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Becca23
Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2003

Hi! My name is Rebecca and Im 23 years old. I was diagnosed with Hodgkins in August as a stage 1b I believe (I was told I am between a stage I and II). I never had any symptoms, I had an x-ray due to a chest cold and it was found. Im suprised to see I have few true friends through this because most dont talk to me anymore. These are people I have known for years. This is my first time partcipating in any type of discussion group and I was just hoping I could get feedback because I would like to find people with similar experiences. Im almost half way through chemo (I need four cycles) and its hard. This feels like a bad dream can anyone relate?

AlloMan
Posts: 47
Joined: Jul 2003

Dear Becca,

A familiar story. I think most of the people not talking to you might not know what to say. They don't know how to deal with someone with cancer. They fear cancer, don't want to deal with it or talk about it. If you didn't have cancer, what would you talk to them about? If you want to reach out to them, talk to them about that. Or you could simplify your life with fewer, better friends. During my treatment, I've found my true friends just don't say nice things, but DO nice things.

Cancer treatment can be very isolating. It's like a parallel universe. You don't see many cancer patients on the cover of People or GQ or on the news (unless they died). We're hidden away in our cancer wards, many of us not at work any more.

Any cancer support groups locally? That's one way to make new friends. There are also good bulletin boards by the Lymphoma Research Foundation and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society if you want some "virtual" friends you know where you're coming from.

This is like a bad dream. Take one day at a time. This too shall pass.

rvrkids
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2003

I was 29 when I was diagnosed in 1998 and I can relate. I went through 6 cycles and it was hard, BUT, a positive attitude is everything. I'm sure your doctor told you that Hodgkins is the best kind of cancer to get if you're going to get something. I'm 5 years out now and doing great - that's what you have to look forward to - a long life. A few years from now it really will be like a dream. Hang in there, it will be done soon.

sarahu
Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2003

Rebecca, I had a similar experience. I was 21 when I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's in 1998. My friends were bar hopping and I no longer "fit" into their time. I often hear from other survivors that the support they had was amazing. I didn't have that. My parents were supportive, but no close friends.

I suggest opening up to one or two of your close friends. Maybe they don't know how to approach the subject of the "C" word with you. I still run into people who will whisper to me "I heard you were ill". They avoid saying the word cancer.
I think they avoid it because it scares them.

I also met people through my clinic where I received chemo. I had a fabulous nurse who set me up with a hodgkin's survivor for support. Best of luck to you.

MicheleLee
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2003

Hi Rebecca - my name is Michele and like you I was diagnosed with Hodgkins. I was the same as you - in between I and II but ultimately determined IIA. I went through chemo and radiation. As of October 2nd - it has officially been one year of being cancer free. I - like you - felt fine - I discovered a lump in my neck 4 weeks after my daughter was born. My best advice to you is keep positive and get help when you need it. It took me almost a year to find this website and I am so glad I did. Please feel free to e-mail me directly at Michelewitkowski@msn.com - I would be more than happy to talk with you and try to help you through this. I know it all seems like a bad dream - I sometimes think that it hasn't quite sunk in yet with me - so - hang in there! My thoughts and prayers are with you.

goose24
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2003

Hey Rebecca, I am 29 and was just diagnosed with Stage IVb HD. One of my close friends called me one night and after a few minutes of awkard converstaion flat out said "Goose, I don't know what to say to you. I want to know how you are doing and what I can do to help, but it is weird talking about it." I basically told him I am the same person I was, I am just one of the select few who have cancer. I told him I wanted him to call and ask how I was because that gives me strength to know people are out there pulling and praying for me and I cannot, will not let any of them down. Maybe you should call them and tell them you are the same person and you want them to ask how you are doing. I begin my second cycle of ABVD tomorrow. I have minimum of 5 cycles left. PLEASE feel free to email me: guski24@hotmail.com Once you enter the cancer commumity you will have more friends than you will ever know!!! We are all here for you if you ever need someone to talk to, people who know EXACTLY what you are going through and what it is like to be sick from chemo. Feel free to write anytime.
Your Friend....Goose

meadams
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2003

Howdy Rebecca! My name is Mark and I'm right along with you. I was diagnosed with Hodgkins in September, staged at 2A, and just started 8 months of chemo (1 down, 16 to go :-)

I know what you mean about it feeling like a bad dream. From the time they found the "black fuzzy area that shouldn't be there" on the x-ray until now, it's been like one of those big roller coasters, where you get on and as it's clicking it's way to the top of the first drop you're thinking "I want OFF!". But you know you're comitted, and all you can do is go for the ride and have faith that the designers, engineers and maintenance folks all did their job right. In this case, we're along for the Hodgkins ride and in the hands of our physicians. Fortunately, it's one they a) know about b) have been treating for a long time and c) has good odds.

I don't know how much help I can be, since I'm new to this too, but I'll try. I honestly think everything will turn out fine for us both. Heck, the nurses almost treat me like I've got a hangnail when I go to the cancer center ;-)

Hang in there kiddo .... oh yeah.. I'm 43, so most everyone id a kiddo to me... ;-)

lifeskillz's picture
lifeskillz
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2000

Rebecca,

Hey, I'm a Hodgkin's Survivor. I actually I am just a little over 5 years off treatment. Feel free to email me @ cgm121@psu.edu and I'd be happy to talk to you about what you're going through and what's coming up. Hope all is well.

Connor
"It's always darkest before dawn."

Ronnie10
Posts: 20
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Rebecca,

I am 21 years old and at Stage 2B. I have been through 6 cycles of chemo so far. It feels like a nightmare that you can't get out of. But it's going to be ok. Just think of how proud we will be when this is over to know we got through it. I was supposed to Graduate college in May, I have an awesome boyfriend, and I just made the Kixx Dance Team...my life seemed perfect, and then this happened. So I understand how you feel. There are some girls that I have been very close with for years that just haven't been around much lately, and it hurts. But you can't get bitter. I don't think anyone can truly understand how serious this is until they actually go through it themselves. Just turn to the people that are there for you...they are your true friends. Everyone was there for me back in October...now it is my best friend since childhood, my boyfriend and my family that I go to. Everyone else, when I have time for them, I talk to them and hang out. Don't let that worry you, you have to take care of yourself. Focus more on the true friends that are so precious to you. You are going to live such a better life than most people because now you know what is truly important. It will be ok. We are all going to be ok. :) E-mail me whenever you want Ronnie7782@aol.com. Take care.

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