Is it possible to keep hope when your diagnosed with cancer?

United States
October 30, 2011 2:48pm CST
I have recently been sent to the Hematologist/Oncologist to take a look at some lymph nodes. In the past, I have been told that I could have this or that, but I would freak out, then look it up, freak out some more despite not having much of the symptoms. I went to the doctor who said that he can't do anything for me as it was not his specialty. He said it could be Lymphoma. I did a lot of research on Lymphoma and haven't freaked out, but through the research, I have have come to the conclusion, if I do have it, it is stage 2. Again, that is if I have it, and I'm not going to freak out until I know for sure. Breast cancer also runs in my family. My mom has had it and was treated and had the cancer part removed because she didn't want to completely remove her breast. I know from talking to people, once someone has cancer, they usually wind up with the same cancer more then once, or they are diagnosed with another type of cancer. I have read the treatments, and I think I can handle all the possible treatments except maybe bone marrow transplant. I hate needles and I've heard the transplant is very painful. The other side effect that I somewhat worry about is being tired and weak. I work 40+ hours a week and am going through college and don't want either to be in jeopardy. I donate to breast cancer organizations all the time. I even got a tattoo on my chest of a breast cancer ribbon. I know it strange for a guy to have a breast cancer ribbon tattoo, but I believe it is a great cause. I worry if I have lymphoma if it increases the chance of other types of cancer. Does anyone have any suggestions or experience with cancer that you could give tips to me?
4 people like this
12 responses
@marguicha (215346)
• Chile
30 Oct 11
Hi Gavin and welcome to mylot! I have a lymphoma. There are a lot of lymphomas and it much depends on which one you have. I was diagnosed with a follicular lymphoma around June. The best way to know for sure that you have a lymphoma is through a scan and then a biopsy. I was then sent to an hematologist-oncologist and she has taken care of me. That is exactly her specialty. If the doctor told you that it isn´t , you should ask him/her to tell you who should be in charge of it. But I´m absolutly sure that everything with lymph nodes and cancers are an hematologist-oncologist specialty. I was placed on chemotheraphy immediatly and at first it seemed that I had a stage 1 cancer because of the scan nd biopsy. But immediatly they also did a bone marrow test and found traslocation 14-18 which meant that my cancer went up to stage 4. Chemo for me is R-CHOP, the same treatment they give everywhere, including the Mayo Clinic. It is a standard procedure. I´m on my 5th chemo of 6 and the lymph node has responded to chemo. But the doctor also said my cancer had no cure but was a slow grower. There are other, more agresive cancers that DO have a cure. Sounds crazy, but it is so. The doctor just took another sample of my bone marrow after 5 chemos. If the bone marrow is better? clear? then they could use that later for an autotransplant. That is an if and when. Chemo is not easy. It drains your energy and you have to sleep a lot more. I would recommend you don´t take all your college subjects. You can talk about that at college: I´m sure they will understand. I have not freaked out. I am taking life in a Carpe Diem way, seize the present and be happy. If you see the news every day, you see a lot of young people dying at car accidents and other ways. Why should I be spared? Yet I´m living and I can lead a nice life while it lasts. The doctor is now speaking of follow up treatment of 5 years. That sound like heaven to me now. I can even plan a vacation when my defenses are better after the chemo. I´m planting some vegetables in my garden as my doctor won´t let me eat raw bought veggies on acount of pesticides. And I am playing at inventing recipes with the ingredients I am allowed to eat. Chemo not only kills the quick growing bad cells but also the good cells that reproduce quickly. That´s why you lose your hair and the lining of your stomach does not permit some foods. If you want to know more, don´t hesitate to write to me. Maybe I can help a bit.
• United States
30 Oct 11
I am not too worried about loosing my hair. I prefer it short nowadays anyway. I'm sorry you had to go through what your going through. I'm sure it was tough. Another worry I have is financial. I have a 5000 dollar deductible but I'm sure we will survive, we always do. In the meantime I am trying to get a part time job to help save up money and pay bills. I didn't know you couldn't eat raw bought veggies. If figured even with the pesticides, its better then not eating them at all. Generally the veggies I eat are cooked, but I periodically like raw broccoli and cauliflower with ranch dressing. Thanks for the words of encouragement.
1 person likes this
@marguicha (215346)
• Chile
30 Oct 11
I don´t feel that my life is worse. That was part of what I tried to tell you. It´s just life and you can still be thankful for a lot of things. I think that the worst part is the financial part. Even though our government pays for part of these illness, I felt cheated by my health insurance and I´m fighting with it. Deductibles are too high for anyone to be able to have them. Blanch broccoli and cauliflower. That means, you place them in boiling water and let it boil again, then take them out. Ranch dressing is probably forbibben too, when you are on chemo. I can´t have pepper or any hot stuff. I make my own dressings now with olive oil, salt and lemon or vinegar. The doctor wouldn´t let me eat eggs, mayo or butter at first because some patients´ cholesterol gets too high with chemo. As mine didn´t, I can eat those foods now. Maybe you can ask about organic food for raw veggies. But let´s see what you really have before starting a chemo diet. But it is a good idea to work part time if your deductible is so high. We mylotters are a big family online. Whatever you need, there´s a lot of peopple that will help. I was helped here and I´m being helped by my friends.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Oct 11
God help me. I love spicy foods. I really hate bland foods. Growing up, the only seasoning my parents knew was salt. They are still that way. I am not a mayo person except for in my tuna mac, and I have to use butter in some of the things I cook. It is sad that deductibles are so high, most people can't afford them. The family insurance deductible at work is 10k which is almost half what the average person makes there.
