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LT survivors of teenage cancers

Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2005

Hello -

I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease at 17 and after 12 cycles of ABVD, was given a clean bill of health. What I wasn't prepared for was the psychosocial issues I was dealing with a year later. I experienced severe anxiety attacks and have had bouts with depression.

Currently, I'm a graduate student in the journalism at Northeastern University. I'm writing an article about the psychosocial effects of cancer on teenagers.

I was hoping that some of you would share your experiences regarding difficulty with relationships, depression, or anxiety, specifically how you dealt with any problems you may have had and how you are now. Any insight would be a huge help to me.

Thank you so much.

- Melissa

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

Hello melissa. I'm Darryll and I live in California. I was diagnosed with synovial cell sarcoma at 15 years old and now am 35. I had a lot of emotional and relation problems when I was growing up. I have worked hard to beat my cancer and my other problems and am doing well. I became a Paramedic and now am a police officer. I recently found out my cousin died of stomach cancer. I hope you beat all of your problems. good luck!!

Posts: 46
Joined: Jan 2002

Hi Melissa,
You are not alone. Lots of survivors find that life is a little harder after cancer. There is an internet discussion group of survivors that you might be interested in. Mostly it is survivors of childhood/adolescent cancer and you will find lots of people like you with similar feelings. You can join the group at this url. http://listserv.acor.org/SCRIPTS/WA-ACOR.EXE?SUBED1=lt-survivors&A=1
Or you can write to me directly. (zame@earthlink.net) I hope to hear from you.
Best wishes,
Linda z

albamasurviver's picture
Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 2004

Yeah, I am a surviver of Brain Cancer, I had it when I was 11 and have had depression and anxiety, and bad relationships since. I am pretty dependent on Prozac for these problems, but still struggle with them

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2005

I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's at 16. Was in remission for 10 years and was diagonsed with Ewing's Sarcoma. My life has been completely turned upside down by cancer. I live in fear every day that something will come up. I also suffer from depression and anxiety, since the age of 16. I am not currently on any medication, but was on alot of different drugs when I was taking treatments for Ewing's. I guess my faith in God has helped me the most. I know that if it is my time he will take me. My family, especially my children get me through every day.

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2005

Hey, Melissa! I was dx with Hodgkin's as a HS senior and went to college after finishing chemo. I can relate to some of what you are saying. I can remember having to run past an area of blooming bushes because the smell reminded me of the chemo smell and it made me nauseous! Glad that is behind me now. I am 21 years past all that and although I have had to deal with subsequent cancers, I am still here and have had two healthy sons!
I have found Jesus to be my source of strength, especially lately.

Hope your paper is great (if it isn't already completed!). Take care!


Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2005

Hi Melissa and Inger,

I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's at 17, just after HS graduation. I hear where you are coming from!

Since then, I finished college and grad school, and I'm now living in Washington, DC.

I'm a founder of an organization called the Global Campaign for Cancer Survivorship - www.globalsurvivorship.org - and we are very interested in psychosocial effects and long-term effects, both from the research standpoint and from the perspective of developing programs to help people through the transition from cancer to wellness. You should both check out the site and drop me an e-mail... maybe you would be interested in getting involved.

Melissa, has your article been published yet? I'd be interested in reading it.

Have a great day,


Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2005

Hi Melissa,
I had Hodgkins at 12 yrs. I had nearly 2 yrs of Chemo and a full month of radiation. I have also recently been diagnoses with multi-focal thyroid cancer.I am 18 years in remission. I have suffered from both depression and anxiety through out my life. It wasn't until recently that I put the two together. It's been so long and I was fairly young that I figured that it was just me. I think part of it that our view on life is different. How could it not be and thats not to say that it is the cause of depresson because I think this altered view is beneficial.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2006

Hi there,

I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma when I was 17 years old. I underwent a year of chemo and radiation but it wasn't until those were complete that I really began to feel the effects of the disease. I felt so vulnerable that I would find myself just wishing the cancer would come back because I believed it was only a matter of time. I actually felt safer being in treatment because at least something was being done. 15 years later, this is still an ongoing issue in my life. Cancer is a lifelong disease because of the psychosocial aspects and it is my ongoing battle to live my life for today when sometimes all I think about is what was or what could be again. This disease is a contradiction for me because it has made me stronger in character as a person, yet can still leave me feeling weak and powerless.

Thanks - Heather

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