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Thread: Counseling/therapy

  1. #1
    Top User
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    Counseling/therapy

    Just an FYI not to dismiss this, despite the stigma that is still attached to it. If you need to unload or are having a hard time figuring this all out on your own, try it! You don't have anything to lose and potentially a huge gain. Also there is likely more than one such place to go in your area so if one doesn't work, try another 1 or 2 before you decided if it can help or not. I have and don't regret it, in fact it has helped.

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User Kermica's Avatar
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    Really good advice, Bill, for patients, caregivers and family members. Cancer is such a devestating disease and it often triggers depression which manifests itself in many destructive ways. If you are struggling with any aspect of cancer care, it is a great idea to seek help from a professional. Thanks for pointing it out, Bill, and I'm glad to hear you have benefitted from it personally.

    Good health,

    kermica
    When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
    ~Author Unknown

    Age 67
    Follicular lymphoma diagnosed August 08, Stage 1
    2 cycles (20 treatments each) localized radiation to tumor sites. Remission confirmed July 09
    Restaged to Stage 3 May 2010
    Recurrence confirmed May 2010 - Watch and Wait commenced - multiple scans with minimal progression.
    Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma diagnosed September 2012. Mohs surgical excision 09/2012. Successful, clean edges all around.
    Significant progression detected in PET scan - December 2012
    Biopsy to check for transformation 1/18/2013 - negative for that but full of lymphoma, of course.
    July 2013 - Rescan due to progression shows one tumor (among many) very suspect for transformation, another biopsy 8/12/13.
    August 2013 - No evidence of transformation, 6 courses of B+R commence 8/29 due to "extensive, systemic disease".
    February 2014 - Diagnostic PET scan states: Negative PET scan. Previous noted hypermetabolic cervical, axillary, iliac and inguinal lymphadenopathy has resolved. Doctor confirms full remission.
    June 2014 - started 2 year maintenance Rituxan, 1 infusion every 3 months. Doctor confirms lump under right arm are "suspicious" for recurrent disease, deferring scans for now.
    February 2015 - Doc and I agreed to stop R maintenance as it is depressing my immune system too much.
    June 2015 - Confirm that the beast is back by physical exam, will scan in August after esophageal issues settle down so we can get a clear view.
    August 2015 - physical exam in error, PET/CT shows no evidence of disease. Remission continues well into second year!
    December 2015 - Cardiologist tells me I have plaque buildup growing at an alarming rate. Stent or bypass down the road but not yet...
    March 2016 - new tumor below the jaw so remission is over. Back to active surveillance until treatment is needed.
    June 2016 - C/T scan indicates presence of multiple lesions in iliac chain.
    August 2016 - PET/CT shows multiple areas of lymphoma as expected plus new areas of concern in bowel.
    January 2017 - C/T scan shows significant progression in cervical and inguinal lymph chains, largest tumor is impacting hearing, measures 2.1x4.6 cm. 4 to 8 cycles of R-CVP, 1x3weeks to commence 2/6/17.
    April 2017 - Mid treatment scan shows about 1/3 reduction in multiple tumors. Also shows abdominal aortic aneurysm with peripheral thrombus. Cardiologist changed meds, spoke of need for surgical repair down the road.
    September 2017 - finished 10 rounds of R-CP, V was stopped due to neuropathy in feet. No further treatment planned at this time, at least 10 tumors can be felt which seem to be growing again.
    December 2017 - Biopsy of external iliac node with SUV of 13.1 shows no transformation! However, the FL grade is now 3A instead of Gr 1-2. Will start indefinite protocol using Copanlisib, one of the new targeted therapies. I remain hopeful.
    March 2018 - Copanlisib failed, treatment stopped 3/28. New plan is to go to Dana Farber on 4/16 for case review and treatment recommendation.

    May 2018 - did not qualify for clinical trials at Dana Farber. Tumors need to get larger to be considered. On consultation w/Dr. Armand at DF and my onc, have decided to take a break from cancer treatments. Will have a biopsy of the mass in my sinus discovered in scan at DF and to get the aneurysm repaired as it has developed a potentially catastrophic penetrating ulcer. Surgery scheduled for 7/12.

    September 2018 - biopsy of mass in nose shows transformed DLBCL throughout. Assessing options for this negative development.

    October 2018 - started 6 to 8 cycles of R-CHOP. Goal is to get to full remission to open up other options.

