I’d love to meet teens like me who I can relate to…

Hi my name is Katie. I am 18 years old and live in Rotterdam New York. In May of 2009 when I was 17, I was diagnosed with stage 4 T-Cell Non-Hodkin’s Lympho-blastic Lymphoma. Going through this experience has only made me such a stronger person than I thought I was before. The only thing that I wish were different about going through treatment is that I had teens my age to talk to. Most kids at my clinic are like 10 and under. I’ve havent really met any teen my age going through the same thing that I am. Although it was difficult I was able to graduate with my original high school class in 2010. I am currently getting ready to register for online classes. I have been diagnosed with Avascular Necrosis of the hips and shoulders so I will be taking as many classes as I can online and once my treatment is finished sometime next summer, I can get my hips fixed and continue onto a Nursing school to become an Oncology Nurse. I never knew about this site until today. I had a bonemarrow aspirate this morning and my child life specialist recommend it to me. Id love to beable to talk to anyone about dealing with things that no one without cancer could relate to.

November 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Coping with Cancer

  • http://www.facebook.com/rhartley13 Becky Hartley

    I feel the exact same way. I am nineteen, so I’m not considered pediatric, though I don’t feel emotionally and mentally mature enough to be treated like an adult in every medical situation. Although I have become an adult in other situations (calling insurance companies, getting myself to MRIs and appointments) I still don’t like to do everything by myself. I go to college 300 miles from my family, which has made it very difficult. I may be an adult, but I still want my mom to be with me at my appointments and tests.

    I have a brain tumor, and am being treated with a fairly new chemo pill called Temodar. It is much more convenient because I don’t have to go to the hospital to get the chemo, so I can go to my classes still. It may not have as many bad side-effects as IV chemos, especially because it is focussing just on the brain, though I still am not myself and have my “moments.” I really wish my family were with me at those times just to give me a hug while I cry and am in pain or feeling really sick. Even though my friends come with me to see my oncologist, it would be nice to have my family there, especially when you have to talk with the nurse/doctor about the more embarrassing aspects of chemo (bowel movements, etc.)

    I just wanted to reply to let you know that I can totally relate with how you’re feeling. It’s hard to have to act mature when you feel so vulnerable. I am seeing a therapist at the Student Psychological Services offered on my campus. It has been really helpful being able to talk with someone unbiased and objective about everything. Even though my friends are a great support system and help me in so many ways (I can’t drive because of seizures so they take me everywhere) I can’t fully relate to them and they can’t always offer the support I need. And even though my family is such an amazing support system, it is nice to be able to talk with someone else who I know will say what needs to be said and not just what I want to hear.

    You’re not alone. Hang in there. I’m sure it will get better. And you can get great scholarships for college stuff :) I guess that’s one of the “perks” of cancer.

    Becky

  • Keith Hutchison

    Hey Katie! So I personally am not going through a cancer struggle, however my mom just finished up her chemotherapy last year, and I currently have a friend who is 18 and is going through radiation for a brain tumor. She was talking to me about how she wants someone to talk to around her age because she feels like the only people she talks with are older than her. Would you be willing to talk to her? If so send me a message, and I will put you two in contact! Hope I could help

    God Bless,
    Keith Hutchison

  • Leah Shearer

    Hi Katie—and hi Keith,

    Katie,

    You have come to the right place. That one thing is for sure.
    It’s amazing how many times I hear that–feeling alone is exactly part of this journey.
    I felt that way and I was in my 20s when I went through it (but still young).

    I just want you to know that you are not alone…so wanted that thought to drop from my outbox to your inbox. :) And you are obviously a very strong and focused young woman—forging ahead with your online classes to stay on track.

    It’s not easy.

    Katie, Rotterdam I think is in the Albany area, right?

    Well, our Teens Living with Cancer center is in Rochester NY…we are planning a free one day retreat over a weekend during the winter.

