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a little worried

Amyntas's picture
Amyntas
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2011

hi, im Anthony and im 20 years old. i had my 8th and final round of chemo on december 2010. it was b-cell lymphoma. recently my doctor (Dr. Uzair Chaudhary, in my opinion, the nicest doctor I have ever met)looked at my CT scan and said its still shrinking. the problem is my insurance expired on the 4th of this month. but he said its most likely just scar tissue.

to be honest i was never worried about having cancer (in a life threatening way) through out the whole journey but now i have no choice but to stop keeping tabs on it. not till i get hired again anyway... i also started looking up pictures of different cancers and realized how lucky i really was not to have cancer as severe as those others. but like an epiphany i also realized that if i had caught it even a month later, it could have meant a different fate.

i suffered about 3 months before i was even diagnosed. it started off as a minor cold or so and then some strange sensation that i was being slightly strangled. like my neck was being squeezed just enough to feel the pressure in my head. then came the coughing and the blood. i coughed up so much blood each day and my family doctors kept diagnosing me with pneumonia.

the worst it ever got, along with all the previous symptoms, was when i couldn't breath while laying on my back anymore. i couldn't sleep for weeks. see the reason why i couldn't do much through out those three months is because im not wealthy haha.. the last straw was when i noticed a segment on the left side near the center of my chest was noticabley bigger.

when i was finally diagnosed my reaction was... maybe a bit too... lax. "oh... heh-heh" what the doctor who first told me said was a little unsettling. he said "this isn't a joke. you can die." unbelievable really... too bad i didn't remember HIS name. anyway, this story may have been told many times before me but even so... its kind of strange to me that of all times its now, nearly midnight, 6 months after my last treatment that im starting to realizing that i could have died and lost the love of my life, my family, and my future.

i haven't even accomplished much in life really but my appreciation of life is just too indescribable to anyone who hasn't experienced a close demise. i feel like i've taken it for granted. although i know im still young, i still feel that despite my age i have wasted soooo much time and i regret it all. i've never been able to tell anyone how i feel about this. for certain people in my life i feel that its too late to start feeling this way especially since during my treatments, i treated IT as nothing at all.

theres only a few people in my life that i care about and they all think that im a head strong person but its only half true. i blissfully mocked cancer without realizing it's true potential consequence but the moment i realized it, im turning into a coward hiding from my loved ones and seeking comfort from strangers. i just need to know if anyone else here has felt the same way..

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Anthony,
First let me say welcome to the place that you never thought you'd be. There are are a lot of great people on here. They can identify with you a lot better than some people because they have been thru or going thru this God Forsaken journey too. I remember when I was 20 years old and the feeling of being indestructible was there. It is something everyone probably goes thru.Sometimes it may just be the stage of denial for young people. That is maybe what you were going thru when you were first diagnosed. Hell man,I am only 20 years old and nothing can hurt me. Then as time went on you started to realize this ain't no game. Sorta like an acceptance thing. Thats when you kind of started to feel a little worried and scared. There is nothing wrong with that. Hey,we are talking about a cancer diagnoses here. You are right when you say you are lucky its not one of those organ cancers. We have lymphoma and its in the lymph system and no matter where it goes it is still lymphoma. Some are aggressive and some are very slow growing. None the less they are nothing to sneeze at.They have made great strides in the treatment over the past few years and for that we are all grateful.Maybe you don't feel comfortable talking to family members because they could never really know what you are going thru at this time or even when you were diagnosed. I feel you came here because you could talk to people that have been thru it and know exactly where you are coming from. Keep coming back. There is always someone that will be glad to talk with you simply because thay care and know what you are going thru. As far as you feeling you wasted so much time,don't worry about it and welcome to the club. There is not a person out there that does not feel the same way when they look back on their lives. Its all a part of life. Its a learning experience for us. How else would we know we wasted time if we hadn't experienced it? John (FNHL-1-4A-5/10)REMISSION AS OF OCT.2010

Amyntas's picture
Amyntas
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2011

everything you've said and analyzed sounds very true. its comforting to finally being able to tell someone about it without feeling like im talkin to a sack of potato's. i hated hearing stupid cliches from relatives I've never even heard of or met before. often times when i was in the hospital i just wanted to be alone for one minute. i wasn't feeling well and when i asked, i was told i was being rude and those people were "sacrifices their time to come and support me" as if i even asked them to...

it was actually kind of heart warming at first but after the first couple visitors it got old FAST. day after day it started to feel more like the main event on some FREAK show. like these people were only here because they were thinking "oh my gosh, i actually know someone who has cancer!" no one even talked to me after they introduced themselves. honestly i was only really happy when my two friends came over because they actually came to SEE me, not to STARE at me. they brought me my favorite things and we played games.

the main reason i was so confident was because of my girlfriend though. my dream is to start a family with her some day. and she thinks im as great as superman sometimes. it would have been heart breaking to let her down and leave her all alone. so maybe i just decided "sneeze at" cancer to protect myself and her. im starting to feel better about all of this though but until i get my insurance back up and running i'll always be somewhat worried about my health. im even a little afraid to get another cold.

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Hey,
I hear what you are saying. I have been here a year this month. I feel at ease talking to the people here. My family knows about my lymphoma and of course all the people on the site. I am more of a private person than most on here realize. I do not want every Tom,Dick and Harry knowing my business. I have been that way most of my life. I know how a lot of people act and re-act when they hear the word cancer. The world is full of A$$holes. The older you get the more you will find it out. You got a good taste of it by what you say in your post. I know you are concerned right now without insurance and I would be too. You will be OK. They have come so far with this type of cancer. I was a mess this time last year when I heard the word CANCER. Thats all I heard,nothing else. I never did any research about it at all before hearing the diagnosis. I would recommend not going to those websites. They are for stats only. We are all individual people. We are not a stat. I learned so much from people on this site and from the Onc. Drs.
Getting back to knowing people you are learning it early. Some people go thru their whole lives with blinders on. People can be cruel thats for sure.A lot of it is due to their own ignorance to what is going on. Some just don't care. Don't get me wrong,there are a lot of good people out there too. Your experience with people is something you will never forget. It is a learning thing for sure. You will not find find that kind of behavior here.If you have any questions just spout them out. Someone will be here to help. John

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3163
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi Anthony,
Welcome to our group. If you are out of work, you should be able to qualify for temporary medical assistance through your local DSHS..(Dept Social and Health Services)If you have any new symptoms pop up don't hesitate to go to the E.R....they can help guide you in getting medical assistance and can't turn you away because of no insurance. You fought a hard battle to get where you are today, so don't let the lack of insurance stop you from maintaining your cancer care. I hope you will continue to come here for support and keep us informed on how you are doing. Take care...Sue (FNHL-2-3A-6/10)

Amyntas's picture
Amyntas
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2011

thanks for all your replies. this website is pretty great. i'll look into that sue. thank you. i'd like to stick around here.

miss maggie
Posts: 929
Joined: Mar 2010

Dear Anthony,

Sue is correct. There is financial aid available to you. I have no idea where you live.
Also, if you are living at home? No matter. If your parent's can't add you to their
health insurance policy, you are entitled to medicaid. You are also entitled to food
stamps. You can obtain medicaid with the help of a social worker in the hospital where
you are being treated. Or you can go to a welfare office and apply for both.. Not sure if health wise you are able to do this. Try and obtain as many records are you can about your
health, and why you are not able to work at this time.

Are you collecting unemployment? If so, you can't mention you are unable to work. What you
can do at the unemployment office, is find out about food stamps.

I just wanted to add my thoughts. Don't give up, there is help for you out there. Maggie

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