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Constantly Worrying

Posts: 20
Joined: Jan 2004

This site has helped me so much before, so I am sure it can help me now. I finished 12 treatments of chemotherapy and 5 weeks of radiation for Stage 2B Hodgkins. This Monday is my first round of follow-up tests. I am a nervous wreck. I am soooo worried about it coming back. If I get a headache, or if I feel tired, or if something just doesn't seem right, I panic. I always think it is the cancer coming back. I am so scared all of the time. While I was sick, I kept looking forward to the summer and thinking it would be the best time ever since I would be finished everything. I think I still cry almost as much as I did while I was sick because I am SO SCARED of it coming back. I think I just need some comfort, some success stories. I am soooo nervous all the time. I am 22, I want to enjoy my life. Please help. Thanks so much.

Posts: 47
Joined: Jun 2004

Hey Ronnie,

I freak out all the time too! It is alot to deal with at our age or any age really. I have been out of treatment for several months and I feel great. Right after I just felt so weak and helpless but now I am pretty much back to my old self. I think the chemicals make you moody. I worry about it coming back but I do as much as I can to keep it from coming back. It helps me feel more in control. I went to a specialist that helped me put together a list of vitamins that has really been helping me. Also drinking lots of water and working out really helps clean the toxins out of my body. I would be happy to share with you in email everything that I am doing to stay healthy, deal with my hair situation, scars etc. I would also love to share experiences. So send me an email if you would like!

Posts: 27
Joined: Feb 2004

Boy do I know that feeling. I was so wound up and worried before my follow up visits, that I would make myself sick. I would cry for days leading up to the appointments because I just knew that my doc would say it was back.
For me, it eventually got better. I think I finally reached the realization that I could not control that aspect of it.
I have been cancer free for 2 years now and it seems to get easier. I think making some decisions about how I would handle it if it did come back also helped me to deal with the feelings.
I try to do whatever I can that makes me feel like I can fight the cancer. I take vitamins and Esiac tea and this makes me feel like I have a part in the fight.
I also get involved in my community (volunteer at the Infusion center and the Light the Night Walk). I found a lot of people just like me and get great support from them.
E-mail me on this site if you want anymore information on the things I have mentioned.
I think I have finally got to the point where now I live everyday like it could be the last. Do you know the Tim McGraw song "Live like you were dying"? I cry everytime I hear that song because that's how I want to live everyday. I hope this doesn't sound like I have given up, because I am far from that. I think any cancer survivor would agree that cancer makes you re-evalute your like. I really learned what was important to me. It's a great reality check. I am grateful that I had this experience because my life was getting way off track and having cancer made me re-evaluate all that is important to me.
Hang in there and hopefully it will get better. You will be in my prayers.

dpomroy's picture
Posts: 136
Joined: Dec 2000

OK, first this is my HEAD talking...
Worst case scenario, the cancer is back. You get more treatment, which would suck big time, but you would survive and be OK.
Best case scenario, you have absolutely nothing wrong and you will have wasted all this precious time that you could have been watching the sun rise and hugging those you love and doing the things you know now that are way more important.
OK, now this is my guts talking...
I have felt like you feel now. All I can tell you is that the further you are from the end of your treatments the less you will worry...but some part of you will always look over your shoulder as these check-ups approach. You are doing all the right things. You are getting the emotions out in the open. You are sharing how you feel with people who can empathize. Repeat after me..."I am soooo normal", "I am soooo normal". This place is here for you. We are all here for you.

Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2003

I know how you feel. I have been there! I am 27 years old & am a HODGKINS SURVIVOR FOR OVER 13 YEARS!! I used to be a wreck with every headache or infection too! It was a terrible way to live, always in fear. Through the years I have gotten over it, by growth, counseling and prayer. It takes time, but you can overcome this!

You BEAT cancer - you can do anything! Being a survivor is very impowering! You can email me on this site if you would like. I joined this site last summer and used to be on it all the time & it helped me to heal meeting other survivors. This is the 1st time I've visited the site in many months, but I will be checking it more frequently now.
Take care Ronnie!

