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Feeling Old Way Before My Time

I was diagnosed with stage 3 lymphoma back in November of 2010 at the age of 29 years old. I sort of breezed through ABVD and radiation all while planning a wedding. I never thought something like this would have such an impact on me.

Ready or not side effects are coming

All of the quote-unquote readines stopped in the latter part of 2012 when I began to take I.C.E. to prepare for an autologous stem cell transplant with high dose chemo. Cancer isn’t easy, neither are side effects of treatment.

It was I.C.E. that shocked my body into menopause at the age of 31. At that time, I was only experiencing night sweats, not to mention hair loss, eyebrows fell out and eyelashes thinned out.

A new kind of fatigue

In rolls 2013 with a new wave of fatigue that I had to try to learn to navigate through. Who would’ve known that just at the tender age of 32 I would experience personal summers, a wave of emotions that not only drove others crazy but myself too?

I didn’t fully understand anxiety until certain activities would come up (they don’t call it men-on-pause for nothing). Boy does cancer has a way of disrupting the pleasurable things in life. I am now 38, going on 39, and looking back at things that have happened to me thereafter, such as walking on a cane for a year and a half, recovering from walking on a cane (I am still recovering).

Learning to forgive myself

I mean I can barely walk in a shopping mall or Walmart. And when I go to the zoo or an amusement park, there is this uncanny feeling of being babysat, even though my family or real friends don’t seem to mind and still enjoy themselves.

There are times when I have to learn to forgive myself for not being able to do somethings due to fatigue. It can be a real struggle to walk upstairs or cook a meal. Most people would call this a form of complaining.

I am just glad I am alive to share bits and pieces of my story.

Leave a comment for @angeliquel below!

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Comments

  • Susan Gonsalves moderator
    1 week ago

    @angeliquel What a relatable piece! Thanks. It is difficult to walk with a cane (year and a half now for me as well), stairs are torture (always look for an elevator unless it is just a few) and the fatigue and pain can be debilitating. No need to explain and it is not complaining. Naps are awesome. Give in to them. When you need one, take one. I hear you about the housework…I do it very slowly…sometimes over the course of days…it’s okay. Hope you improve day by day. Susan

  • AngeliqueL author
    5 days ago

    Thanks for being able to relate. Most days it is a drawn out process for housework. I am off the cane now. Able to walk in short heels though if not rested well a huge struggle. Sometime i feel like a need a cane to get up stairs and inclines. Thinking about getting a foldable one. I hope things get better for you. My mext venture is to find a machine that will work my legs out for me to help strengthen my legs but won’t take my energy to do it.

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    2 weeks ago

    @angeliquel thank you for sharing your story. It’s always a shock when anyone becomes diagnosed with blood cancer, but when diagnosed so young- well it can be despairing. Almost 10 years in and your vibrancy for life is still shining through, that is wonderful! I never like the word burden as it brings back unpleasant memories. As long as your friends and family have your back don’t look at it as babysitting- life happens and anyone in the same situation would want their loved ones to have their back if the shoe was on the other foot. Live without regrets. Best!

  • AngeliqueL author
    5 days ago

    Thank you for your encouragement!

  • Daniel Malito moderator
    2 weeks ago

    @angeliquel Sometimes the cure can be just as bad as the disease, I have experienced that time and again in my life. With cancer it’s especially bad, and despite all of it we still push ourselves and get mad when we can’t do things. It’s crazy, but it’s common. I know exactly what you mean by “being babysat,” and if asked, no one will say anything but “whaaaaat, that’s crazy,” but you can like feel it like the hairs on the back of your neck standing up. ha ha. The things we deal with huh? Good piece. Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

  • AngeliqueL author
    5 days ago

    Yes. The things we deal with!

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