    February/March 2019 - PET shows four hot spots following R-CHOP. referred to Dana Farber for stem cell transplant. Pre testing all good, accepted for Auto Transplant. Will begin inpatient process about April 1.

  3. #3
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi All

    Studies have shown that 20% of cancer survivors can use counselling. PTSD is the thing to worry about. I should imagine a good few carers could do with some help as well, probably more than 20%, who knows?

    Very wise advice Bill
    Age 62
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a Bulky presentation
    Finished six cycles of R chop 21 26th May 2008
    Officially in remission 9th July 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 1st October 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 17th June 2009
    Remission reconfirmed 7th June 2010
    Remission reconfirmed 6th July 2011

    NED AND DECLARED CURED on the 2/01/2013

    No more scheduled visits to the Prof
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9620

    Still alive in 2019 !

    RULE NUMBER 1.....Don't Panic
    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

    Great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

    I may not have gone where I intended to go,
    but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

  4. #4
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    Thx all. In terms of having lost someone which was my reason, I'd say that number is at least 80% if not close to 100%.

  5. #5
    What a relief! Thank you! a
    May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favour. Born 1960. Diagnosed 4/2011 with one tumor, LUL, NSCLC. Tumor size 1.1 inches. Thoracic surgery 6/1/2011. No action taken. Eight weeks of radiation and chemo. Carbo and Taxol. Follow up with four rounds of Carbo and Alimta.
    December 2011 CT scan shows all clear.
    April 2012 CT scan shows all clear. July 2012 had several x-rays taken at the chiropractor for shoulder pain. Took them to the onc and nothing suspicious noted. See them again in Oct.
    October didn't work out. Pain in the left shoulder continued to worsen and lymph nodes in the supraclavical swelled so I called the onc and they bumped the regular scan up to September 19 and we went for the results on the 24th. The tumor is back and the spread is extensive. Option 1: Try targeting chemos that may work and then on to clinical trials. These would give me about a year or so if the cancer responds. Option 2: Do no treatment and let nature take its course. This will give me six months give or take. As good as I feel right now, Iím going for door #2 and will continue to live well and enjoy myself until I donít. Iíll keep you posted. Live it up everyone!

    7 months into hospice and palliative care. It has been a very good relationship with the organization as a whole with a minor glitch. April 2013 spent the night at hospice facility, PICC line inserted for morphine drip. I said I wouldnít but, had a hospital bed delivered. Started 10 rounds of palliative radiation to shrink the neck tumor. Busy month for me!

    I've taken a couple of nasty falls this last week. (first of & mid-May) Right on the cancer shoulder. So I have a life alert necklace on me now. I wish I could get my hands on a small scooter!

    There is another node swelling on the other side of my neck. Still small.

    April51's (Jody) daughter posted that her Mother's journey in this world had ended on July 8th 2013.You touched so very many lives. Soar high Jody!

  6. #6
    Newbie Senior User
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    It's nothing short of backward that our culture ever stigmatized therapy. Not everyone can just, "suck it up." Even those who can probably shouldn't.
    31-year-old agnostic survivor of low-grade oligo-astrocytoma, diagnosed 6/17/11.
    I maintain the Ramblings of a Traitorous Mind blog as a chronicle of my battle with cancer and my related reflections.

  7. #7
    Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    Thanks Bill -- this is an extremely important topic. I appreciate you bringing it out. I just wrote to another poster that there is no shame in getting help.

    There is a stigma in most cultures. I have it and resisted getting help wayyyy past when I should have. I never, ever saw myself as someone who could be in this position, after losing my husband. Not me! I was the strong one. Yeah, right.

    Therapy/counseling can be quite effective on its own. Often it is used in conjunction with a Psychiatrist, who will provide medication that can be very helpful. I didn't realize that psychiatrists don't really do much in the way of therapy. (Neither did my daughter. I effectively snookered her for a period of time, but she caught onto my game. ) I was directed to one by my physician, as tweaking anti-depressants wasn't his specialty, but he was aware I was struggling.

    I've been seeing a psychiatrist for several months. Almost four years after the fact, I finally caved. Still not very happy about my progress, but he's uncovered a few physical issues that are contributing to my depression. I've been very resistant to his urging to see one of the therapists in the practice. I don't want to talk about it and can cry at home for free. It's been four years, so it doesn't seem logical to me -- except I've lost those four years and continue losing time. Not getting any younger here.....

