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23yr old Hodgkins and happy to help

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi Everyone,
my name is Katie. I was diagnosed with Hodgkins disease last year at 22yrs old, right after graduating from college. I was stage 2B, and had a large mediastinal mass that qualified for bulky disease. I was given 12 ABVD treatments and 4 weeks of radiation therapy and just finished treatment last week (Yay!).
I just want to say I know there are alot of young people out there with the disease who have alot of questions and not alot of people there age to talk about it with. I was lucky enough to have a doctor who had 2 people close to my age call me and tell me about their experiences. This was SO helpful to me cause it gave me a general idea of what to anticipate. Now that I have finished, I want to be of help to others, and also be in a place where there are people like me, cause the best place to find support is where people can relate. So if any of you ever have any questions or wanna hear someone else's experience, feel free to email me, I will be glad to talk/share/whatever :)
Blessings to you all!

Posts: 8
Joined: May 2002

Hi Katie...
I'm new to all of this and using this site. I avoided it during my diagnosis and treatment, but now I find I need to talk to people "like me." I hope you are doing well and that life is treating you kindly.

I'm Lisa and I'm a 38 year old mom who was diagnosed by complete surprise in Nov. 2001 with Hodgkins. I was a stage 2a, like you, had the large mediastinal mass, 12 ABVD treatments and have 17 radiation therapy treatments (only 10 more to go and I'm done!)

Please tell me exactly how you felt during radiation. Sometimes I think I'm imagining symptoms or that "it" is somewhere else now.

How do you get past the feeling of "it" and thinking that "it" is there? When do you stop worrying about every little ache and pain or something? You know how some days you can wake up and something hurts for no reason? Before all of this, that wouldn't bother me. Now, I go into private panic mode.

I feel as though I'm constantly checking myself out for lumps, bumps, etc. I was so healthy before this and it hit me by total surprise.

I know I'm babbling. I've just never done this before - contacting strangers on a web site regarding this disease. I just need "words of wisdom" from people who have been there and who truly understand.

Thanks for any help you can give. You can write to me at lmpg@aol.com. Thanks, Katie. Good luck to you.

Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2002

My name is laura, I'm 23, and I also have Hodgkins. I am a stage 3B, and I have so far gotten through my fourth series of treatments. I am a bit newrvous because I am having my first CT scan since being diagnosed in March. I know that I still have cancer in my legs because my lymph nodes in my thighs burn badly after chemo.
I am sick of being sick, and I think I'll freak out if my doctor tells me I need two more treatments into remission. I have to wait an extra year until I can go for my masters, so I feel like I am wasting time. I'm not usually this negative, but it feels like all of my friends and family members have the opportunity to get out and do things while I'm stuck at home throwing up or in pain. I just feel so worthless right now. I hope everything works out for you though....

Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2002

I know how you feel. I had to put off my wedding for a year when I found out I had Hodgkin's. I will be married 10 years this year.I think though by having to put my life on hold (as bad as things were)I charish my life so much more and things have so much more meaning. The bad part is that this revalation didn't come to me until after my treatments were all over.
I know there will be good that will come out of all this if you just hang in there. You will be stronger and be able to get through life and other things that you would normally worry about will seem minor once you get through this. Colleen

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2001

Hi, my name is Gareth and I was stage IIb last year, everything is clear now. I'm 22. I know how things are frustrating you to no end. When I was going through treatments time seemed to slow down, or at least I percieved it as so. All I can say is that no matter what you're going through, when this is all over you'll feel like you've seen the other side of a mountain that others have only heard about. The times you are going through will reshape you're life, either by making you bitter or thankful. To keep the anger and frustration that come with pain from overcoming my mind, I tried my best to contemplate all the time in my life that I was not in pain, and then compared it to the pain I was currently in. The times of no pain were vast, and I could imagine when I would not be in pain anymore. Granted, none of this made the pain really go away, but it kept my mind of other things. Thinking of the peaceful, healthier days tended to make my mind relax.

It may sound trite, but you will feel like a better person by the end of this. This will be a personal battle that you will always remember that you have fought and won. Your masters degree ambitions will be very easy compared to this I'll bet.

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