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Ronnie10
Posts: 20
Joined: Jan 2004

I am a 21 year old girl and I have Stage 2B Hodgkin's. I have had 6 rounds of chemo so far and have anywhere between 4 and 6 to go..that is depending on test results at the end of February. I am responding well to the medicine, so the prognosis looks good. But I am just sooo afraid of what lies ahead. I can tell that I feel worse with each treatment. I am so scared to keep getting more. Is it really going to be bad at the end?? My stomach can't seem to take much more on the day I get the treatment and the next few days. I take the medicines that prevent me from throwing up, but I still feel really sick. I just need a little advice as to how to get through the rest of them...I am so scared I am just going to get more and more sick. And also, out of curiousity, how long did it take for everyone's hair to grow back when they were finished their treatments?? Thank you so much, I am so happy we have something like this to talk to other people that know what we go through.

tsivels
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi, I'm a 23 year old female diagnosed with Stage 2B Hodgkin's. I have had 10 treatments and have two more to go. I just wanted to share my experience because I do understand what you are going through. My treatments have varied, I've had some treatments where I was fine and some that weren't so fine. It just all depends, I've heard that with the pre-nausea medicine you should take it before you get sick because once you get that feeling it's hard to shake. I think I've gotten the best results when I stuck to a bland diet and kept myself a little active (go for a walk) and positive. And as for my hair, I started to lose mine after the second treatment. I wore my hair up into an upsweep up until my sixth treatment. I never really lost my hair completely-I just had bald spots, so I cut it all even and now it's actually growing back. Now I have a full head of hair, but it's kind of fine and I would like for it to grow in a litte more. So I'm guessing by the end of my treatment it should be wearable. Well I hope I helped you out a little. If you have any other questions or would just like to share some of your feelings just e-mail me at tsivels@hotmail.com.

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

Hi Ronnie,
I had stage 2B Hodgkins also. I ended up having 16 chemo treatments because I was a slow responder. Since you are responding so well I hope that your tests at the end of February mean that you are almost done with your chemo. Like you, I also felt sicker with each chemo. It kind of makes sense though doesn't it? Your body is more and more run down with each one. When you get the next chemo, you probably still have some of the previous "poisons" still running around in your system, so really you are extra toxic for a while. It's probably just how I made myself feel better emotionally, but I told myself that the sicker I felt, meant that the chemo had less to do in my body because the tumors were shrinking so much, therefore all that poison had plenty of opportunity now to make me sick. As for how to get through them...one at a time. I had a big calendar that I marked off with big red numbers...4, 3, 2, 1, ZERO!!! Do whatever makes it easier. Do you have company when you go to treatments, would that help? Talk to your doc about trying some different anit-nausea meds. Some worked better than others for me...Zofran, reglan, ativan, etc. etc. This year or so in your life is hard, really hard; but it is worth it to have a long, healthy, happy lifetime ahead of you when it is finished. As far as the hair thing, I had baby-bird hair within a month, a GI Jane in 3 or so, and needed a trim to shape it up by the 5th month. Depending how brave you are to sport your new short, probably curly, hairdo, that is about when I quit wearing hats. Good luck toughing out your treatments. You can do this! Hang in there.

AlloMan
Posts: 47
Joined: Jul 2003

You will get through this. Don't think about how much more sick treatments might make you, think about how healthy you'll be afterward.

Will you get more sick? Maybe. How sick would you be if you weren't treated at all? As bad as chemo may be, it beats the alternative...Don't sweat the hair. It's over rated.

Josephine
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Ronnie, My name is josephine, and I went through the treatments, about one year ago. I know how hard it is, and I hope that you are getting lots of support. The thing that helped me the most was writing. I wrote several poems, and this one helped me the most,

An Opening Poem

Cancer is more than a disease,
Cancer is about,
Being able to look on the bright side,
Being able to accept help,
Being able to let go,
Especially of your hair,
Being able to be brave,
Even when it’s hard,
Being calm, being calm,
Being patient.
Being able to be alone,
Being able to handle isolation.

Cancer is having friends that will support you,
Cancer is having things to do to pass the time,
Cancer is having some one there to hold your hair when you loose your cookies,
Cancer is having someone there to hold you hand,
Cancer is having some one there to help you to the bathroom in the middle of the night,
Cancer is having a box of Kleenex near by,
Cancer is having faith that things will get better.

Cancer is not all bad though,
Cancer is watching all kinds of movies,
Cancer is using the electric carts at Safeway,
Cancer is getting presents,
Cancer is having real friends,
Cancer is having loving parents,
Cancer is getting woozy drugs.

Cancer is hard too,
Cancer is getting surgery,
Cancer is getting Chemo,
Cancer is getting poked like a pincushion,
Cancer is not being able to get out of bed,
Cancer is having achy bones,
Cancer is having headaches,
And not being able to concentrate.

Cancer helps you to realize how lucky you really are,
Cancer helps you realize what you want out of life,
Cancer helps you realize you talents,
Cancer helps you mature mentally.

So you see cancer is not just a disease, and it is not always a bad thing,
In fact some times it can be a blessing.

By: Josephine *******

I hope this will be helpful to you, and if you have any other questions feel free to E-Mail me,
JosephineThames5@aol.com.

Sincerly,
Josephine

P.S. My hair is now 7 inches long, and its only been a year! Yours will most likely start growing between 1 to 3 mounths. Good luck, I know you can do it!

Ronnie10
Posts: 20
Joined: Jan 2004

Thank you so much for the poem. It meant a lot to me. I related to every single line in it. I think you are a wonderful person for taking the time to share that with me. God Bless you. :)

sullivanmorgan
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2004

I saw your message and just wanted to write a few things. I'm a 23 year old girl who was diagnosed with Stage IIA. I had 3 cycles of ABVD which is 6 treatments in all. When I saw what you had wrote I just had to post this. I found myself in a very similar position to you. I didnt really experience a lot of nausea from chemo but was totally fatigued. What was hardest for me was that as the treatments went on, and it became more obvious that I was responding well to the chemo, everyone around me was getting more positive and relaxed whereas I was getting more anxious. I have to say that i found the last 2 chemos incredibly tough. Its more to do with the fact that you know what lies ahead after each treatment. My advice is to listen to your body - if you are tired don't fight it- your body is telling you to rest. Then on the good week do everything as you would normally do. I was in my final year in college when diagnosed and focussing on my studies was what maintained my sanity! Once my chemo had finished i bounced back pretty quickly and life returned to the relative normality of exams and hanging out with friends.

As for the hair issue, I never completely lost my hair but had massive baldspots that would never have corrected themselves. On the evening after my last chemo treatment I shaved my head completely and it was the most liberating thing ever! i had always had extremely straight blonde/red hair. My hair started growing back almost immediately and it wasn't the same. It had a wave in it which I must admit I did not like! However, today 2 years on exactly my hair is almost as it was and I've been able to experiment with different styles over the past 2 years which has been kinda cool!

I hope some of this helps and that you don't think I'm being flippant about your worries. I've been there and I'm on the other side now and I have to tell you - its great! life seems so much more relaxed and makes you grateful for what you have now. If you want to ask anything else please feel free to reply to this message

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