1 person likes this
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
30 Oct 11
First off, big hugs to you. My husband just finished treatment two days ago for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He had stage 2B with infected lymph nodes in his chest, neck and underarm. The only way for it to be diagnosed is with a lymph node biopsy. There are two different types of biopsy, either a needle biopsy or a lymphectomy (he had the lymphectomy to make sure there was enough tissue to test.) After the results of that came back positive he was referred to a hemotologist/oncologist. The next step was a bone marrow aspiration, PET/CT scan, liver function test, echocardiogram, and pulmonary function test. From the results of those tests we learned that he was stage 2. The B portion of his diagnosis was because he had some symptoms: fever, soaking night sweats and weight loss. He then had a port-a-cath placed to receive his chemotherapy through. His course of chemotherapy was six cycles of ABVD (adriamycin, bleomycin, vincristine and doxyrubicin). Each cycle consisted of two treatments on the first and fifteenth day. Through all of this, though we were both knocked pretty far down at first, we were able to make it through and have never lost hope. His cancer responded really well to the treatment and we will find out on the 2nd of December whether he will need radiation or not. However, I don't want you to think that you've definitely got lymphoma because it really isn't all that common. Hugs again.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Oct 11
Thank you for the hugs. I'm sorry to hear about your husband, but its good to know his cancer seems to be responding really well to the treatment. I see a lot of possible tests coming my way and most of them probably involves needles. I'm 6'4", 210 lbs and the only things I've found I am scared of is spiders and needles. I'm not deathly afraid, but if I can get anything done without a needle, I'm all for it. As for spiders, Raid can be my best friend. I have swollen Lymph nodes under the armpit and my inner thigh both on the left side of my body. The one under my armpit can get huge. The inner thigh ones aren't that big, but it still annoying to be able to feel them. It sounds like he had a good support system with you.
1 person likes this
@dorannmwin (36392)
• United States
31 Oct 11
The first thing that I would do would definitely be to see a surgeon that would be able to do an ultrasound of the nodes in question so that they can measure the approximate size of them. With that done, if the surgeon thinks they are questionable, then they will go ahead and schedule a biopsy. If you do the lymphectomy biopsy, they will put you under general anesthesia to do it and it won't take a very long time.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Oct 11
I haven't had an ultrasound or biopsy yet. I know one of the lymphnodes is about the size of my thumb nail. I have had a liver biopsy 3 times. Definitely not fun. And expensive. The first dr came real close to puncturing my liver and didn't get enough tissue so he had to do it again. It didn't really hurt, even with it being a needle, but when he did the second one my stomach hurt really bad and I was very uncomfortable. The doctor then told me to suck it up because it shouldn't hurt that bad. Luckly the nurse saw I was in pain and told me to not be a hero and take some pain killers.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
7 Dec 11
GavinKKaos to begin with do not self diagnose as you will scare yourself silly.get yourself to the best oncologist where you live and be examined , x-rayed and cat scan and all and find 'out just what you have instead of assuming the worse. people do live long healthy lives who have had cancer, and surgery and chemo and beat it. my own husband had colon cancer and beat that. but he also smoked 3 packs a day did not think it would hurt him but it did it killed him four heart attacks. the last one sent him home to God. he did not die of Cancer, he was cancer free. if he had quit smoking he might have been here with mne now.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Dec 11
My condolences on your husband. You are right, you do scare yourself silly. I learned that when I had issues with my hips. Though in my defense this time the doctor said it was X or Cancer, he didn't bother to say it COULD be something minor like all my other doctors. Since it came back that it wasn't the first thing, I automatically think it was cancer because if you only have two choices, one comes back negative, that only leaves the other one to be positive. It caused me to look up everything on cancer to see what I'd be dealing with. It turned out to be that my immune system has a really weird way of handling any time of wounds or infections. I'll definitely take that over what it could have been.
• Philippines
31 Oct 11
Hi GavinKaos, I hope you are not too depressed with your current situation. There have been a lot of cancer survivors so I know you can do it also. If you don't want to undergo operations or transplants, go natural. There are nutraceuticals that can help you survive cancer. One of the most powerful natural product is Mushroom, the attached picture contains, Agaricus Blazei Murill which is the God of Mushroom, which is very potent in healing your early stage of cancer with continued use and with high dosage during the first month. It is better than undergoing surgery or any other treatment. Of course, doctors would not believe in this nutraceuticals as they prefer pharmaceuticals which is not natural and synthetic which can harm our health sooner or later. So, I suggest, go Natural!
