Jun 07, 2013 - 10:28 pm
I was diagnosed with Stage 2 bulky Hodgkin's Lymphoma last September. Completed 12 chemo treatments 2 weeks apart and then 17 radiation treatments. Had my last radiation on May 22. After each chemo I was really sick - nauseous, depressed, fatigued, etc. - for about four days, and then OK, or at least able to function, until my next chemo. I took about a month off between chemo and radiation, and then took about a month to complete my radiation. Started with the fatigue and burning in my chest after only a few days of radiation - the burning and trouble swallowing is now gone, but the immense fatigue is still present, and what's worse is that since about a week into the radiation therapy I've been having extreme anxiety and panic attacks. I think some of it might be because I just don't have the disposition to be able to do nothing all day without feeling very stressed about all the things I'm not able to do. I'm self-employed and can't really take a leave of absense from my job so I've been working when and as I can. I'm a financial planner and office at home so I've been able to maintain a light workload, mostly just answering emails and phone calls and meeting with clients only when necessary, but I do worry about the work that is piling up. I have a wonderful husband who is helping around the house and he assures me that I am very slowly getting better, but I certainly don't see it from where I'm sitting, or lying as the case may be. Every day it's just a struggle to get out of bed without just having a complete breakdown, and every minute it's just an effort to hold myself together and do the things that need to be done. My oncologist says give it time and talk to my primary care physician about increasing my antidepressants, but I know from prior experience that increasing the dosage of my antidepressants will temporarily make me feel jittery and that's the last thing I need right now. Help! Has anyone else dealt with this kind of thing? Oh I should mention that as of my last set of scans there are no visible signs of cancer left in my body and I am so grateful for that, but had I know what the radiation was going to do to me I might have skipped it and taken my chances. This is just torture.
Shelli in Texas