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What happens after treatment

jcarpiaux
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2003

Hey guys. I was diagnosed with stage4 Hodgkins disease two years ago. I am now in my second year of remission, but I feel worse mentally then when I was treated. Throughout my entire treatment of chemo and radiation it was so hard to see my family cry. I decided to be strong and positive so there pain could be eased. Now that my treatment is done I feel like I am not ok. I spent so much time worrying about others that I never stopped to ask and attend to how I was feeling. I wanted to be strong even when I was so weak. When I was being treated I was the cancer patient, but now that it is all done I am havnig trouble finding myself. I find myself with all of these unresolved feelings and am unsure how to deal with them. I would love any feedback because I feel lost.

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

Oh boy, join the club! You have been through so much. You seem to have a pretty good handle on all the reasons that you feel the way you do. And all those reasons are valid. One important thing was left out though. Sometimes when you are in a bad situation for an extended period of time as you were with all that you've been through, it sets up a chemical imbalance it your body. You can't rationalize your way out of depression caused in this way. There is often only one real way to treat that and it requires medication. So many of my cancer patient friends have had to be on antidepressants. I was afraid to admit that I needed them, but I finally told my doctor how I was feeling. When you had the cancer you did what your doctors told you, endured the treatments, took the drugs, etc. all to get well. This really isn't any different I keep telling myself. The goal is to get back in balance, and to feel well again.

sherra
Posts: 41
Joined: Oct 2002

JCarpiaux-
I can definatly relate with how you feel. I'm new to this remission stuff too. For almost a year cancer was my world. I ate, sleep and lived cancer. It was how I identified myself and I felt thats how people identified me, "theres that girl with cancer". During most of my treatment I did not deal with my emotions, it was to painful and I had to deal with the cancer-I had to first beat this thing-deal with the emotions after. After came before the cancer was gone. I found myself extremely depressed at the end of my treatment. I did not want to go anywhere, do anything or see anyone. I felt hopeless. After what felt like weeks of suffering emotinonally, I discussed my depression with my regular physican who started me on antidepressants. (I always felt that antidepressants were being given out to freely to the public as a "cure all method"-swore I'd never be one of "those" people, I realize now how beneficial they can be) I feel better now but I still deal with the emotions I could not deal with before. I still get angry at the world and everyone in it that this happened, I get angry at the way some people treated me during this whole process-at the friends who should have been there but weren't. I get angry at myself for feeling angry in the first place-its a struggle sometimes but it helps to talk with people and to communicate with other cancer survivors and patients through websites like this one. My friends who have been with me through this whole thing have been my biggest support. I think its important to find someone to talk with that you can be totally honest with (a doctor, stranger on website)someone to just listen to you, someone you don't have to hold back from because your afarid you will cause them more pain. It may help just to write a letter-even if you don't mail it or even address it to a particular person. I hope some of this helps, You are not alone.
Feel free to email me at this website if you need someone to talk with
Sherra

pittsburghpete
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2003

Sherra-
The other responses to JCarpiaux pretty much covered the ground that I would have, but you said something that I had not thought about in decades (I had Hodgkins in 1969 and 70). Some friends just disappeared on me. I later came to understand that they were afraid to be around someone with cancer. First, they thought they might "catch" it. Second, it reminded them of their own mortality. Times have changed a lot in terms of what is considered acceptable to say about cancer patients on this topic, but I bet some people still think this way.

together
Posts: 13
Joined: Apr 2003

The same thing happened to my son, all of his friends disappeared. My son's world was his friends and slowly they just didn't come around. My son has been fighting cancer since Feb. 1, 2002, he just completed 25 treatments of radiation, and next week he will undergo a Ct scan, blood test, and a Pet test, and a bone marrow biopsy, We have an appointment with the doctors on July 24 to find out the results and you know what, We don't want to know. We wish they would have given us a little bit more time to enjoy the moment. I also want to say on the friend thing, I work with the legally blind and a lot of their friends have abondoned them, we have come to the conclusion that people just don't know what to say, so they stop coming around. As a mother I made the mistake of crying to much around my son and your letter helped me see that my son was being strong for both of us. He is now dealing with his emotions and is doing very well. I wish you much luck, and I pray my son gets into remission. This journey is not an easy one, I found a book that helped a lot it is "Why do bad things happen to good people" I bought it used on amazon.com for $2.50

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