• United States
31 Oct 11
I HATE mushrooms. When I was a child, I'd go through cream of mushroom soup to pull out every mushroom before I would touch it. Maybe I can find a recipe that will make it taste ok. Doctors definitely don't like the natural remidies. They get paid less if you go that route. Plus if they felt it was that easy, why spend that amount of money to become a doctor. I've known a few doctors, and it takes many years to pay off the student loans.
1 person likes this
@mamasaid (156)
• United States
30 Oct 11
My husband is a cancer survivor - he had stage 3 prostate cancer and melanoma. Some of the melanoma had gone into the corner of his eye, which required surgery. He did not choose to have surgery for the prostate. He changed his diet to include healthier foods - vegetables, fruits, less gluten, salt, starch and sugar. He exercises more and avoids stress. He also takes a special health shake called Cellect for cancer patients and a variety of holistic remedies including olive leaf extract, colostrum and cod liver oil. Thankfully, a total lifestyle change and ongoing use of holistics (not cheap and not covered by insurance, unfortunately) has put the cancer into remission. Each patient has a different way of approaching cancer or a pre-cancer condition. It is important to talk to more than one doctor and health care practitioner to figure out what works for you. There are many different approaches and you always have a choice about what you want and don't want. Best to you and hope all is alright.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
7 Dec 11
hi gavin do not turn your back on real medical doctors for the holisic stuff as I have seen friends not get medical treatment and die on all that holistic junk,I would stick to excellent doctors who know what they are doing. its great to eat healthy and we all should but to turn away from treatments that will save your life to holistic stuff that is only a mayb e no no no.
• United States
31 Oct 11
I am not familiar with diet changes and holistic remedies for cancer. Of course if you go to a Lymphoma site or mayoclinic.com they only tell you about the standard treatments from modern medicine. I am sorry to hear about your husbands luck with cancer. I am glad that the alternative has helped him. I can imagine the holistic remedies can be quite expensive. Now that I know there is more options than the usual modern medicine, I'll have to do a little research on it myself.
1 person likes this
@Mashnn (4501)
31 Oct 11
Sorry for that. What you need most is trust in God and have faith. Don't feel discouraged with the diagnosis. God has better plan for you. A stage 2 cancer is not very advanced and with early intervention and treatment, it can help so much. Be determined that you can face it and though they are many challenges that comes along, always ask God to guide you through.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Oct 11
Thank you, any words of encouragement are helpful.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Nov 11
theres always hope and as you can see by my mom there is life after cancer
1 person likes this
@ifa225 (14364)
• Indonesia
31 Oct 11
my sister have a cancer-throat cancer. when the doctor diagnosed her that she have it, she's really down. for a moment she lost hope about her life. then we as a big family make her strong to passed it and fight it. the role of family is very important to her.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Oct 11
I am sorry to hear about your sisters misfortunte to have throat cancer. At least she had a good support system.
1 person likes this
@rameshchow (4426)
• India
31 Oct 11
You came with a good social cause discussing about cancer. And i agree with the above responses. Keep posting. Cancer is really a dangerous disease, we have to try our level best to bring the awareness in the common man's mind.
1 person likes this
@SIMPLYD (90722)
• Philippines
31 Oct 11
Your doctor have told you that it could be lymphoma. But have you asked another doctor's opinion? Besides, it was just maybe a hunch by the doctor , as you have implied. So, i think there's no need to worry yet. And if ever it is indeed lymphoma, then it would be best to have it treated at that early, so it could arrested. And most of all, please remain positive that you could still beat it.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
30 Oct 11
The most important thing for cancers is early diagnosis and treatment.If your cancer is still on the early stage,the survival is high.Metastasis will only occur if cancer is not treated on it's early stage.There have been a lot of stories in cancer survival as long as you don't lose hope,and strictly follow the treatment plan.Prayers can always helps.
• United States
30 Oct 11
I believe stage 2 is considered early. I have a very strong support group. Family and friends. My In-laws also have a prayer group I will get added to. I couldn't ask for better support.
1 person likes this
@janevi (888)
• Philippines
1 Dec 11
The key to good prognosis of cancer is early detection. With it, early treatment and management can be done .The time element in the treatment of cancer is very important because cancer cells grow and multiply 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Treatment and management vary for every type of cancer you have and what stage you are in. In 2004 I was diagnosed to have an endometrial cancer stage 2A.After the diagnosis, I underwent a surgery to remove the affected parts. Then series of treatments followed. Had completed the required treatment regimen, change of lifestyle and stress management, were my focus during the time of my treatment and regular check ups. I went through the travails of the treatment and I am grateful to God for giving me very supportive family and friends. After three years of faithful check up and follow up, I had my CA 125 test and was declared cancer free. For now, I stick to healthy lifestyle. I drink plenty of water, have fruits and vegetables, less sugary foods,enough sleep, less stressful life and time to relax and unwind from time to time. Go to some places of interest and enjoy life to its fullest. Cancer nowadays , is like any other illness because of the advancement in medicine. The most important factor also in my fast recovery is the my faith on God,my acceptance of my condition and the love of my family and friends. Without them I may not be able to face that trial with a happy disposition.