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Social effects during adult years

NatalieG
Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2004

My name is Natalie and I had Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia at age 4 and now just minor problems, such as chronic breathing problems and seizures. I'm 18 now, and after and during all of these illnesses, I seemed to be very timid, paranoid, terrified of rejection, seem like an outcast, and I have minor depression which is a big step for me b/c I used to have major depression, and I'm still trying to overcome being a cutter. I was wondering if all survivors go through this and if you've overcomed this obstacle how did you do that? Thanks for taking time to read this and help me. God Bless!

lindazame
Posts: 46
Joined: Jan 2002

Hi Natalie,
My name's Linda and I run a discussion group for long term survivors of childhood/adolescent cancer. I would say that how people deal with their past medical problems is as individual---well as each individual. Everyone has something from past treatment to deal with and each person seems to find some way working through those experiences. Some people in our group have become more religious. Others have decided that talking with a psychotherapist is the way to find help. I don't think there is any one thing that is right. I do think that it can help to talk with other survivors--share experiences etc. If you want to know more about our group you can go to ACOR.ORG adn click on mailing lists---we are the long term survivors group and there are more than 400 of us from all over the world. Come join us and talk with other survivors.
Linda

BionicWoman
Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2004

Hi, my name is Heather. I am 20 years old and had an osteosarcoma when i was 14. I have been off treatment for almost 5 years and still til this day have things that affect me not only physically but mentally and socially. When i first came off of treatment i was 16 and had a VERY hard time fitting in. I just wasn't very talkative, I was very shy and felt that I was different, kind of the same thing you were saying. I myself have been struggling with depression ever since I was diagnosed. It's gotton alot better but I still have my bad days. I would love to talk to you some more. Just thought I would share a little bit about myself with you and let you know that if you want to talk and get to know eachother I'm here. I hope to hear from you soon.

NatalieG
Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2004

Hi Heather, yeah I definitely like to talk to someone who is going through similar experiences. Yeah I still have my bad days too, but hopefully soon they'll lessen. Well I talk to you later, bye.

BionicWoman
Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2004

Hey Natalie. I'm glad that you wrote back! I would love to talk to you somemore also so if you are up to it send me an email at Luvtadance99@yahoo.com I will hopefully talk to you soon! Bye

SaschiesMum's picture
SaschiesMum
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2004

Hello. My name is Rebecca. I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at 6. Then because of another problem at 26 I was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma. I too have faced depression, severe at times. I also have type 1 diabetes (dx'd at 3 years 3 days). So I have spent my whole life with one disease or another. I was on chemo for 4 years with the ALL, massive chemo for 7 months with the Leiomyosarcoma. I am very open to the diagnoses' that I face and the outcome and the treatments. Depression alot of the times goes hand in hand with alot of other diagnoses. Right now not only am I in remission from the sencond bout of cancer, but also depression. But I am still shy at times but other times outgoing. It has caused some friends to back away once they realize I have faced cancer twice in my life (I am almost 30 years old), but it also has gained me friends, those that know what it is like to have had or have cancer, the treatment and such.

char1970's picture
char1970
Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi, natalie my name is chalene. i am 34 and had osteosarcoma when i was 25. your not alone in being depressed. as linda said we all handle things in different ways. even as a young adult i found that relating to my peers actually became work. trying to put on a facade so i fit in was too hard. talking with others survivors and a therapist has greatly helped me. time has been my healing factor. if you'd like to chat more email me here or at char1970@hotmail.com. remeber you're not alone!!! god bless charlene

NatalieG
Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2004

Thank you all for helping and letting me realize I'm not alone, I greatly appreciate it.

SwimCoop's picture
SwimCoop
Posts: 17
Joined: Apr 2003

I was dx with ALL when I was 8. I had always been very shy but after treatments ended I was even more shy and afraid of talking to people. I've been since dx with social anxiety. I've also been having seizures. Do you know if your seizures were because of the treatments? you can email me if you want ambanana@sbcglobal.net

Cybit
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2005

My name is Krupal, I was diagnosed with AML when I was 14, I am 19 now, just hit the 5 year remission mark. I am pretty paranoid, but I became a lot more outgoing after I got sick then before. I used martial arts to get over cutting (I did a couple of times, but thats it.) I became outgoing because I figured if I wasnt going to live that much longer, I'd rather at least go out talking. :) The physical effects will linger for a while, sometimes random joints will give out, and stuff like that, but you just gotta push on. Don't worry about what others think about you, it doesn't matter. Only what you think about yourself.

NatalieG
Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2004

Congrats on the 5 year mark! and thanks

seimome
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2005

Natalie - I think everyone goes through something like this. I was diagnosed w/ Hodgkin's disease at 18 and am now 25. About a year after treatment, I was having severe anxiety attacks and have had bouts with depression. I went to see a psychiatrist who specialized in cancer patients and survivors. I definitely think it helped me - not to say that it's a solve all, because I'm still occasionally anxious or depressed - it just gives you a better way to look at it and deal with things when they get bad. Good luck and remember that you are a strong person and you WILL make it through this.

Aquagirl18
Posts: 45
Joined: Apr 2003

You are not alone I had Cancer at 13 months and have suffered from side effects from its treatments and I am left with disabilites with my heart and with learning that make it very difficult for me socially as well. I have the hardest time finding part time work because not many people will hire me and some people still judge me because of my disabilies. I feel very alone sometimes and I have mild depression. My cancer has been in remisson for a long time and I am well into my 20's now. If anyone has advice on how to deal let me know and I am here to support anyone who might want to talk etc.

nicolebear27
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2005

Hi everyone my name is nicole and i was diagnosed with ALL when i was 4 years old, i am 24 now and have come to the realization that i have to start dealing with the emotional side effects of both illness and treatment. I have been stepping over the line many times since i have been in remission but i never had the tools, the strenght or the courage to do so. you could say that i have been in denial. i alwaya thoght that i was the only one who had this disease and at 19m diagnosed with a heart condition then 22 with a non cancerous tumor treated by surgery. reading the story's i am now getting a sense that i am not alone. however i need a lot of help, my family has focused on putting all this behind me as well as themselves, i've played along over the last 20 years, but i can't do it anymore. No one understands me, i break down all the time and noone understands why. Ive been to a million therapists but they don't have a clue what it's like to be me or know what it feels like to have this pain and emotional distress hovering over me day after day. after 5 years of school i graduated a year later finding out that i can't survive working in my field, now im unemployed and tired and depressed all the time and my family and friends tell me to get over it, they dont have a clue.

btcat's picture
btcat
Posts: 63
Joined: Mar 2005

Hi Natalie. I am an adult survivor of childhood cancer too. I recently started visiting the csn chat room and it has helped me so much. It's great to talk with other survivors about what's bothering me or just about whatever, to be accepted as who i am, not looked at as some kind of oddity. You should try it. It's great!
Christy alias btcat

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