compare there. I had a radical right mastectomy july 2001. Recently I had a seizure. In doing all their tests they found that my cancer is back. I have a brain tumor and cancer on both lungs. As far as my attitude about it all I feel blessed. I know that sounds strange but I feel the happiest I have ever been. I have so much love around it's hard to believe. I'd like to share some of that with you. I know it's an up and down thing. I have what I call my kodak moments. When you just break down. They don't last long but it is disturbing. But it's very healthy for us, to have those moments. And I know what you mean about just going off by yourself. I don't have to worry myself about that too much as I live alone. So I have the oppisite. Mon-Fri I can't wait till a friend comes to take me to radiation. Yes even though I'm terminal I'm having treatments. It was a choice between 6mo and maybe over a year. I wanted to see my son before I go so the extra time was very good. Please know that there are many of us out there. Each one of us is dealing with this in our own way. But that way is very simalar. I've just started on this site so i'm not sure how the rply to me part works. Please let me know how you are doing. I am here for you. I listen very good so when you need to unload feel free. That's what we're here for. Take care

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