Home Cancer Expert Q&A Hub Managing Day-to-day Life with Cancer

Hi there, from a newbie!

cej1997cej1997 Posts: 3

Hello!

Hopefully I'm not posting this in the wrong place (if I am, please let me know and next time I'll post future texts in the more appropriate chat space). My name is Cat; I'm new here. In October 2018 I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I embarked on 6 months of cancer treatment, which consisted of two different types of chemotherapy, then I went into remission in late May last year. :)

I think the idea of this website is incredible. Such a wonderful and positive place for people who are going/been through or supporting someone with cancer to assemble and communicate! I am excited to look around.

Hope everyone reading this is well and keeping as best as they can given the current circumstances!

Cat. x

Comments

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,282 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cej1997

    Hi Cat,

    A very warm welcome to you, to our lovely community.

    You can post anywhere you like! As you have a look through the many discussions and categories, you will see there are loads of chats going on simultaneously. Please feel free to join in with any of them or start your own. Everyone is very friendly here, we all try and support one another, on good days, bad days, and all the ones in-between!

    I am so pleased for you that your cancer treatment has been successful, it is such a positive, encouraging thing to read about. I hope your recovery from everything is going well, it can take a while to adjust to a new or different normal after cancer. Some things change, some forever, others temporarily.

    I am sure you will soon get to know us, and us you! I hope you have a lovely weekend, despite current circumstances. Hope to chat again soon,

    Lou x

  • cej1997cej1997 Posts: 3

    @Sunshinedaff

    Hi, Lou!

    It's so lovely to meet you, thank you for the warm welcome!

    It's wonderful to see such a strong support system. I find that it's incredibly hard, unfortunately, to speak to relatives or friends about my cancer experience if they don't share the same kind of firsthand insight. While their sympathy and patience are appreciated, it can just feel very lonely going through something nobody around you understands. It makes communities like this all the more amazing and cathartic.

    I haven't long started back in University, but I'm isolating at home now due to the virus. I'm in my final year of training to be a Mental Health nurse. Funnily enough, I'm actually basing my current assignment on Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Never have I been more interested in a piece of work I've had to write before! I think my own diagnosis has inspired me to go down an oncology route in my career. It's now something I'm very passionate about and I am keen to help others, if I can in any way I can.

    Thank you so much! The good and bad days both come in equal shares - it was the time following my remission that I was at my lowest, emotionally and mentally. But every day I am learning new ways to see the positive in things, even if "positive" is the last thing I want to be. I am looking forward to being a friend on here and part of a community that supports each other. :)

    I hope you had a lovely weekend! I look forward to getting to know you all, too! Never hesitate to strike up a conversation! I am always happy to have a chat!

    Hope you're well.

    Cat 😃 x

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,161 Community Admin

    @cej1997 @Sunshinedaff

    Hi Cat and welcome to our lovely group.

    I think it is difficult for people who have not experienced cancer to step into our shoes and fully understand how it feels however well meaning they are. A number of us who have had cancer may not be quite the same as we were before and we are often dealing with physical and mental changes. Many of us still need hormonal treatments and regular check ups and cancer never really goes away. This can be difficult for friends and family who generally want us to be the same person we were before cancer intervened.

    Like you, my life did not go back to normal and I often felt really alone, even when I was in company. I was advised to checkout MacMillan Cancer Support. They were very helpful and supportive and gave me access to a counsellor who gives her time free of charge, and slowly but surely she helped me to find a way through the fog.

    I think your career choice is fantastic. Having experienced cancer and emotional issues, you are ideally placed to help others in more ways than one.

    I am delighted you have found this community which has been so valuable for me. It is full of courageous, caring and funny people who don’t mind when you are having a bad day and who celebrate the good ones with you, You are so very welcome and I look forward to chatting with you soon.

    Rob

  • cej1997cej1997 Posts: 3

    @RobertA

    Hi, Rob!

    Nice to meet you! Thanks so much!

    That's very true. Cancer leaves an impact! I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that once you're in remission, you're "cured" and can go back to "normal" (is there even a "normal"?). I take the days one at a time. For me, wondering how tomorrow will be is pointless as I never know how I will feel until I wake up anyway. It's not something I can predict anymore so I just go with the flow. I have personally found that one of the worst things I can do - before, during and after treatment - is put extreme expectations on myself. I suppose, in this sense, cancer is helping me live more spontaneously! So that's a plus, haha!

