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just found out i have cancer.

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by tryingtoteach, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. The online support group I use is non-hodgkins, but I found these. They're all yahoo groups, so I think you need to make a yahoo 'passport' or something, but I don't remember that being difficult.
  2. tryingtoteach

    tryingtoteach New commenter

    joli - thank you for your reply. i wish you every luck with your treatment. i think your right about getting the word out of my stomach and into my head. i feel like i can't face food - i manage about 4 mouthfulls then just can't seem to eat anthing else.

    off to my ct scan now to drink some lovely liquid, have an injection and be pushed through a doughnut! i'm sure its more technical than that.

    have to have a bone marrow test tomorrow. has anyone had that done or know what it feels like? Dr said it takes about 15 minutes and most of the pain is when the anaesthetic wears off, which i can cope with.

    thanks again for all your continuing support x
  3. I'm sure you've had it all done by now - I hope it wasn't too bad. I've had one BM Biopsy without anaesthetic and one under general while I was having a node biopsy. I know which I preferred, but like all the procedures you will have to face, it's do-able. The scan is nothing, but for my first one I was shaking so much they had to put me in a neck brace. Now I've had so many, it's a breeze.

    As another post said, it's not about being brave so much as just getting on with what you have to do and I've found it's amazing what you can endure.

    You have every hope that your treatment wiill be successful. You will start to feel less sick. Give yourself time, it's a bit like grieving.
  4. Hi trying to teach
    Hope the biopsy and scan went ok - hope you took someone with you - I was doing my 'strong and independent' thing and went merrily off on my own - driving to my BM biopsy - as you probably kinow now that was a bit of a mistake!! drove home in shock - even managed to pick up a spare part for the boiler on the way home then had no recollection of doing it - not great for my driving skills!!!
    Sound like you are doing all the right things - talking to people and asking questions - Well done.
    I kept it to myself and my husband for the first 6 weeks (while my illness was being diagnosed)- didn't even tell my parents - looking back that was a big mistake I felt so alone - you need all the support you can get.
    You're right about the success rates - my consultant told me "If you're going to get cancer this is the one to get. We know how to get rid of it."
    As for the hair loss - you deal with it - to be honest you will have more important things to worry about - like fighting the ******* ('scuse my French!)
    I became hair sore - ie it hurt when I moved my head on the pillow and then it started to come out in clumps so I went to the hairdresser and had it all shaved off. Some Jewish ladies at the hospital showed me how to tie scarves around my head and I felt really comfortable with that. Got lots of compliments too.
    The best bit is when it starts to grow back - it's like brand new - shiny, strong and mine grew in tight corkscrew curls - I loved it. (Sadly they all grown out now and it's back to it's normal self).
    Sorry - I do go on a bit and don't mean to fill up this thread - my email is hodson_sue@hotmail.com - you can email me any time you want.
    PS Kylie managed the bald waif look quite well. lol
  5. tryingtoteach

    tryingtoteach New commenter

    well, been for my scan and biopsy now. just like you joli, i felt really panicky whils in for my scan. all calm before but as soon as i went in, all the machines looked so scary and the whole cancer thing really hit me. my heart was racing!

    BM biopsy not half as bad as i was expecting. felt pretty calm which probably helped. all the staff at the hospital are so nice it mae a real difference. although i wouldn't want another BM biopsy, it didn't particuarly hurt, was just quite uncomfortable, but over really quick.

    now i'm just really worrying about the results of all these tests, particuarly the BM, in case they show that its all over/worse than expected. i'm such a pessimist! my OH just says it will just change the treatment but i'm obviously hoping i'll be able to have the simplest form of treatment!!

    sue - don't worry about posting so much. i'm finding everyones supoort and infomation do reassuring. please don't think even the smallest things are trivial - its those things that are answering my questions. thanks again.

    i have a week now until my results and treatment plan and i can already feel my anxiety drop! finding it difficult to stay calm. my heart constently races and feel panicky all the time. tried lavendar bath oil before bed. sleeping ok, more the panick in the daytime which is effecting me. does anyone have any other ideas?

    off to enjoy my week of no needles before the fun really starts!

