Hodgkin's then Colon

I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's when I was pregnant 14 years ago, Did 8 months of chemo and was in remission. 10 months ago, was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 41.Writing abtu my experience helps me cope. If you have time, please read my story. Thanks!

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/8245829/hodgkins_disease_colon_cancer_what.html

Comments

  • COBRA666
    COBRA666 Member Posts: 2,401 Member
    Matthewsmom1
    Just wondering if you can transfer the story to your expressions page. For some reason I can not copy and paste it. Thanks, John
  • cathyp
    cathyp Member Posts: 376 Member
    similiar journey
    Hi Matthew's Mom,

    I could copy and past my name and my daughters name in your story. I had a Hodgkins Recurrence while pregnant with my daughter 4 years after being dx'd with Hodgkins(treated w/RADS). I knew something was wrong when she came 2 wks early and I weighed less than before I was pregnant. I had to convince my doctors to check me out, it took 6 months to say conclusively I had a recurrence. What came next, the feelings and thoughts echo your story. I too had ABVD this time around. Then 18 years out from the radiation treatment I heard you have "Invasive Ductual Carcinoma" with the only option being double mastectomy. Like you, I have a good prognosis. Unfortunately, I am dealing with many long term effects from the rads and chemo. Jusy trying to stay on top of things. Oh and by the way, I had another daughter 2 years after the chemo. They are now 15 & 18.
    Enjoyed your writing and can relate on so many levels.
    All the best,
    Cathy
    22 year survivor, recurring HL
    4 yr survivor IDC
  • allmost60
    allmost60 Member Posts: 3,178
    COBRA666 said:

    Matthewsmom1
    Just wondering if you can transfer the story to your expressions page. For some reason I can not copy and paste it. Thanks, John

    Matthewsmom1 story...
    Hi John,
    I copied the story for you to read...Sue (FNHL-2-3A-6/10)

    The air completely left my lungs as I heard the doctor say, "It's cancer." I was suddenly taken back 14 years to the first time I heard those words. It was right after the birth of my son.
    What should have been the happiest time of my life turned out to be one of the most terrifying. I had experienced weird symptoms all throughout my pregnancy -- night sweats, fever, a terrible cough, and the itchiest skin you can imagine. Being 27 years old and in great health, my doctor chalked it all up to the pregnancy.
    My son, Matthew, was born a month early, and I was thrilled to welcome him into the world. All my concern over the symptoms I had experienced was gone. I was totally focused on this amazing son I had been blessed with. That first night in the hospital, the nurse brought Matthew to me for his feeding. She was shocked to find the sheets and me soaking wet. This continued for the next two days that I was there. Upon leaving the hospital, they wanted to check my weight and were surprised to learn I had lost 12 pounds. I had only gained 19 during the pregnancy so I barely looked like I had been pregnant when I left the hospital.
    Once at home, I was busy taking care of Matthew, but my symptoms were getting more bothersome. My cough was so bad, and I remember asking my mom if she thought I had lung cancer. I just knew something was not right.
    I made an appointment with my doctor and asked him to do a chest x-ray just to calm my fears. He agreed but let me know he didn't expect to find anything. He still thought all the hormones from my pregnancy were causing the problems. After the x-ray, I went home and had no sooner walked in the door when the phone was ringing. It was the doctor himself, which I knew wasn't a good sign. There was indeed something on the x-ray, and he wanted me to have a CT Scan the next day.
    From that point, everything moved very quickly. The scan showed a mass, which looked like Hodgkin's Disease. Knowing nothing about cancer, I asked if I could take some medicine to treat it. I was told I would need chemotherapy. "Isn't that for cancer?" I asked. I had no idea that Hodgkin's Disease was cancer. Suddenly, I had an oncologist when a few days before I didn't even know what the word meant.
    To say I fell apart was an understatement. I had a brand new baby at home. How could I have cancer? Instead of my days being filled with baby games, play groups, and diapers, I was spending hours at the hospital taking test after test and beginning chemo. I was so scared that I wouldn't make it, and my son would never know me. I just wanted to live long enough for Matthew to remember me. My oncologist was great and assured me that I would be dancing at Matthew's wedding.
    I quickly became an expert on the topic of Hodgkin's Disease. My doctor kept telling me that I if I had to get cancer, I got the "good" one. How could any cancer be good? Hodgkin's Disease tends to affect people from ages 15-35 and those over 55 years old. At 27, I fell right in that younger category. Thankfully, there is a 90 percent survival rate, so there was a good chance I would be one of the lucky ones.
    After eight months, I finished my treatments. It was right before Matthew's first birthday so it was a wonderful time to celebrate. When we look back at the pictures from his first year of life, you can see that I barely have any hair, and I look very thin. However, the love I have for my son is obvious, and I was so grateful for every day I had with him during that time. Matthew means "Gift of God," and he truly is. I drew such strength from that tiny baby,
    After that challenging year, I embraced every moment of being a mom. I didn't take anything for granted and had a huge appreciation for life. As happy as I was to be well, there was always an underling fear that my cancer would come back. That fear never left me.
    Fast forward to the present. I am now speaking with another doctor who is telling me I have cancer. In a strange sort of way, it was almost a relief to hear those words. I could now stop waiting for this terrible disease to get me again. It had me, but now I could fight. Don't think I wasn't terrified or heartsick that I was again fighting this disease, because I was. I went through a lot of "Why is this happening to me again?"
    The second time around I had colon cancer -- at 41! We all hear about the necessity of colon screening for people over age 50, but not much is said for younger people. I didn't even have specific symptoms, just some vague stomach issues. After a colonoscopy and pathology tests confirmed cancer, my doctor and I were both shocked. With no history of colon cancer in my family, this was even more of a surprise. Although, I later learned that 80 percent of colon cancers happen to people with no family history of the disease. In addition, colon cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer in females in the Unites States.
    This time around, my son was 14 years old. He understood exactly what was going on, and I'm sure he sensed my anxiety. It was easier when he was little as I didn't have to see the fear and confusion in his eyes. It was heartbreaking to know that I was the cause for his fear. It was now my turn to give him strength.
    After surgery to remove eight inches of my colon, I started the discussion about having more chemo. My oncologist was concerned about giving me more chemo since I had a lot the first time around. My surgeon felt differently and thought I definitely needed treatments. Typically, with Stage 1 colon cancer (which I had), surgery is the only treatment needed. In the end, I went with my oncologist. He has had my best interest at heart for 14 years, and I trust him. In this crazy world of cancer, you have to put your trust in someone. The good news is that the survival rate exceeds 80 percent for early stage colon cancer. My fingers are crossed.
    It's strange that now I don't have the constant fear that cancer will strike me again. I know it could, but the fear doesn't consume me. I still enjoy every moment with my son, and I appreciate my friends and family so much. I also tell everyone I know that if something doesn't seem right, get it checked out. It could save your life.
    After two bouts with this terrible disease, I often wonder what's next. My greatest goal in life is to see my son grow up. Hopefully, that's not too much to ask.
    Source:
    www.mayoclinic.com
  • COBRA666
    COBRA666 Member Posts: 2,401 Member
    allmost60 said:

