Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cancer Survivor - the good and bad - also a good resource link for you

From the wonderful article:
Late effects are side effects of cancer treatment that become apparent after your treatment has ended. Cancer survivors might experience late effects of cancer treatment a few months after treatment is completed or years later. In contrast with late effects, side effects that start during your cancer treatment and linger for months or years after are called long-term side effects. Long-term side effects usually are different from late side effects. For example, nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) is common during some types of chemotherapy and may begin during treatment and linger for months or even years after cancer treatment is completed. Most long-term effects lessen or completely resolve with time.

TreatmentLong-term side effectsLate side effects


Menopausal symptoms
Heart failure
Kidney failure
Liver problems
Liver problems
Lung disease
Reduced lung capacity
Second primary cancers
Radiation therapy Fatigue
Skin sensitivity
Cavities and tooth decay
Heart problems
Lung disease
Intestinal problems
Memory problems
Second primary cancers
Surgery Scars
Chronic pain

From me :0) :

- It is a comfort to me to know I am not alone, that others are having the same late effects. So many days go by with me struggling to understand what is happening to my mind and my body, and wondering if it is from treatment, am I losing my mind, what would someone think of me for having these problems and will I ever fit in again.

I have lymphodema, periheral neuropathy, chronic pain, chemo brain effects, and more...

-My new normal, well maybe one day I will find it...
-My old self, still there somewhere, only stronger
-Living in a permanent survivor mode is scary sometimes, every lump can make you double take and flash back to treatment, which for me was beyond traumatizing like nothing I can explain in this little note, every pain and every illness  - can have the ability to take you there, make you panic in desperation for the outreached arm of the medical community that used to watch over you so closely

now it is just you against the world, checking in every now and then, wondering if you got everything out and across to them in your short appointment, and what if you missed something, what if they didn't listen, then I remember to leave it in God's hands and feel guilt for worrying.

* Everyone needs to understand cancer treatment changes you. The effects of treatment, if you had chemo, radiation, surgery and so on are going to leave permanent road blocks in your life. That was a risk I took to live, but now that I am alive, so often I get a peculiar look from people when they see me struggle to walk, or grabbing my abdomen in pain and ask me how long I've had a stomach ache. (I want to say, ever since my guts were ripped out of me, burned and I was nearly poisoned to death, but I bite my tongue since maybe they just don't get it.) I know they are well meaning, but the pain and lymphedema never stopped being a problem since treatment. My pain and problems after treatment continue on and will forever. I accept that, but I wish people understood what the effects do to me now and would have compassion.

I often wish to meet up with old friends, or would like to chat, but I have such anxiety that I freeze up, or get foggy headed about things and it embarrasses me so I hesitate and then since I waited so long, I feel that I made things awkward and stuff, it really bums me out to feel so inadequate. If you are one of the friends I wanted to get together with, I am sorry for bumbling it up. It is a real struggle for me to plan and make appointments. I am often late or miss them anyway for one reason or another, so I try to just not have any of possible. Since doctor appointments are mandatory, I am often faced with embarrassment of messing those up as it is.

I wish there were friends who lived closer to me. I don't know many people in my community like my old friends who I miss so much and that just makes it even harder.

:0) I just thought it was time I shared a little about my cancer experience too. ;0)

What have you experienced from your cancer treatment? Do you feel people understand your struggles? What brings you hope and encouragement?

1 comment:

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