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Survivor of lymphoma

Ida258
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2017

I am a survivor of lymphoma. I am now in my 30's and I am into a pretty severe depression and anxiety due to the disease. I have had great difficulty coping with the long term effects of the disease and it’s side effects. How can I take control of my health as a lymphoma survivor?  It is exhausting. I am thinking to visit a CBT psychologist from a nearby clinic in Toronto who specializes in psychosocial oncology. Are there any survivors or parents of survivors who have had successful treatment for depression or does anyone here have any other approach to share for coping with the disease? I have done most of the research, but that doesn't help solve the problem. Please share your thoughts. Thank you!

ShadyGuy's picture
ShadyGuy
Posts: 397
Joined: Jan 2017

what type of lymphoma? When were you diagnosed? What treatment? Are you in remission?

po18guy
Posts: 994
Joined: Nov 2011

Does the anxiety lead to depression, or vice-versa? That might be one way of approaching it. I would try to determine the first cause, and work on that. If you suffered from anxiety prior to lymphoma, then it is appropriate to address the anxiety first.

PBL
Posts: 184
Joined: Jul 2016

Hello Ida258,

It is difficult to give you any clear answers, not knowing if you have had any treatment or have been on watch-and-wait, are just out of chemo or if it's been ten years, what type, grade, organ involvement you've had, whether you have sequellae from the disease itself or from the treatment, or if your illness has caused you any other type of damage - to your personal/family/professional life maybe?

Trying to analyze and comment on what you do say:

- you are "now in [your] thirties"- that's quite young. Could your mentioning this fact point to a feeling of having been robbed of your life's promises by this illness?

- and "into pretty severe depression"... Is that a clinical diagnosis? How long has this been going on? Have you been or are you being treated for that?

- you also state that you "have had great difficulty coping", ask how you can "take control of your health" and note that "it is exhausting"...

I am not a medical expert, but I would speculate that a great deal of the "depression" or "down" feeling in patients with a severe or life-threatening illness probably stems from the shocking realization that control is an illusion... I mean, there is a lot you can do in terms of nutrition, exercise, regular sleeping habits, etc.  to try and maintain good physical condition... But none of that can guarantee that a plane won't crash on your roof while you're sleeping. So, coming to terms with the diagnosis and everything it entails may be key in getting out of that gloomy mood.

Perhaps proper medical treatment for clinical depression, or yoga/meditation, or therapy with a psychologist can help you get there. The choice is yours, and these options are not mutually exclusive - you can try them in a sequence or combination. It seems to me you are already leaning towards psychotherapy and are asking for guarantees before taking action... I am not sure anyone here or elsewhere can give you that kind of certainty. But since you want to do something to feel better, and since therapy is a reasonable option, it's certainly worth trying.

Hoping you do find your way back up.

PBL

Ida258
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2017

I think you are really right about what you've said. I've considered councelling as well. I appreciate your help, thanks again.

Ida258
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2017

Thank you all for your response. Basically I am very much depressed. I'm wondering how to handle this as I feel like a total zero. It's been 10 years that I am experiencing this disease. Your kind words mean so much. It gives me hope for the future. I am thinking to reach out to the therapist soon and discuss about my anxiety and related depression. Hope all goes well.

ShadyGuy's picture
ShadyGuy
Posts: 397
Joined: Jan 2017

i know people who are strong and healthy, never been sick, but who are terribly depressed. Sometimes it is a physical problem which can be treated medically. Try to make your conquest of cancer a reason for hope and joy. Accept your mortality - its part of the natural scheme of things - and try to move on. I wish you only the best in life. I have buried 4 friends and relatives and my 16 year old dog, all in the last few months. I am moving on and refusing to surrender to grief. In fact I feel quite well. You can too. Stay busy.

Sal0101's picture
Sal0101
Posts: 125
Joined: Sep 2015

I am by no way an expert, but if you are identifying a problem that needs to be worked through I think you should definately work with a therapist.  I know several friends/ family members, none of which experienced any of the Cancer changing things that have changed our lives, that have went to therapy at one time or another. 

I am struggling now with the "MOON FACE" from the high dose steroids (do to some lung problems, not Lymphoma) more than any of the 3 different chemo's, my relapse, or stem cell transplant. Go figure! 

Good luck!

Sharon

 

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 650
Joined: Mar 2015

Ida, I wonder if you are dealing with feelings of having done something to cause the disease or not done enough personally to fight it. These are feelings that a therapist can help you get through. Just know that getting cancer is like the lottery. We have basically no control over if we get a cancer or not. I am much older than you so my attitude about my diagnosis is one of "what next?". I don't know how I would have handled it if I were your age. Please do help for dealing with your depression. And keep us updated how you are doing.

kalakoa0193C
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2017

I was very lucky.  I was dignosed Stage 1.  I began chemotherapy almost immediately.  When I was diagnosed I didn't know what to do or think, but I knew I wanted to fight it.  I was teaching at the time I was diagnosed so I had to go on medical leave in order to fight the disease.  I felt like my life was put on hold.  I didn't feel normal.  I'm in remission now and have been for 10 months.  My blood count is back to normal and there's no anemia.  Since then I have retired from teaching, but I still sub because that make's me feel normal again.

 

JoniNYC
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2017

You're definitly on the right track- talk to counsler who specializes in cancer, since the diagnosis and long term effects carry with it a whole other load of issues.

In addition, there are many resources -especially in  big cities such as yours- for patients. Have you looked into support groups, art classes, exercize classes (geared for survivors) etc. The ACS websites and help line might be a great place to start.

janaes
Posts: 759
Joined: May 2016

Ida258,  Just wanted to let you know your not alone,  I was 20 years old when I was diagnosed with hodgkin's Lymphoma.  It is not fun to get cancer so early.  I am 44 now and noticed that i got along well with people in their 60's at the time.  Ive ended up with another cancer recently and had tons of feelings and found it so important to share them.  This support group has ment the world to me as I was able to share some tough feelings.  How ever it is for you I would encourage you to share your feelings.

Love, janae

recjun3
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2017

I wanted to see if somebody has had an experience with any type of immunotherapy.

po18guy
Posts: 994
Joined: Nov 2011

You may not get any responses here. Why not post a dedicated thread of your own?

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