CSN Login
Members Online: 15

depressed, lonely and self conscious and dont know where to turn

Lexilou15's picture
Lexilou15
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2013

my name is alexis i am 21yrs old and the last 2 and a half years of my life i spent fighting my cancer hodgkins lymphoma stage 2a. now i am in remission but i cant get away from my anxiety and depression and self consciousness. when i look in the mirror i dont see myself anymore. i see a girl that is broken and i cant put the pieces back together. i feel so alone and just really need someone who understands what i am going through.

illead's picture
illead
Posts: 559
Joined: Aug 2012

     First of all, what a sweet name.  You have come to the right place.  We are all here because we have, or have had lymphoma, or are caregivers of lymphoma patients.  I am a caregiver.  My husband is also in remission for over 2 years.  I know you are thrilled to be in remission as we are also for you, but I also know that especially at such a young age and dealing with emotions is overwhelming at times.  I think too that probably because your peer group is so young and probably cannot identify with having cancer, they think that you go on with your life now and everything is peachy keen.  We all know here though that even while in remission we are facing the unknown.  We are done with our treatment and everyone goes on about their business and we are left to deal with our thoughts.  Most of us have support from family, which I am sure you do too, but at your age your peers are very important to you and it is really difficult for them to understand.  We understand that here though and we have true empathy.  I hope you will join us  and know that we are always here to help you.  Many others will join in their comments and I know you will comfort and help.  Please let us help you, we are here to listen.

My very best to you, hang in there, Becky

Lexilou15's picture
Lexilou15
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2013

thank you so much for replying becky.  i am having a lot of trouble adjusting to "normal" life again. i am finally back at college and its really hard because i should be a senior and i am only a sophomore and some of my friends that i made my freshman year before i got sick will be graduating this year; it is just so hard to think thats where i amsupposed to be if this stupid cancer wouldnt have come along.

Ailidh
Posts: 52
Joined: Aug 2013

Hello Alexis.

 

I am new here too and, although considerably older than you, I am going through the depression and mental anguish you describe. I'm not more than 10% back to work yet, and, as work has defined who I am for so many years, I feel to be drowning in a sea of non-existence some days.

Are you getting help from anywhere? I see both a psychologist (once in 10 days) and a general doctor (when I can get an appointment). They both assure me I will get better and, while on bad days (and today's not great) it doesn't seem possible, overall it does help to know that professionals have an eye on me. If you're not getting help, then please source some, if you can. In the mean time, I'm sending a big hug in the hope that it helps a bit.

Lexilou15's picture
Lexilou15
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2013

currently i am not seeking any help but am looking into it. my college offers psychologists to the students that need them. i definitely need to talk to someone because i spend a lot of time in my room and i am getting more and more depressed by the day.

Joemory21's picture
Joemory21
Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2013

cancer sucks all the way around. sorry you are having trouble with "normal". I have not found "normal" yet but I'm only two months out of chemo. Hope it gets better soon.

Jonathan

Lexilou15's picture
Lexilou15
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2013

thanks jonathan i hope things get better for u too.

Shoopy
Posts: 210
Joined: Jul 2013

Welcome to the board.  I think we all can identify with some of your feelings.  I'm currently going through treatment for NHL Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma.  Next month, I'll endure a stem cell transplant.  So I am not in remission yet but still wonder if I'll ever spend a day without thinking about cancer.

Talking with family and/or friends is important.  I also recommend talking with a counselor (either at school or somewhere else).  The other thing I would recommend is something that I found on my local Luekemia/Lymphoma Society website.  It's called "First Connection" (http://www.lls.org/#/aboutlls/chapters/wcny/patientsupportprograms/).  It's meant for newly diagnosed patients but I called them after failing my initial treatment plan.  They hook you up with people who have survived your cancer.  They ended up finding someone from MN for me and I have used that person several time...many times to ease my concerns.  In fact, I feel so strongly about the program...I plan to volunteer my time to the program once I am cured.

Honestly, LexiLou...I know it's dark right now...but trust me...you'll be fine.  Keeping plugging away.  I will keep you in my prayers.

Karl

Lexilou15's picture
Lexilou15
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2013

thank you for the kind words and i did actually go through the leukemia and lymphoma society first connection and i talked to two girls for awhile but then just kinda stopped.

also i had a stem cell transplant 1 year and 24 days ago! i had an autologous stem cell transplant. what kind are u having?

Shoopy
Posts: 210
Joined: Jul 2013

Lexi,

It seems like you're taking all the right steps.  Keep it up!

The plan is for me to have autologous SCT in October.  That might move up depending on what they find...or don't find this coming week (PET and CT scans schedule--results on 9/9). 

Karl

Lexilou15's picture
Lexilou15
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2013

u will have to let me know your results.  have they told u what to expect while your in the hospital for your transplant?

Shoopy
Posts: 210
Joined: Jul 2013

I will do that.  Yes, they have told us.  I have found that every SCT/BMT unit operates a bit differently.  They are currently telling me to expect to be in the hospital for 3-4 weeks and then spend the next 60 days at home.  I'm lucky to that Roswell Park Cancer Institute (aka Area 51) is only 20 minutes from my house.  That will afford me a bit more liberty.  Also RPCI is considered one of the best at SCT/BMT.