    Matthewsmom1 story...
    Hi John,
    I copied the story for you to read...Sue (FNHL-2-3A-6/10)

    The air completely left my lungs as I heard the doctor say, "It's cancer." I was suddenly taken back 14 years to the first time I heard those words. It was right after the birth of my son.
    What should have been the happiest time of my life turned out to be one of the most terrifying. I had experienced weird symptoms all throughout my pregnancy -- night sweats, fever, a terrible cough, and the itchiest skin you can imagine. Being 27 years old and in great health, my doctor chalked it all up to the pregnancy.
    My son, Matthew, was born a month early, and I was thrilled to welcome him into the world. All my concern over the symptoms I had experienced was gone. I was totally focused on this amazing son I had been blessed with. That first night in the hospital, the nurse brought Matthew to me for his feeding. She was shocked to find the sheets and me soaking wet. This continued for the next two days that I was there. Upon leaving the hospital, they wanted to check my weight and were surprised to learn I had lost 12 pounds. I had only gained 19 during the pregnancy so I barely looked like I had been pregnant when I left the hospital.
    Once at home, I was busy taking care of Matthew, but my symptoms were getting more bothersome. My cough was so bad, and I remember asking my mom if she thought I had lung cancer. I just knew something was not right.
    I made an appointment with my doctor and asked him to do a chest x-ray just to calm my fears. He agreed but let me know he didn't expect to find anything. He still thought all the hormones from my pregnancy were causing the problems. After the x-ray, I went home and had no sooner walked in the door when the phone was ringing. It was the doctor himself, which I knew wasn't a good sign. There was indeed something on the x-ray, and he wanted me to have a CT Scan the next day.
    From that point, everything moved very quickly. The scan showed a mass, which looked like Hodgkin's Disease. Knowing nothing about cancer, I asked if I could take some medicine to treat it. I was told I would need chemotherapy. "Isn't that for cancer?" I asked. I had no idea that Hodgkin's Disease was cancer. Suddenly, I had an oncologist when a few days before I didn't even know what the word meant.
    To say I fell apart was an understatement. I had a brand new baby at home. How could I have cancer? Instead of my days being filled with baby games, play groups, and diapers, I was spending hours at the hospital taking test after test and beginning chemo. I was so scared that I wouldn't make it, and my son would never know me. I just wanted to live long enough for Matthew to remember me. My oncologist was great and assured me that I would be dancing at Matthew's wedding.
    I quickly became an expert on the topic of Hodgkin's Disease. My doctor kept telling me that I if I had to get cancer, I got the "good" one. How could any cancer be good? Hodgkin's Disease tends to affect people from ages 15-35 and those over 55 years old. At 27, I fell right in that younger category. Thankfully, there is a 90 percent survival rate, so there was a good chance I would be one of the lucky ones.
    After eight months, I finished my treatments. It was right before Matthew's first birthday so it was a wonderful time to celebrate. When we look back at the pictures from his first year of life, you can see that I barely have any hair, and I look very thin. However, the love I have for my son is obvious, and I was so grateful for every day I had with him during that time. Matthew means "Gift of God," and he truly is. I drew such strength from that tiny baby,
    After that challenging year, I embraced every moment of being a mom. I didn't take anything for granted and had a huge appreciation for life. As happy as I was to be well, there was always an underling fear that my cancer would come back. That fear never left me.
    Fast forward to the present. I am now speaking with another doctor who is telling me I have cancer. In a strange sort of way, it was almost a relief to hear those words. I could now stop waiting for this terrible disease to get me again. It had me, but now I could fight. Don't think I wasn't terrified or heartsick that I was again fighting this disease, because I was. I went through a lot of "Why is this happening to me again?"
    The second time around I had colon cancer -- at 41! We all hear about the necessity of colon screening for people over age 50, but not much is said for younger people. I didn't even have specific symptoms, just some vague stomach issues. After a colonoscopy and pathology tests confirmed cancer, my doctor and I were both shocked. With no history of colon cancer in my family, this was even more of a surprise. Although, I later learned that 80 percent of colon cancers happen to people with no family history of the disease. In addition, colon cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer in females in the Unites States.
    This time around, my son was 14 years old. He understood exactly what was going on, and I'm sure he sensed my anxiety. It was easier when he was little as I didn't have to see the fear and confusion in his eyes. It was heartbreaking to know that I was the cause for his fear. It was now my turn to give him strength.
    After surgery to remove eight inches of my colon, I started the discussion about having more chemo. My oncologist was concerned about giving me more chemo since I had a lot the first time around. My surgeon felt differently and thought I definitely needed treatments. Typically, with Stage 1 colon cancer (which I had), surgery is the only treatment needed. In the end, I went with my oncologist. He has had my best interest at heart for 14 years, and I trust him. In this crazy world of cancer, you have to put your trust in someone. The good news is that the survival rate exceeds 80 percent for early stage colon cancer. My fingers are crossed.
    It's strange that now I don't have the constant fear that cancer will strike me again. I know it could, but the fear doesn't consume me. I still enjoy every moment with my son, and I appreciate my friends and family so much. I also tell everyone I know that if something doesn't seem right, get it checked out. It could save your life.
    After two bouts with this terrible disease, I often wonder what's next. My greatest goal in life is to see my son grow up. Hopefully, that's not too much to ask.
    Source:
    www.mayoclinic.com

