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Life after cancer/chemo

Beautiful_Disaster88's picture
Beautiful_Disaster88
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2021

Hi everyone, 

 

I am almost a year out from my last chemo treatment. I had stage 2A Hodgkin's (bulky) and went through 12 chemo treatments. I didn't have to have radiation as they were worried there was a high risk of me developing a secondary cancer due to my age as well as one of my biggest tumors being in the middle of my chest.

I guess my question is, how is everyone doing after treatment ends? I personally have been struggling. I don't feel like myself. My body is completely wrecked and now that I'm in remission, it's like everyone said good job and dipped out. It's like the reality of it is that you truly need the love and support after you get through treatment because you're like this shell of a person. You don't have time to process what's happening to you and your body while it's happening but when it's over, it hits you like a ton of bricks. 

 

I have already started seeing the side effects of chemo. My thyroid was killed off. On medicine for that now. I gained like 30 lbs over the last year. I feel alone and I feel like no one gets it unless they've been through it. I guess I just want to know if others feel the same way I do and what has helped them get through it. 

 

Sending lots of love to all of you! 

PBL
Posts: 329
Joined: Jul 2016

First off, congratulations on achieving remission and welcome aboard!

You've come to the right place - where everyone knows exactly what you mean, although we do not all have the same issues as you do. But we all have had to come to terms with our diagnosis, deal with symptoms and treatment side effects, and find our "new normal". It's an ongoing process, and there is no magic wand to fix everything you are experiencing.

Exchanging with other patients on this forum may be all that you need to alleviate your distress. It is also a good idea to open up to your medical team about what you're going through. You are not just a physical body, your mind and emotions have been affected, as you quite eloquently write it yourself. Your medical team may be able to offer help in the form of antidepressants or other such treatments if need be, or direct you to a patient group in your area if you so wish. You may also be offered some relaxation / yoga coaching or physical rehabilitation specifically designed for recovering cancer patients. So, if you haven't done that yet, it is worthwhile for you to talk to your GP, hematologist, NP, and see what they have in store for you.

I hope this helps.

PBL

 

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 711
Joined: Mar 2015

I got so used to taking it easy because of the fatigue and just being non-active that for months after treatment ended going up or down stairs was an accomplishmnet. That was about the time Pokemon Go became popular so I used it to get me out of the house and moving. It really helped me feel better. Also our one daughter got me a gift card for a massage. I've made that a routine every 2 or 3 weeks. They worked wonders. It took a few months but between the 2 activites I was able to stop looking at the stairs as a challenge instead of just part of living.

wcpw's picture
wcpw
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2021

I had a similar cancer but was treated over 20 years ago. I went through 36 chemo treatments. im still recovering. But freinds who take the time to listen and understand are important. Also medication helps me. exercise helps me and prayer helps me.

ShadyGuy
Posts: 719
Joined: Jan 2017

or Positive Thinking or faith in religion - whatever. It is real. I have this issue of Nat Geo (December 2016)  and copies are available on ebay for less than $3. A very good read.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFp-4zc4MJk

po18guy's picture
po18guy
Posts: 1229
Joined: Nov 2011

In my case, it is likefather hood: it only begins. It never ends. I will be in treatment for the rest of my life, whether that life runs 20 minutes or twenty years (Ha!). Think about when you were just over one year old. You leaned to stand - but that wasn't enough! You took one wobbly step and then fell. Did you stay on the floor? No! You got up with help and tried again. Each step was new, no matter hw successful it was. And when you fell, those who love you helped you back up. I would guess that by now youare pretty darned good at walking. Do you remember, or reflect on the difficulty of those fllen steps? No! Too much life to live. And so it is with the baby steps of cancer recovery. We rely heavily on others for help, but with patience, practice and perseverence, we will move through it.

As to life, eventually we are all damaged goods. Cancer and its therapy accelerates the aging process - all at time when life seems to be flying by. Ah, but who said life was fair? If life was fair, we might have much worse circumstances than we do. In this swirling of life, we can catch hold of something we love and cling to it, learning to enjoy the moment. 

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