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cancer from radiation treatments

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2005

I am 45. When I was 19 I had Hodgkin's Disease. I had a spleenectomy and radiation treatments. Last year I found out that I had Breast and Thyroid cancer. They are both a long-term side effect of the radiation. I had a bi-lateral mastectomy, a thryoidectomy and 6 mos of chemo.I lost my breasts, lost my hair and gained a lot of weight. I had a ton of support, my husband went to EVERY appointment with me, and my friends and family were great! I stayed strong mentally and physically through all of the surgeries and treatments, but now, a year later, I'm a wreck. All I think about is the cancer coming back. I wake up everyday and think my days are numbered. I've cried more in the past 6 months than I did during all of my treatment. What is wrong with me? I am happy to be alive, married 23 years, two great kids, and I am so depressed. Does this happen to others after treatment?

allidee's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2005

Oh my goodness Michelle, I absolutely know what you're going through. Yes, I have had a much harder time post-chemo than I did during the whole mess. I think I was numb while I was going through it. I felt like I was on auto-pilot and all I had to do was follow my doctors' advice to get better. But now I feel like I'm on my own and every little thing that goes wrong leads me to conclude that my cancer is coming back or that it will come back because I am so stressed out!

I have a suggestion. Think about seeing your doctor and asking for something to help you get through the hard days. I take xanax occassionally and it really helps me through those moments when life is too big to handle. Some days are worse than others, but knowing that I can control my reaction really helps me.

They say that most people feel like cancer made them stronger the first time....but the second time it just plain sucks!

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. You are not alone, and you're not crazy.


Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2005

my husband was treated for hodgkins disease 23 years ago and like you he had a splenectomy and radiotherapy. 12 months ago he discovered a small lump on his neck and this was diagnosed as a radiation induced sarcoma. The lump was removed but as it was so close to the spine they weren't able to get a wide margin, this was followed up with a course of chemo. The tumour has reappeared and we are now considering more chemo. The prognosis is not good but he has the most amazingly positive outlook on life. He says that without his initial treatment he would not be here and would not have seen our daughters grow up, it bought him 23 years, we celebrated 30 years of marriage this year as well. If his time is limited he says that he owes it to himself and to us to get as much out of life and to enjoy every minute, rather than spend every minute worrying about what might be. and he has just gone off on his motorbike with my best friend's husband to have a few days on the road.So please don't allow the thoughts of cancer to fill your waking moments and exclude all the wonderful things you could be thinking about and doing.
with love

Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2005

Hello, I too had hodgkins lypmhoma 27 years ago.
I was 13 yrs old when I was treated w/ radiation.
Then 27 yrs later Im dealing w/ high grade sarcome ( radiation induced). Last June of 04, I under went a radiation neck surgery and removal of part of my left shoulder. this tumor was laying next to the cerival spine bone, the dr. srapt the bone until the margins were clear. Then last yr. I completed Ifosmaide chemo from sept. of o4 to dec. 04, we had to cut short the last cycle due to toxicity. Then in MArch of 05 to tumor reappeared in the neck again, so another surgery but w/ INTRA-RADIATION ( DOING RADIATION WHILE I WAS ASLEEP ON THE TABLE. Then it was indended for me to under go IMRT radiation. But at that time we learned to cancer had mets. to the lung. Therefore IMRT radiation was out. So currently I'm doing chemo again. ( adriamycin and DTIC) this is my second cycle and got 2 more cycles left. then I return to Indianapolis to the sarcoma clinic. for advised to see if the chemo as help or doing another surgery for the lung.
this sarcoma has returned 3 times and I'm only 41yrs old. I not giving in the towel yet. I feel I have alot to give still. Im an office mgr. for a doctor. Sometimes I know to much and wish I knew nothing at all and there others times I'm glad a have an education in the medical field.
Every time I think I have my life back another sarcoma popps up. When does it ever end. These treatments are not the easiest things to do. But I try my best, Hoping one day I'll get a brake.
At this point I'll pay for a brake ( like a vacation away from these treatments and sarcoma.
You know when i was 13 with hodkins lymphoma, I prayed that I find a good husband, a child. God has been good to me. Me and my husband started living. Are daugher is in nursing school.
We thought it was our turn to enjoy and lives and do some traveling then this sarcoma hits home. I have no regrets from having to much radiation when i was a child, because it gave me life for 27 yrs more. They didn't even think I would survive this long. But I prove them wrong. Also I had a speenecomy when I was 13yrs old. I have to watch my immiune system for infections. I read a book in Time MAgz. that revealed children treated in the 70 -80 that they recieved to much radiation when the got older the draw back was these people got older seroius health problems started/ Like in my case I was prone to get breast cancer thyroid cancer and 30% gets sarcoma.
Well my body decided to pick sarcoma. one of the hardest one to cure.I still work some in keep my mine off of my problems and focus on other things.
Where I work @ I met a lot to patients with cancer and i have delevloped a bond w/ them.
MJ1006 ( michelle)

Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2005

Hello. I'm 45 yrs old diagnosed with high grade sarcoma ( radiation induced when I 13 yrs old I had hodkin's lymphoma which I was apparently treated with to much radiation. Also during my child hood I also had a spleenectomy too. This is my 3rd time for sarcoma reappearing but this time I mets. to on of my lung. Today i started with chemo afain ( adiramtcyin and DTIC) this is my secomd cycle. Once I complete 4 cycles I go back to indianapolis to a sarcoma clinic to find out if the chemo has helped or go for another surgery.
People tell me that I'm so strong. ( I'm not really they doj't see the tears that I shed when I'm alone. What is it like to have a normal life again. God has blessed me with a wonder husband and we have one daughter that currently is in nursing school to become a RN. We thought it would be our turn to enjoy life. but with my current condition we can't plain anything becasue we do know if it's good day or a bad day. While does these things always happen to us. You got murders and drug addict on the street why doesn't something happen to them ( it's always the good people)
Mj1006 ( michelle J0

karinlee's picture
Posts: 15
Joined: Aug 2005

hi michelle

i'm in the same boat. i too, had hodgkin's disease when i was 19. i had six or seven relapses, radiation, lots of chemo, and a bone marrow transplant. i have been in remission for over seven years and was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. i too, just had a bilateral mastectomy and a hysterectomy. i feel similar to you, in that i did a pretty good job of staying positive during everything and now that the worst is behind me, i am struggling with saddness and depression. i think it's normal to feel the way we feel. we have had to overcome more in our lives than most people. allow yourself to feel the way you feel and experience the emotions you are feeling. i am also going to try to find a support group so i can meet others who have gone through similar things. hang in there. do some things for yourself to make you feel better. and, don't be afraid of anti-depression medication if you need it. there are lots of things that can help you get over a bad spell and on to happier days. if you feel up to it, you can also volunteer. sometimes working with folks that are less fortunate than you can boost your morale. you'll be in my prayers.


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