Mar 09, 2003 - 3:08 am
Hello everyone. This is my first time on this site. I'm a 22 year old Hodgkin's survivor. I was diagnosed 4 days before my 21st birthday. I went through 6 months of chemo, and my last round was a year ago this month. When I was diagnosed I was in stage 4B. They said that radiation would do nothing, and there was a good chance that ABVD wouldnt either, and I would need a bone marrow transplant, which they weren't sure that i would survive. They decided that my best bet was BEACOPP, which is a hell of a lot harsher on the body, but gives better results. Sure enough, after 8 excruciating rounds, I was cancer free and didnt need the transplant. The downside is that BEACOPP has a tendency to cause long ranging problems, such as infertility, and a succeptibilty to leukemia development. Its a reletively new chemo.......I couldn't really find any information on it when I was going through it. My doctors said its not really used very often; its sort of a "last resort" when other methods are not going to work. I was skeptical of using it because of all the risks, especially the leukemia, but it kinda came down to "die later or die now". And as for the fertility, to put it into the words of the transplat specialist I saw, "You cant have babies when youre dead".
I've started recently, for lack of a better term, freaking out. I'm finally starting to get my life back....I'm working again, my hair's grown back to a decent length, I've lost all the weight I gained from the Prednisone. I'm just so terrified that somethings going to happen to me and I'm going to lose everything again. My doctors found a lump in my breast a few weeks ago, and although theyre confident that its nothing, theyre still sending me to specialists and for all sorts of tests. I'm sure I'm fine, but I don't want to spend the rest of my life fighting just to survive.
I was wondering if anyone on this site also went through BEACOPP, and how you're coping with the long term effects. And if you have any suggestions on how I can stop losing it, it would be greatly appreciated. Everyone I know sympathizes with me, but most 22 year olds don't understand what it's like to feel like you're dying.