I've also been told to expect it to be pure hell.  Oddly...it's not scaring me right now.  I'll just take it one day at a time.

Karl

NANCYL1
Posts: 259
Joined: Jun 2012

Lexilou:

Do seek a psychologist or a psychiatrist.  If you need meds, a psychiatrist can help.  You need to speak to people.   Perhaps there is a support group in your area.

Let us know how you are doing.

Nancy.

Lexilou15's picture
Lexilou15
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2013

thank you nancy i will definitely look into it. i am looking into joining a club at my university called Colleges Against Cancer. and i will definitely keep u guys updated

Mary N.
Posts: 89
Joined: Jun 2013

Hi - I am much older than you and have LBCNHL in the brain.  I also was a counsellor at a college and often worked with the students.  You are in a place set aside not by your making but by a disease.  It saps us.  Depression really makes everything much worse including your ability to do your work.  I think the idea of trying the group is really important and if they can help you fill the voids and questions and companionship that you need it is wonderful.  I would still advise you to find yourself a counselor, psychologist or if you need med's a psychrist.  Make sure it is someone who you feel comfortable with and who you can talk to easily.  Look around if necessary.  I know my psychologist was very helpful to me when I was hitting the really rough spots.  Sometimes we need someone who can be objective.  Blessings  Have a great year and take care of the depression!!

Mary

 

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 2077
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi LexiLou and welcome to the site.  You have gotten many good responses.  I certainly understand about the pieces and trying to "reintegrate".  I think one of the lessons learned on this journey is the fragments are not going fall back together the way they/you were.  Think of them as re-assembling into the new, stronger, more enlightened, and beautiful you. I am so glad you are in remission.

I do hope you feel better.  You are not alone and have friends here :).

Big hugs - Jim

 

 

Bill_NC's picture
Bill_NC
Posts: 112
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi LexiLou , I am much older than you, I remember my first pet was a baby dinosaur (just kidding) Smile. I just finish my chemo about a month ago, and like to add to all the replies you been getting from all the good folks here. Due to personal circumstances I graduate from collage at age 31 and was married working 2 jobs and have 6 months old boy (he just turned 15 last month). So don't feel bad if you have a year or two delay. Hey if you can beat a cancer I don't think anything else can hold you down. I am sure you are a smart person, so chin up, keep focus, and you will graduate and get a good job before you know it. Best of luck.

By the way this is not my photo it's photo of Michael Hall play's in series called Dexter on showtime, he had HL in 2010.
beccajeanne791's picture
beccajeanne791
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi Alexis,

I'm Becca and I'm 22 years old.  I also had Hodgkin's Lymphoma and have been in remission for about a month.  Congratulations on being in remission!  Kicking cancer's butt is something you should be incredibly proud of.  You battled for two long years and you have finally won.  Being diagnosed with cancer, regadless the age, comes with a wide range of emotions: frustration, confusion, anger, sadness, and so many other feelings.  And I just want you to know that I understand what you're going through.

Being a young girl with cancer is unimaginable.  This is the part of our lives when we're supposed to be carefree, in school, going out, and having fun with our friends.... we're not supposed to be dealing with cancer.  When I was first diagnosed I was a little frustrated whenever I tried talking to my friends and family because I just felt like they didn't understand.  They were incredibly awesome and supportive but I always wished I had been able to talk to someone who had been through the chemos, the hair loss, the nausea, and all the other things we have to deal with while fighting cancer.  I just want you to know that I'm here if you ever need someone to talk to.  It breaks my heart to hear that you feel broken when you look in the mirror.  You beat cancer and you are now left with mental and physical scars.  Let those scars be a reminder of your strength.  I want you to be proud of yourself, Lexi.  Cancer took control over your life for two years and it shouldn't get to have anymore of your time. 

If I learned anything throughout my battle with cancer it's this: attitude is everything.  That may sound silly but having a positive attitude palyed a major role while I was undergoing treatment.  Of course I had my breakdown moments because cancer sucks, but I refused to let cancer take control over my mentality.  I figured that cancer had already attacked my body so why would I let it attack my mentality?  Cancer can take my hair and it can try to take over my body... but there was no way it was going to take away my happiness.  

I hope this helps.  I know having a positive attitude doesn't seem like much advice but it's what helped me the most.  Spending time with my family and friends was also a great way to keep my spirits high.  Hang out with people who make you laugh, you have so many people who care about you... don't forget that.

-Becca

P.S. Don't let the school thing bring you down.   I felt the same way as you at first.  I was so frustrated because I was ready to be finished with school and stupid cancer was getting in the way of that.  One day I was talking to my teacher about my diagnosis and how I was upset about school.  He told me this: "Stop worrying about school.  School will always be here.  You need to take care of yourself first."  Hearing that made me realize that my health is my main priority- of course school is a priority too, but it will always be there. 

Stay strong, Lexi. 

 

NANCYL1
Posts: 259
Joined: Jun 2012

Lexilou:

Have you read the regular column by a young girl, who has cancer,  in the New York Times (nytimes.com)?  It is called, "Life interrupted."

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/25/life-interrupted-changed-by-cancer/?_r=1&

Nancy

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network