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When Will it End?

bladerunner
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2011

I have been in remission for the last 2 years (HL, IIA). I went through 4 rounds of ABVD and 20 rounds of radiation.

For the most part, I have been feeling pretty good.  However, whenever I get a cold or I feel fatigue my first thought is relapse or possibly another blood cancer.

Going through the treatment and handling the physical beat down was a lot easier for me then where my mind likes to take me since treatment ended.  I was wondering if others could share their stories on if it ever gets easier?  I feel rediculous when I call my onco. and they advise it's most likely just a virus.

Thanks in advance for sharing.

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1997
Joined: Aug 2011

Welcome Blade,

You'll find very supportive and understanding folks here and more will chime in soon.

Your reactions are very normal.  I'm one year into remission and everytime I get sick

I have similar thoughts.  You are not alone in this.  From what I've read here, this does

get better over time.  Since cancer, we naturally listen to our bodies more and although

that's probably a good thing, we need to keep it balanced.  I had an episode of diarrhea over

the holidays and almost freaked out as it was one of my cancer symptoms.  Fortunately, it

cleared up in a couple of days and upon reflection, it was not like what I had experienced before.

I'm very thankful and happy we are in remission but a downside of this is the FEAR that it will

return.  It's a perfectly human reaction and you are not ridiculous in calling your oncologist.

If however you are spending nearly every waking moment being anxious and fearful of a recurrence, you might want to look into counseling.   Congratulations on your remisson and may it continue forever !

Hugs,

Jim

 

 

 

diazr1's picture
diazr1
Posts: 101
Joined: Mar 2012

you have to believe your healed. Feed your body a good diet and workout.  

onlytoday's picture
onlytoday
Posts: 585
Joined: Jun 2010

Blade,

 

As Jim pointed out it is so normal to be more aware of our bodies.  And as Diaz said we need to really take care with diet and exercise.  And you should feel comfortable calling your Oncologist!  Look at it this way- what if you didn't call and should have?  If you find that you're obsessed with every little thing then you may need to make some changes in your life to get beyond that. 

I think that sometimes while in treatment we are so "busy" going for the tx and managing the symptoms that come with it that it fills up our time.  When it's done - whether it was 3 months ago or 2 years ago- we have more time to digest what just happened to our bodies.  Many people (you will find- because I'm sure they'll be responding) have a delayed reaction to what they have gone through  once the dust has settled.  I don't think we will every take the symptoms of a virus lightly- we are simply more aware.  I know I'm different now and look at things in a new way.  I'm 3 months post tx and am working hard at rebuilding my body with exercise and a super healthy diet- but I do react and think about any symptoms differently than I did before my treatments.

I think we each have our own way of dealing with this mess and as long as it's not overtaking the joy in your life - you are just reacting to it in your own normal way.

 

All the best to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1037
Joined: May 2012

Bladerunner,

As everyone else on this thread has noted, your feelings could not be more typical or normal. I am coming up on blood tests for the four year mark since my diagnosis. I must say that I feared the tests during treatment, and immediately after my last cycle of abvd, a bit more than the tests since then. My doc, and all of the literature, note that each month and year that you go "clean" reduces the likelihood that cancer will ever return, but even that is never an absolute guarantee.  Plus, I never had any sign of lymphoma prior to diagnosis -- never felt a lump anywhere - nothing.  I was diagnosed by accident, during a heart test, so I do not know what it "feels like" to have lymphoma anyway.  Well, exscept for severe fatigue. (I was late stage III at diagnosis, with grossly enlarged nodes throughout my chest cavity and moving around the stomach; my biopsy node, from my left armpit was, according to the surgeon "the size of a gold ball." My Internal Medicine doc had checked me for nodes the week before, and could feel nothing on first pass; he later said that he "thought" he felt something.)

More aggressive cancers, if they are going to reoccur, seem to usually pop up quite rapidly. Chavez in Cuba (what type of cancer he has has never been publically announced) is an example, and everyone I know who died from lymphoma either never achieved full remission, or only very briefly. But neither does that mean that a rapid recurrence is hopeless.  I have a dear friend who is toward the end with Stage IV prostate cancer, but he has had it for 13 years now ! Most of those years have been healthy and productive. 

I do not know any advice better than encouraging you to relax and think of other things. I did not get HL "because I ate fried chicken," and if I get it again, it will not be because of a meal that I indulged in. I eat as healthy as I am comfortable with, but because I have failry severe lung damage from bleomycine, I cannot walk more than a short distance without getting very winded. Hence, I am no "Rambo" now, on a mission to stay well. Of course, I have never in my life smoked or drank (a little beer only), but neither do either of those two activities play any known or clear role in lymphoma. Actually, no one has more than a rough, speculative idea as to what causes it -- pathology theories regarding how specific cell types transform into malignant cell types.

Some feel that eating this or that magic food, or "positive mental vibrations" will assist them, and God bless them with their programme. To me, it is what I call "Suzanne Somers Oncology." 

Live a healthy lifestyle and you will gradually move on. It will make you healthier than an "unhealthy lifestyle" anyway, regardless of your cancer status. 

I hope hearing various views here is of assistance to you and your well-being.  It sounds like you most likely will be fine,

max

 

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bladerunner
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2011

Thanks to Max and everyone who provided feedback on my concerns.  It is nice to be able to share feelings and concerns with those who know all about what I am going through.

I wish you all a beautiful, healthy Happy New Year!

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