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Last treatment!

RossMichael
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2017

First off......Hello!!!

My name is Ross and I was diagnosed back in June of this year (2017) with nodular sclerosis Hodgkin lymphoma and have been undergoing the standard ABVD chemo regiment ever since. It's been a long tough journey to say the least but next week is my last treatment!!!! Finally!!!

I'm new to this whole discussion board thing but wanted to post a quick intro and update of my own after reading all of your stories. Everything has been pretty "routine" for me as far as side effects and doctor appointments goes. The hardest part of this whole thing for me has been the mental part. Even though it's coming to an end soon, it's getting harder and harder to mentally prepare for each treatment and especially this last one! Any advice to get me through the last few weeks a little easier???

 

Thank you,

 

Ross

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3278
Joined: May 2012

I'm glad you have chosen to join, Ross.  Welcome to you.

Similiar to you , I did not use any Discussion groups or Boards during my treatments. I did not join here until two years after my Lymphoma treatments ended, in part for information on Prostate cancer, which I developed after Lymphoma.  (And NO !  There is no relationship between Lymphoma and later developing Prostate cancer; they are totally unrelated, completely different diseases.)

Oddly enough, ending treatments can be a more stressful time than beginning them.  During treatment, a person is focused on getting through treatments. After treatments, they are focused on getting through the rest of their lives.  You see how it works.  And long-term anxiety regarding relapse is very, very common, almost the norm. One of the most common discussion items here over the years.  It was for me.  Many people here write, asking if stopping treatment after a clean PET is advisable if they have not yet done all cycles that were initially scheduled by their oncologist.   I was the opposite:  I considered asking for MORE cycles, despite clean PETS.  So, every patient is different.

It is good that you have had few side-effects. Almost all side-effects show themselves before the end of treatments.  Very few show themselves after cessation of treatments, so you should be in the clear as regards that.  

Whatever you experience, dozens of the folks here will have experienced it also, and will be glad to share,

max

PBL
Posts: 182
Joined: Jul 2016

Hello Ross,

Congratulations on having nearly completed treatment.

Unfortunately, there is really no miracle cure for what you are experiencing.

It may be helpful to you to discuss this with your family doctor, who will have some appropriate solution  to offer, depending on what is really going on.

Sorting out your thoughts and emotions as you are nearing the end of your treatment can be all that you need at this point. It is often easier to do with your doctor as a "sounding board".

Is it just that you feel you cannot bring yourself to go in for one more infusion, or are you perhaps apprehensive at the prospect of no longer being "cared for" (even if that means being poked and prodded and infused with chemo...) every couple of weeks once that last infusion is done next week?

Both are very normal, and can be helped.

PBL

 

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 641
Joined: Mar 2015

PBL has some good suggestions. I can't say much about how to handle facing the last treatments because, in a way, I never had that happen.

My last treatment was in Oct, 2015. the next step was to be Stem Cell. So from Oct 2015 to Feb 2016 was preping for SCT. That was CT/PET Scans and bone biopsies. We started the stem cell collection but had to stop on the 3rd day because my platelets had dropped too low. In April 2016 they put SCT on hold. In June, after another round of tests, they decided to cancel the SCT plans. So here I was havig planned for almost 3 months for SCT and then nothing. So I didn't go through what you did about accepting the end of the chemo treatments. 

What I did go through was a "What now?" feeling. I was still working but had to adjust to being a true full-time worker again. No taking a day off every 1 or 2 weeks for tests or Dr appts. I did start the 2 year Rituxan maintenance but that was 1 day off every 8 weeks. It felt weird for several months. I definitely felt like something was missing. So I decided to have a period of time of "me first". I started working out once a week to build up my muscles and stamina. I also found a small massage place in a nearby mall and went there once every 2 weeks. I also stopped the nutritional drinks when I realized they were making me feel like I was still "sick". So I put away anything I had set up to help me while I was going through chemo.

So here I am a year and a half after being told no SCT. Working like crazy. Hair has grown in and I have actually had it cut once. Looking at getting another trim done soon. Gave up the small massage place and found a massage therapist to help me overall to feel better. Also went to have my eyes checked and getting new glasses.

All I can suggest is that you try to focus what you plan on doing after the treatments are over. 

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