    I also had a serious set-back that thoroughly hurt me at the height of my vulnerability. Someone I cared about deeply chose to use my seeing a "shrink" against me and tore into me about being crazy. (That's putting it very politely.) Well, it ended up crashing my sense of self-esteem and any trust. In a world that had already been turned upside down by losing the rock I leaned on, I had tentatively reached out and tried to trust. Bad call. That's not happening again. It was a vicious and cruel way to hit me below the belt. Yes siree, there still is a stigma.

    I may be wrong here, but my personal advice is not to mention to anyone that you're seeking help.

    A little FYI from the ever-windy PBJ.
    Last edited by pbj11; 12-29-2011 at 03:40 PM.
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  8. #8
    PBJ, your post makes me angry...so many hypocrites out there, first to tell you to get help, then first to stab you in the back. Which again explains my reasoning for being a part of this forum and the understanding I have found here. People cannot relate if they have not been through cancer...I don't care what they say, they cannot. I learned yesterday my dad's time is short...I have known this in my head and my heart, I have seen the subtle changes...but I am angry as hell that the cancer is winning. It will win the battle; however, it my eyes, it did not win the race to this point...my dad has been a fighter all the way...little pain, amazing attitude, and a good period of time feeling very well. It did not break his spirit, if anything it made him even a better man than he already was.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Top User Hope2012's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    888
    In the past I would have never even thought of seeing a therapist, but a year and a half ago, I went through a horrible and long divorce which involved custody over my nine year old daughter. I was dealing with a failed marriage and knowing that I had to have sole custody over my daughter (I'm a full time working dad). I couldn't handle things on my own and went to seek help from a therapist who was a life saver for me. Not just addressing why my marriage fell apart, but helping me in how to handle the hard questions from my daughter. I wish I went to see one way back when my dad passed away from cancer.

    Anyhow, my employer (i am in Toronto) pays for therapy up to $800 a year. It seems the stigma is slowly disappearing and insurance companies are recognizing the benefit. I wouldn't hesitate to see one now if I started to feel like my head was going under water again.
    This dark night shall end and the sun will rise again...
    Believe

    - Dad diagnosed in 1992 with primary bladder cancer
    - bladder removed and new one made from resected intestine
    - chemotherapy regimen started
    - mets to large intestines discovered in 1993...more chemo...tumors disappearing
    - complained of neck pain Dec 1994. Mets to brainstem confirmed
    - passed away Feb 24, 1995

  10. #10
    Sad, I think that is a great attitude. My problem is I never know when my head is going under. I am always gasping for air before I know it! a
    May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favour. Born 1960. Diagnosed 4/2011 with one tumor, LUL, NSCLC. Tumor size 1.1 inches. Thoracic surgery 6/1/2011. No action taken. Eight weeks of radiation and chemo. Carbo and Taxol. Follow up with four rounds of Carbo and Alimta.
    December 2011 CT scan shows all clear.
    April 2012 CT scan shows all clear. July 2012 had several x-rays taken at the chiropractor for shoulder pain. Took them to the onc and nothing suspicious noted. See them again in Oct.
    October didn't work out. Pain in the left shoulder continued to worsen and lymph nodes in the supraclavical swelled so I called the onc and they bumped the regular scan up to September 19 and we went for the results on the 24th. The tumor is back and the spread is extensive. Option 1: Try targeting chemos that may work and then on to clinical trials. These would give me about a year or so if the cancer responds. Option 2: Do no treatment and let nature take its course. This will give me six months give or take. As good as I feel right now, Iím going for door #2 and will continue to live well and enjoy myself until I donít. Iíll keep you posted. Live it up everyone!

    7 months into hospice and palliative care. It has been a very good relationship with the organization as a whole with a minor glitch. April 2013 spent the night at hospice facility, PICC line inserted for morphine drip. I said I wouldnít but, had a hospital bed delivered. Started 10 rounds of palliative radiation to shrink the neck tumor. Busy month for me!

    I've taken a couple of nasty falls this last week. (first of & mid-May) Right on the cancer shoulder. So I have a life alert necklace on me now. I wish I could get my hands on a small scooter!

    There is another node swelling on the other side of my neck. Still small.

    April51's (Jody) daughter posted that her Mother's journey in this world had ended on July 8th 2013.You touched so very many lives. Soar high Jody!

 

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