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Recently Diagnosed

Recently Diagnosed

Posted by britters0426 on Mar 26, 2020 9:15 pm

Hello everyone!

I was recently diagnosed with HL stage IIAX March 4th, 2020.  It was a whirlwind as I had not many symptoms.  I found out as I had a persistent cough for about 2 weeks that was worsening.  That's when I went to the ER and they did a chest X-ray and found a large 10 cm tumour in my anterior mediastinum. There's no feeling compared to going in to emergency for a cough and expecting to go on antibiotics. versus hearing the doctor has found such a large tumour in your chest.  Not only this, but I also had a build up of paracardial fluid due to the mass and had to get it drained right away.  I stayed in one hospital for a week, got to go home for a couple of days, then I had to stay at the Cross Cancer institute for a week and a half following my first treatment with ABVD.  I finally just got home and I feel pretty fantastic given everything that is currently going on in my life and the world.  The one thing I cannot seem to get over is certain anxieties I have.  My doctors keep telling me that HL is very treatable and curable, especially given my age and how I am very healthy otherwise, but I can't help but feel terrified that I don't know what's down the line for me 6 months from now.  I know there's a lot of things for me to manage with my diagnosis physically and mentally, and I have always been strong so I have no doubt that I will get through this, but everything still feels raw.  Everything I have read on this site is so far good and it is making me feel reassured!  If anyone has any suggestions on how they managed their anxieties, whether it be distractions or hobbies they picked up or what they found helpful, let me know!

Re: Recently Diagnosed

Posted by Brighty on Mar 26, 2020 9:59 pm

Welcome to Cancer Connection,  britters0426‍ .   I'm sorry you have to be here.............but as we say, you have found the right place to be.      I love your positive attitude and that will serve you well in the fight to beating the beast.      Anxiety is  a very normal reaction to a cancer diagnoses.      It's when it takes over your entire life, it become an issue.      Are you talking with anyone about your feelings?    A trusted friend or family member perhaps?     Or perhaps a therapist, or the oncology social worker?       There are many different ways people manage their anxiety.      Deep breathing helps some people.      Some people also find long walks help.     Writing down your feelings.........what are your deepest and worst fears?      Are you sleeping well, exersizing, eating healthy, staying connected to people?       Do you have  hobbies?  What do you like to do that can keep you busy for a bit while taking your mind off of things?     Funny shows?     Funny movies?  A pet?      Others swear by meditation and mindfulness.      There are many different ways to manage anxiety...you have to find what works best for you.     I'm sure others will come forward with the tips they used.   In the meantime, we have some discussion groups you might want to join.     Click on "forums"   And "cancer types" and find your cancer type and join in to the discussions wherever you feel comfortable.      We also have a peer support program where you can be matched up with a peer who is close in age going through something similar to you.    Call up 1-888-939-3333 and be connected with a friendly individual.     As I often say in my posts.........help is out there, all you have to do is reach out.   You have reached out, and now help will be coming you way.     Stay in touch.   Let us know how you are doing, and what tips you found that helped you.      
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: Recently Diagnosed

Posted by Kims1961 on Mar 27, 2020 12:13 am

britters0426‍   Welcome and am so glad you posted.

When i was diagnosed with breast cancer - it came out of the blue.  I was feeling well and about to leave for holidays. The shock of a cancer diagnosis can really affect our mental health.  The loss of control - you described it well - you go in expecting to get antibiotics and come out with a cancer diagnosis!  Along with the physical interventions - there are the mental health ones. Know that you are not alone and what you are experiencing is normal in a very "abnormal" situation. It is ok, to not be ok.  Sometimes our anxieties and worries are actually good things - they now try to help us prepare for the unknown, the what ifs....

If you are finding that these worries are interferring with your well-being/daytime activities, it can be helpful to reach out to a social worker - either through your cancer centre, community agency or through your family doctor.  Connecting with people who can help us along our journey- helps us to process the powerful emotions that can go along with a cancer diagnosis.  I found connecting here helpful - asking questions, looking at other posts.  I also spoke to an Information Specialist and peer mentor.

https://www.cancer.ca/en/support-and-services/support-services/talk-to-an-information-specialist/?region=on

Some communities offer groups for cancer patients.  You can check if your community has anything through the Community Services Locator.

https://www.cancer.ca/en/support-and-services/support-services/find-services-in-your-area/?region=on

DIstraction and hobbies are so key!  Getting exercise - the outdoors was my therapy.  Knitting became a great distraction as well as binging on Netflix.  Even simple tasks - like cleaning out closets - downsizing my crap - really helped.  I felt like i accomplished something in addition to giving my brain a "cancer break".

You've got this !!! Glad you reached out.  Let us know how you're doing.  Kim

 
Her2+, ER+ Bilateral mastectomy in 2017, followed by chemo and radiation. Mack and Hannah's mom

Re: Recently Diagnosed

Posted by SpeedyStill on Mar 28, 2020 8:33 pm

britters0426‍ 
I have some information that will help you.
I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma December 2009.
Like you I had a tumor that was large I also had several smaller tumours all around my abdomen. Its is scary when you hear this however like the Doctor said it is treatable.
Yours is different since it is HL.  ‍ 
Actually HL I think is easier to treat than NHL.
The Oncologist called me a 63 year old gentleman in good health.
I had my 6 Chemotherapy Treatments in 2010. 
You are in good health,  you are young, you should be fine however never take anything for granted.
Chemotherapy is not a walk in the park but it has given this old cogger 10 years and counting.
Keep your spirits high, stress and aniety is part of the journey but the rewards are great. 
Focus and control will help take you through this journey.
All the Best
Speedystill