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This is a new discussion board.

Your CSN Staff's picture
Your CSN Staff
Posts: 200
Joined: May 2008

Well, we have a discussion board for young survivors so it seemed only fair that the senior folk have their own space. ;-)

Greta
Your CSN staff

zahalene's picture
zahalene
Posts: 624
Joined: Nov 2005

to kick off this board...a great idea by the way.
My issue with being a senior survivor is....
I was in active treatment for cancer for 15 years, from age 38 to about age 53. I am soooo grateful to say I have been NED for 8 years now.
However, since regaining some equilibrium from the cancer and other related issues (aka divorce), I find that I have some resentment about the fact that now I am in a place where I would normally be enjoying my retirement years, but due to all the above, I am seriously limited physically, mentally (don't go there), and emotionally. I feel as though I have missed out on the 'middle' of my life and it is now too late to reclaim it.
That's it in a nut shell. Anyone else?

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

You know my story Zah, 22 year survivor of non hodgkins lymphoma - just reiterating that for anyone else reading this who doesn't know me.

As you know Zah I have many late effects from my cancer treatment and went through a divorce too, no doubt brought on in large part by my illness from it all for so long. My ex remarried already - of course - and no surprise to a younger healthy vibrant woman.

I was diagnosed not too long before my 40th birthday and I remember when I turned 40 while others were mourning the big 4 - 0 I was just happy to be ANY AGE. I went into menopause too, prematures due to the treatments, and that threw my 'normal' aging in a tailspin as did cancer of course, period (or should I say non-period, lol - couldn't resist that). lol.

This is an issue that is very difficult for many long term or 'senior' survivors - we have given up alot for a cure or at least a diagnosis of cancer as more of a 'chronic disease' instead of the 'the end' as the diagnosis used to be in days gone by - for many more than now.

I think the key for me to handle it all for so long has been to have a good psychologist who is trained especially in anxiety/trauma/loss who deals with the ebbs and flows of my memories and issues as I survive through the years after diagnosis. I don't see him on regular basis all the time but when I feel stresses or new issues rising up, not only due to cancer but just life issues too, I check back in with him and get a 'tune up'. lol.

We have missed alot while in treatments or just getting over the diagnosis(es) with other life issues having to have been put on the back burner for survival matters. Sometimes the survival issues go on and on and the other life issues are never really dealt with as it all can be so overwhelming from time to time. It all piles up sometimes as the years go by. Again, checking in with a good counsellor can really help.

Glad to see this topic area opened up. Many specialists are recognizing us long term senior survivors now and our specific issues. Better late than never. lol. Blessings, Bluerose

serrana
Posts: 163
Joined: Apr 2009

Wonderful to have our "own group" on the board. Thanks CSN

In a way I am grateful not to be responsible for raising kids or making a living during this survivorship journey;it is nice to have Medicare and Blue Shield paying the whole tab; on the other hand being a single senior survivor, the cancer issue may limit or eliminate my possibility of finding (another ) life partner. Seems that we have so much "baggage" at this age (70( that romance may just be out of the question. And so, our journey is supported by faith, friends....those who have perservered and not freaked out, and our family. Just when we are considering our third act or final curtain we have cancer issues on top of it all.
It sometimes is easy to think that we have less potential to survive w/ aging issues too; What say ye to these thoughts?
Serrana

LeeandShirley's picture
LeeandShirley
Posts: 122
Joined: Apr 2011

I would just like to say that I am awe struck by the strength of you single seniors, (especially those who have had to go through divorce while battling cancer). I went through a divorce years ago, without battling cancer, and I almost lost my mind. I am a caretaker of my husband who is stage 4 primary liver cancer. So it is not I who has the cancer, but thank God we are going through this hand in hand. I could not imagine Lee going through this alone. To abandon him now would be worse than cruel, it would be evil. You are amazing in your strength. That is what got you through. Bravo! Kudoes! Take a bow!

gptm
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2010

Hello I agree with you. Instead of being a strong couple who made it though, I am the deserted one. And remember it is good to stay positive. How after this.

jpartridge
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2010

This is great, this is my first day in this site. I am still married after lots and lots of ups and downs. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 5 years ago, so my survival time is not near what all of yours, but recently a PET scan indicates my breast cancer has metastized and I have been looking all over for some information on this and finally came on this by going to American Cancer Society. Well, imagine that. If there is anyone out there who has history of this, I would be curious to hear about your treatment and how all is going. I look forward to having lots of input.

tammy31269
Posts: 22
Joined: Jul 2010

im going to say its been a very hard road to go down when your young and lose half of what life is left i had stage t3c colonrectal sataget3c with 2tumors, took 25treatments of radiation,9months of fu-5 chemo, 5operations, 2different colostomies,lost my teeth at age 34 the dentist called it deadjaw, bones are thinning out. im now age 41yrs.old and suffer from bone loss in spine i have osteoporsis,arthritis,scoliosis,sciatica, and now my feet have degeneration , my wrist ,ankles,elbows..the radiation burnt me up havent had my period since 2001. they dont tell you about the side effects for long term, but i just have to deal with another pain in my body

Edward W
Posts: 30
Joined: Oct 2010

Thank you Greta. I want my words to encourage other seniors. I'm 72 and two weeks ago I went with my daughter on her Seadoo, (water scooter) on the river She had been after me for some time and I kept saying I couldn't. Well wife bought me a pair of board shorts (Hawaiian pattern) and said "There, now you are going". So with my darling daughter guiding me, I mounted the Seadoo, and she gunned it. Up and down the river we went as fast as the scooter would go, and me grinning like kid.
So what is my esophageal cancer story? Diagnosed in 2000, Stage IV. Complete esophagealectomy, replaced with 80% of my stomach. Ten years ago... Yeah. I've survived 10 years like this.
I can tell you that how the family interacts with the patient is very important. I am blessed to have the most wonderful wife and daughters (2) that helped me all through the whole cx episode.
Remember folks: NEVER NEVER give up !!

truckingalong
Posts: 444
Joined: Aug 2010

I am glad to check in here and hear all the stories from you all knowing that we can live a long time after diagnosis and treatment. Positive thinking is the key to live as long as we can!

I understand that there are two large groups of Hodgkins lymphoma survivors: the young - about 20's and the older group - about 40 to 50's. I have seen a lot of young survivors sharing their stories but I have yet to see the ones who got this disease later in life. I am puzzled. Is there anyone you know who has this? I am 55 and I got diagnosed a year ago and went through 7 months chemo - last one in Feb 2011 and am now in remission.

Recovery after chemo this year presents challenges but month to month, it seems to get better, although my body is not the same as before.

Blessings,
Liz

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5655
Joined: Apr 2009

It was 9 years ago I first found out I had NPC Cancer what was bad it came back less than a year after treatment. Then it came back again less than a year after the second treatment. Now 6 years later I do a PET every 6 months and still don’t get a NED scan, but I do get a No Change. Sometimes a No Change is just as good as a NED.

Hondo

mean56
Posts: 11
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello all, I am a 58 year survivor of Wilms Tumor. I was treated with radiation and have experienced side effects that I am only now realizing is from the treatments. I am very interested in learning more and finding a Doctor in my area that understands my situation and would know what to be looking for, etc. Any info would be greatly appreciated. I have been to a Wilms discussion board but never got answers on that board. I am excited to meet all survivors. Such a relief that this is here. Been told too many times that things are in my head. I want to know as much as I can.

Congrtatulations to all of you!

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