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    Well done ... first hurdle over!

    Have a lovely week!
  7. My best mate got this at 30, good news is we're all 34 now and she's fine!

    It will be hard and you will feel bad at times, but you're young and strong; it'll be okay.

  8. Glad you have the tests over and done with. Your OH sounds like a good person to have by your side at a time like this. He seems to have taken it on the chin.

    It's good that you are sleeping OK too.
  9. To help me sleep I bought a couple of hypnotherapy tapes from Amazon - listen to them through headphones when I went to bed - sounds a bit hippyish I know but they really did make a difference. The worry is always worse at night isn't it.
    My friend who had had breast cancer told me to stay off work and treat it as a long sabbatical - think of something you havn't had time to do - like play the guitar - and use the time when you are feeling well enough for that. You don't need to go to work - your work will be fighting the cancer.
    (Turned out I had a really rare and aggressive cancer and had to be in Christies for 3 months having chemo almost every day- so the guitar I bought ready just gathered dust for a while) but the idea is still a good one.
    And don't panic about that - I mean REALLY rare - usually found in African children or males over 40 - not 39 year old caucasian teachers from Wigan ( I know the doctors couldn't figure it out either!!)
    Keep positive
    Sue x
  10. ((TTT))) Take care, you sound like a really positive person and I'm certain you'll get through this. xxx I have no advice I'm afraid but on reading your thread I'm amazed at how many lovely supportive people there are out there. Keep smiling xxx
  11. Sue - I'd read that about burkitt's lymphoma. My lymphoma is usually found in old men! I suppose there are always exceptions to the rule.

    tryingtoteach - well done on coming through the tests, one hurdle over. I remember well those horrible panicky feelings during that waiting time before treatment starts and before you have all the information to digest. This IS the worst time in some ways - once you've done this you'll start to cross each bridge as you come to it. (Sorry to use cliches, but they're often true). If you do need more aggressive treatment, you'll deal with that when it comes.

    Re. sleeping. I have trouble sleeping. These are things that have helped me, but I have to say, like babies, routine plays a big part:

    1) Lavender oil on my pillow
    2) Story tapes - preferably the same one each night (mine were Tony Hancock and depending on your age you might not know who I'm talking about)
    3) In times of extreme need I take a piriton tablet, or if I'm feeling really bad, I use NYTOL (not the herbal ones - they gave me weird dreams)

    Finally, I know you probably don't feel like it, but try and do something nice to take your mind off waiting for results. A day trip to the seaside, a meal out. Chin up. I would say 'you'll be fine', but I hated people saying it to me.
  12. Just wanted to say that I was diagnosed with Cancer in September 2005 and went through treatment until June 2006 and in November it came back.. Treatment again and back to teaching once more in July this year..

    Admittedly mine was different, breast cancer which then went up into my neck nodes etc..but you will get through it...

    Do have a look at the blog if it will help..(no spam, or selling stuff..)

    Best wishes,


    And good luck!

  13. Hope you're doing ok waiting for the scan, must be a very scary time for you. We're all sending you cyber-get well soon wishes xx
  14. You have my sympathy. Same thing happened to me last year. Was fit and healthy so I thought, only to be told I had leukaemia. I'm not going to lie - it has been bloody hard and not particularly pleasant. I've had three intensive sessions of chemo, lots of time in an isolation room and a stem cell transplant. It has been seriously scary at times, but a year on, I'm getting out and about, my hair is on its way back and I might just make it back for the start of term. You will have days that are blacker than black but just remember what you've got to fight for. I wish you all the luck in the world!
  15. Hi tryingtoteach - I hope you aren't feeling too bad at the moment.I was diagnosed with cancer last September (1 week into the new school year!) I just thought I would share a few things with you that helped me - if you know you are going to lose your hair, it is easier to bear if it is short - I had long hair, which I cut short and then shaved off. It probably will be upsetting at first, but you can great wigs on the NHS!I chose one that was so unlike my own hair! If the chemo makes you sick make sure you tell the doctors/nurses/consultants as soon as poss - you do get ant-sickness drugs with the chemo - but they can give you stronger ones. Live each day at a time - it's a cliche but it's true. If your hospital has a Macmillan centre take advantage of all it has to offer. Sorry to go one, but I hope this helps a bit. Take care.
  16. tryingtoteach

