Long lasting emotional issues...

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sammydrm
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Hi Everyone,

I'm a survivor of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I was diagnosed at the age of 23, had chemo and radiotherapy, and now I'm fine 5 years on!

Although I'm physically in good shape, I have recently started to realise that I bottled up a LOT of thoughts when I was sick. Now I feel I am putting pressure on myself to rush through life and achieve all these ridiculous goals in the shortest possible time. This is playing on my mind constantly... Can anyone else relate to this?

I'd love to hear from other people having similar feelings.

I have started a blog at http://lifeafterlymphoma.blogspot.com in a loose attempt to try and clear out some of these thoughts. Please drop over and have a read and say hi!

All the best,

Sam

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SILLY
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Re: Long lasting emotional issues...

1 am 60 now and my husband 65 and even before my diagnosis early last year I was becoming anxious to turn our garden into a low maintenance one.My husband likes to have change and goals and projects but I just want it easy,simple and able to kept that way if one of us dies or is unable to help.
Since my cancer I want to have it my way even more ,so I can enjoy it without too much work. I get my way sometimes but he has needs too so there have to be compromises.
My goals are very simple-to make life simple . Other goals are get fitter ,eat healthier ,exercise more ,drop 2or 3 kilos.- I am fairly healthy at this time while the cancer is hibernating.If I was your age I may very well feel like you feel .

It seems like you are afraid of the cancer returning or some other health problem and yet you may be ok for many,many years. I supposed it made you realise that you are not invincible,that you won't live forever. Cancer does that but you may live for decades yet. Forgive me if I am wrong as I am assuming you have been cleared. Please correct me if I am wrong.

sammydrm
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Re: Long lasting emotional issues...

Hi Silly, thanks for your reply. I think that deep down I am scared the cancer will come back, even though I dont consciously worry about it much any more. I have been in remission now for 5 years, and they have said there's very little chance I will relapse.

Although I do worry less about the cancer coming back, it has definitely changed my approach to life, sometimes I think in quite a negative way. Just as you try to simplify your life and have everything in order 'just in case' I think I'm pushing myself too hard to progress my career, buy a house, and have kids.. So I can get it all done ASAP, just in case. I keep trying to look into my mind and figure out what is bugging me, but I just cant see it!

@Orgone, this is interesting advice. I have recently tried acupuncture to try and clear things up. It did seem to ease my mind for a few weeks.. Maybe I should try it on a regular basis? Do you have other specific advice on this?

AutumnSunrise
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Re: Long lasting emotional issues...

Wow, i'm so glad i stumbled on to this post. My husband is in remission (1 year) to Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, and he's doing wonderfully physically... but emotionally, he's up and down- mostly down and i feel so helpless with this. I don't know what to do when he gets so low.

I think talking is good. I am a counsellor, but with my man... *sigh* I can't counsel him. I know these are his emotions, but i want to help so bad.

SILLY
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Re: Long lasting emotional issues...

Just read your blogs.

I think for many who are diagnosed with cancer it is not usually what it was originally thought to be.

Mignon
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Re: Long lasting emotional issues...

My daughter was diagnosed with NHL 5 years ago and is fine now.But as her mum it never goes away for me. I am always fearful of the cancer returning.There was life before she got sick and life after. nothing will ever be the same for me.

sarah
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Re: Long lasting emotional issues...

Hi sammy,

I went through the same thing - same diagnosis, at the same age.

You have PTSD (there are varying degrees of this).

I understand completely. It's hard if no one else does, eg, family etc, it can make it even worse. For example, I experienced a lot of abuse from my family after my illness, lost many friends too.

I hope that you have support around you and have stable living. You will get there.

Keep talking to us here, we can help, we get it Smile

survivorsays
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Re: Long lasting emotional issues...
I think my emotional problems are manifesting into physical problems. I have broken out with shingles many times in the last few months. Any advice anyone? I have tried yoga and walking and painting and...... but I can't seem to hold onto anything for any length of time.
sammydrm
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Re: Long lasting emotional issues...

Thanks for the comments, nice to pop back and see the thread still alive!

Sarah, I agree that I have some form of PTSD, although post cancer stress seems to come with a different set of symptoms to someone who has experienced other types of trauma like an accident or violent crime. I haven't had any flash backs as yet, fingers crossed..

I've been battling with anxiety and depression for a long time now, which has actually improved since I've started talking and writing about my experience with cancer. I also just found out after 9 months of searching for answers that I have narcolepsy! What are the chances?

@survivorsays, I am 100% certain that emotional problems can manifest into physical symptoms. I have experienced this many times in the past! Probably 50% of all physical symptoms I've had since finishing treatment have been due to anxiety. I dont know much about Shingles, but I'd say talking to your doctor and maybe some counselling would help. Good luck with it!

All the best

sarah
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Re: Long lasting emotional issues...

Hi all,

Sammydrm,

I guess with cancer it's not as possible to have flashbacks because there wasn't really a particular system-shocking event. Does this just make the PTSD more traumatic? I reckon it might. I get a sense that remembering an event over and over is the minds attempt to assess what happened and somehow understand it as much as possible, in order to cognitively work through the issue. But, with cancer, there isn't such an event. How can the psyche rest if it cannot identify what "hit it"?

I remember having ott anxiety and understanding that, it was associated with a kind of dysfuctional relationship with my body: I no longer trusted it, or, I felt that it was working against me, or there was some kind of "communication breakdown" between me and my body (like, since when did I instruct it to destroy me??). I felt as though I was being stalked by an unseen predator (the best way I can describe), but it was me, or within me. I was shadow boxing!

Freaky stuff. Cancer does your head in Smile

Yes, Ive started to write about it too. It was very hard for so many years because of being in survivor mode, and 'not being able to unlock or face a lot of the pain. Now, in bits I write about it. I am also currently building a wesite for others to contribute their articles.

Hi Survivorsays, I feel I'm a bit shy of the question: emotional problems manifesting into physical problems. That takes me back to the why/how I got cancer question. A question that certainly plagued me (amongst all the others of course). That question was almost to the point of obsession at the time of illness.

But yes, jokes aside, I think it does depend. It definitely can be food/diet. Definitely. Breads, carbs, fruits.. Or so I understand from what I have beeen reading.

Good luck

(looks like orgone is allgone)

survivorsays
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Re: Long lasting emotional issues...

Thanks all. I am writing, painting frantically and having been counselled before for ptsd it never occurred to me to use the same methodology here. This may help my husband and I understand why certain events in our house trigger certain emotions.

Thanks for your insight!

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