    THANK YOU
    Thank you. I am so computer illiterate its not funny, John
  • Would love to feature you!
    Hello -

    I am the Community Manager for EverydayHealth.com, a health-news and lifestyle website working to inform and connect people on health conditions to lead happier and healthier lives.

    The host of our Everyday Health ABC television show, Ethan Zohn, has just come forward about the return of his Hodgkin's lymphoma. The 37-year-old Survivor: Africa winner was first diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2009. After three months of chemotherapy,he learned that his cancer had spread. Following more rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, Zohn had a stem cell transplant in 2010.

    I just read your story on Associated Content and was truly touched. As you said that writing about and sharing your experience helps you cope, I was wondering if you would have any interest in sharing your story with Everydayhealth.com. Our Editorial Team is looking to feature a real-person story about somebody who has battled Hodgkin's lymphoma. Your story is more than just that. If you have any interest in doing an interview, we'd love to spend some time talking with you. Please contact me further at [email protected] to connect.

    Here's an example of a real-person breast cancer story we recently ran: http://www.everydayhealth.com/breast-cancer/meet-cathy-s-mom-wife-and-breast-cancer-survivor-at-33.aspx

    Hoping to hear back from you, and wishing you the best of luck!

    Sheri

    Thank you, and the very best of luck!!

    Sheri
  • Would love to feature you!
    Corrected Email Address! [email protected]
  • Matthewsmom1
    Matthewsmom1 Member Posts: 20
    cathyp said:

    similiar journey
    Hi Matthew's Mom,

    I could copy and past my name and my daughters name in your story. I had a Hodgkins Recurrence while pregnant with my daughter 4 years after being dx'd with Hodgkins(treated w/RADS). I knew something was wrong when she came 2 wks early and I weighed less than before I was pregnant. I had to convince my doctors to check me out, it took 6 months to say conclusively I had a recurrence. What came next, the feelings and thoughts echo your story. I too had ABVD this time around. Then 18 years out from the radiation treatment I heard you have "Invasive Ductual Carcinoma" with the only option being double mastectomy. Like you, I have a good prognosis. Unfortunately, I am dealing with many long term effects from the rads and chemo. Jusy trying to stay on top of things. Oh and by the way, I had another daughter 2 years after the chemo. They are now 15 & 18.
    Enjoyed your writing and can relate on so many levels.
    All the best,
    Cathy
    22 year survivor, recurring HL
    4 yr survivor IDC

    I am so glad to hear you are
    I am so glad to hear you are doing well.