    I'm sorry that you felt alone even when in company. That is something I can also relate to. That sort of unrelenting loneliness is awful. But I am so happy that you benefited from seeking support from MacMillan! Your counsellor sounds fantastic, as do you!

    Thank you so much, Rob. I'd love to use my own experience in a way that's helpful to someone else.

    Thanks very much. I am delighted I've found you guys too. You seem like a marvellous bunch and I can't tell you how grateful I am that you've welcomed me so warmly. I really, really appreciate it!

    I am looking forward to talking with you more, too. Like I said to Lou - I love a good chat!

    Hope you're well. Thanks for reaching out.

    Cat 😊 x

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,282 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 14

    @cej1997 @RobertA

    Good afternoon 🌞😊

    Hi Cat,

    I hope your weekend was peaceful, we had beautiful weather here, still lovely today. We are very blessed to be able to go in the garden.

    I think your career choice is admirable, I hope the remainder of your studies go well. I think Mental Health services are in such short supply, the fact you have chosen this area is great. As a family we are currently receiving support from our local mental health team. My daughter has been extremely unwell, I know we couldn't have come through what we have without their continued support. At the moment, for the foreseeable future it is being done remotely.

    You also being here in the community with us, sharing your story, looking forward in life, will no doubt be an encouragement for others.

    We have non-cancer chats going too, check out the Cancer coffee break category. There are several conversations happening simultaneously!

    Hope you are having a good day!

    Chat soon.

    Lou 😊

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,161 Community Admin

    @cej1997 @Sunshinedaff

    Good evening

    Yes Lou, our weekend was very peaceful, just the two of us and we have been enjoying the lovely sunny weather. You have a lovely garden and it must be a real pleasure sitting in it, though I would imagine that you have to work very hard to keep it so beautiful.

    Haha Cat. You are right, the concept of being cured and going back to our ‘old’ normal is wishful thinking really. I must say though, that cancer has brought good things too. I have great memories of the kindness of people, not least the many unpaid volunteers who have done so much to help and support me through my cancer journey. I have also made lots of new friends like Lou who are now so important to me. I also think that I have a different view on what really matters in life and what doesn’t.

    Look forward to chatting again soon.

    Rob

  • LizzyB73LizzyB73 Posts: 109 Oncology Specialist Nurse

    Hi @cej1997

    What a lovely inspiring post and wish you all the very best for your continued studies.

    Having been an oncology nurse for 25 years nearly, ( obviously started when I was 10 😉) I can still say I would not want to do anything else

    stay well and take care


    Liz 💕

    Liz Bradley
    Oncology Specialist Nurse | Oncology Service Manager @ Springfield Hospital
  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 650 ✭✭✭✭

    @cej1997

    Hi Cat,

    I was looking through some posts, and came across this again.

    I was just wondering how you are, if you are managing ok during the lockdown? I hope you are staying well.

    I hope you studies are going well, and you are still able to submit everything you need to do. I don't know if universities have been affected in the same way as schools with regards to final exams etc.

    One of my daughters was due to take final a-levels, starting next week. It has been a struggle coming to terms with not taking exams. She still has to study too, as she is taking Physics at uni when she goes, needs to stay on top of her knowledge.

    Sorry, haha, that was a bit of a ramble lol 😁

    Have a good evening,

    Lou x

  • Rob59Rob59 Posts: 25 ✭✭

    Hi Cat,i am Rob59;

    Just to let you know i am really new at this too.Writing on line is more scary than the illness itself.I recentally lost my wife to cancer,i had previously found out i was terminally ill,and then rather stupidly broke my hip and had to have an emergency replacement;such is life.

    This post is probably of no use whatsoever,i suppose its cathartic for me to write .In my spare time i am a guitarist and write a great deal of songs(blues is my main medium).May i ask if you have any interests that could help you cope with your own situation,please let me and others know you would be amazed how helpful it can be,(my apologies my English is rubbish today).All the best for the future,Rob.

  • Rob59Rob59 Posts: 25 ✭✭

    H i Cat,how are things,I still find it very difficult to chat to people I dont know.

    If other people have read my posts they (or you) might think i am avery outgoing sort of guy,i play my guitars because they become a barrier between me and the audience;i am in fact amazingly shy.It took years to find my wife,whom as you know passed away recently,sadly my oppurtunities to find another girlfriend or lover are zero,i know this post isnt of any use to people.but it makes me feel better;i am now going to play the heck out of my Strat and to hell with the neighbours.Goodnight everyone and please try to sleep well.lol Rob59

Sign In or Register to comment.