    tryingtoteach New commenter

    thanks for your tips on sleeping, i'll try those. trying to keep myself busy during the days. woke up this mornign thinking, right, letts just get on with it. i can't put my life completely on hold for the next year!

    i like the idea of seeing it as a sabbatical. i love arts and crafts but have never got round to having ago at things like card making and glass painting - the perfect time!

    off out for lunch today with a friend, out for tea tomorrow with mum, and my OH mum and dad have paid for us to go to seaside for 2 nights on mon and tues in a top hotel with spa etc. can't wait - seen as i should have been in Majorca now!

    thanks for all your support and advice - i will be drawing on it over the next few months. probably won't be posting until next fri now as trying to put it all to the back of my mind.

    thanks again and i'll let you know the plan of action next friday.
  17. tryingtoteach

    tryingtoteach New commenter

    back from scarborough - had a great time. it seemed really strange to have such a good time when all this other stuff is going on.

    came back yeasterday and it seems being at home just makes me fret! really worried about appointment tomorrow where i get scan and bone marrow results and told about my treatment. i'm so worried that the lymphoma will be in my bone marrow and will have spread to all my glands. i keep trying to tell myself that even if it has spread, it is still one of the easiest to treat and i'll be ok. but feeling really scared that it will make outcome/treatment worse. i'm terrified about starting my treatment next week - fear of the unknown i'm sure, but i'm scared of how i'll feel and what it will feel like when the drugs are going in. hate being sick so dreading that and can't bare the thought of losing my hair.

    sorry - that was a bit of a moan, but feeling pretty down today. don't want to go on at partner and family as they are struggling too. just had to get all that off my chest. from the outside i look like i'm coping so well and to an extent i am. i have a fantastic partner who always cheers me up. i don't know what i would do without him, but i am so scared about treatment and outcome. sorry to go on!
  18. salsera

    salsera New commenter

    You do not have to apologise. The whole thing is scarey and the fear doesn't lessen.
    It's the unknown and you have every rigth to be frightened. Don't think you have to cope - cry, scream, rant and rave. The same for your family.....

    ...but somehow a survival mechanism seems to kick in and you do find you "manage" each day...but differently. No two days will be the same and it's about doing what your body tells you to do. If you want to sleep then do it, if you want to go out for lunch then do it. It will be about seizing the moment...tell people not to call if you don;t want them to, tell people you can;t make a meet-up or they can't come round if you don;t want them to.
    Eat what you want - though you will be told to eat "healthily" sometimes your body might say no and you crave something else.

    I'm only going my the recent experiences with my OH....but everyone is different. Drug combinations react differently on people.

    I wish you all the best..hope tomorrow has a positive outcome.

  19. tryingtoteach - it's normal to feal fearful - especially just before appointments, I know I still feel it after 8 years.

    I dont know about Hodgkins Lymphoma, but in non-hodgkins its not unusual for it to be in the bone marrow, given that's where the blood cells that are involved are made. It doesn't make any difference to treatment.

    You will cope with each aspect of your treatment as it comes up- but feeling sick doesn't have to be one of them. I know it's the one I dreaded the most, but if your anti-sickness meds don't work, shout loud and get them changed. Tiredness is usually the most significant side effect and that builds up over the course of the treatment. Even that comes and goes depending on the stage of each cycle of treatment.

    At least after your appointment, some of the unknowns can be tackled and you can start to get on with things.

    Good luck

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