Amber21's picture
Posts: 16
Joined: Jul 2004

HI Ronnie!
I know exactly what you are talking about. i am almost three years out and I still freak out. Actually I am really freaking out now because my three year mark is coming up and I have never made it this long with out a relapse. but i really freak out before test. My husband tries to help but he doesn't understand and usually just he just manages pissing me off. It is very hard for people to understand what you are going through that is why this website is so great. Sometimes helping somebody else makes me feel better and helps me realize that I survived. and that is so much better than my husbands talk will ever make me.

Posts: 41
Joined: Oct 2002

I'm responding to this post a little late but I just wanted to let you know that the way you were feeling is normal or at least it was for me and even after a 1 and a half of being in remission I still get nervous going to the oncologist! I remember my first appts after treatment, I'd feel physically sick days before the appt. I had a hard time sleeping and every ache was cancer. Going to appointments has gotten to be a lot easier over time but I still feel a little anixous. Good luck to you!

Posts: 40
Joined: Jul 2004

Hi. I just read your worries. Let me tell you I am a hodkins survivor, I had stage 2B and was treated with chemo, radiation and surgery. I used to worry alot too in the early days of my remission but then I learned worry doesn't help anyone we just have to continue to live and hope for the best. The reason I am writing to you is that during the past 6 years I worried about hodgkins comming back which didn't but two months before I was diagnosed with tongue cancer...I couldn't believe it neither could my doctors. At 30 yrs of age I have no risk factors, but call it fate that it had to happen. Doctors told me it didn't have any link to hodgkins and this is something totally new. Well I have undergone surgery for it and thankfully this cancer was in an early stage so no further treatment is required. My point is what is the use of worrying
when we can't predict the future and don't know what will come up next. Just live for the moment and be happy plus take extra good care of your health and be vigilant with regular checkups. Wish U all the best.

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2004

I am 31 and have been in remission (now considered cured?) for almost 13 years. I had both chemo and radiation but haven't had any real problems (knock on wood) since. But I still get nervous sometimes, when I'm going to the doctor or having a routine test, or even when I see an article on long-term effects of treatment. And it's totally normal to be nervous when you are facing a scary situation and a small problem can seem enormous. But I totally agree that you can't waste your time worrying. As long as you are taking care of yourself, there is nothing gained by wallowing in all the horrible things that you think might happen. Just focus on how great it is to finally be leading a "normal" life again now that you're out of treatment. Maybe easier said than done, but with time you will move on and not think about it as much.

Posts: 13
Joined: Jul 2005

I am so happy to read that I am not alone with my worries about reoccuring hodgkins or secondary cancer. I am 36 years old and was diagnosed with stage 11B in 1990. It has been 16 years and I am healthy and knock on wood cancer free. I have two little girls and a great husband. I feel very grateful for my life and for the fact that I know what it is like to realize how fast life can change. Every time I go in for my one year check up and my doctor probs around for lumps I start to panic. I immediately go into that dark, fearful space. I keep up with my mamograms, x-rays, and blood work. I just hope that if I do get sick again I can catch it fast. I hope to hear from other hodgkin's disease survivors that they are cancer free years later too. It is so comforting.
Take care,Cassie

Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2005

Dear Cassie,
I feel as though I could have written your message. I, too, was diagnosed with stage 2B Hodgkins in 1990. I am now 39 years old with two children (6 and 8) and a great husband. However, I am completely preoccupied with thoughts of reoccurance and dread going to the doctor for my check ups even though I have remained healthy all these years. I do have COPD (pulmonary disease) as a result of the massive amount of radiation I had to my chest. But, I just try to keep positive which isn't always easy! Dawn

Posts: 13
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Dawn,
Thank you so much for responding. I am sorry I have not gotten back to you sooner. Where do you live? I live in Marin County, 15 miles north of San Francisco. I was treated at UCSF. I just had my annual follow up appt. and this time I cannot shake the sadness and fear. I guess I am getting older and the thoughts of secondary cancers/conditions are creeping into my mind more than ever. I am sorry to hear that you have COPD. How did you find out? I have been doing a breast mamogram every year, a chest x-ray, blood work, and now I have to take a stress test for my heart. Having my two girls makes me scared for my life more than ever. I used to be so positive about everything but now I am having a hard time fighting back negative thoughts. I am going to a women's cancer survivor retreat in Sonoma, CA this year. The woman running it is an oncologist nurse here at Marin General. I am hoping that will help me feel better. I hope to hear from you again Dawn.

Take care,

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