    I know it might be tough distance-wise, but if it is something you might be able to travel to, and meet other teens in person we would love to meet you.

    Leah Shearer
    TLC Program Coordinator

    • http://www.facebook.com/katie.montanaro Katie Montanaro

      wow that retreat sounds awesome, id love to go! Yes, I go to Albany for my treatment its about 30mins from home. This whole experience has changed me completly into a better person. Im glad i found out about TLC, so far ive talked to people who i finally can relate to. Please keep me posted on that retreat! thank you :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/rhartley13 Becky Hartley

    I feel the exact same way. I am nineteen, so I’m not considered pediatric, though I don’t feel emotionally and mentally mature enough to be treated like an adult in every medical situation. Although I have become an adult in other situations (calling insurance companies, getting myself to MRIs and appointments) I still don’t like to do everything by myself. I go to college 300 miles from my family, which has made it very difficult. I may be an adult, but I still want my mom to be with me at my appointments and tests.

    I have a brain tumor, and am being treated with a fairly new chemo pill called Temodar. It is much more convenient because I don’t have to go to the hospital to get the chemo, so I can go to my classes still. It may not have as many bad side-effects as IV chemos, especially because it is focussing just on the brain, though I still am not myself and have my “moments.” I really wish my family were with me at those times just to give me a hug while I cry and am in pain or feeling really sick. Even though my friends come with me to see my oncologist, it would be nice to have my family there, especially when you have to talk with the nurse/doctor about the more embarrassing aspects of chemo (bowel movements, etc.)

    I just wanted to reply to let you know that I can totally relate with how you’re feeling. It’s hard to have to act mature when you feel so vulnerable. I am seeing a therapist at the Student Psychological Services offered on my campus. It has been really helpful being able to talk with someone unbiased and objective about everything. Even though my friends are a great support system and help me in so many ways (I can’t drive because of seizures so they take me everywhere) I can’t fully relate to them and they can’t always offer the support I need. And even though my family is such an amazing support system, it is nice to be able to talk with someone else who I know will say what needs to be said and not just what I want to hear.

    You’re not alone. Hang in there. I’m sure it will get better. And you can get great scholarships for college stuff I guess that’s one of the “perks” of cancer.

    Becky

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001724731920 Michael Mintzer

    Hi Katie,

    My name is Mike. I was diagnosed with brain stem glioma June 28, 2010. I was gold there is no cure for this. One thing that helps me is thinking about all the dying, starving children in 3rd world countries that don’t have anything. I feel lucky to have a bed to sleep in.

    They put hospice care in, they asked if I wanted a breathing tube, they told me there was nothing they could do. The tumor shrunk.

    30 days of radiation did nothing.

    What is a bone marrow aspirate? That’s awesome that you want to be an oncology nurse. I hope to talk to you again soon. Keep me posted on how you are doing.

  • jordan

    Hey i also go to a hospital where majority of the people are little kids and babys im 20 years old but have been fighting hogdkins lymphioma since i was 16. Yea it is denfintly lonely when you have no one your age to talk to… Yes having your family there is amazing but unless one of them has had cancer themselves it is still hard cause they cant totally understand. Im looking for some friends myself im not sure how this works but im here if u wanna talk!!

  • Rachel

    Hi Katie,

    I’m 18, and like most of the people who’ve responded I haven’t been able to meet/talk to many people my age that had cancer. I had Stage 4A Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and though I’ve been in remission for two years now, I still struggle trying to live a normal life. It’s great that you’re going into nursing; I’m sure you’ll be everybody’s favourite nurse.

  • Elizabeth

    Hey Katie, I have not gone through this myself but I’ve lived with my Grandparents since I was born and I lost my pappaw 5 years ago to lung cancer and like 6 or 7 years ago i found a place on my mammaw and it turned out to be skin cancer the worse kind also melanoma. While going through all this I was only like 8 or 9. I’m now 14 and I still have my mammaw. But I can’t say exactly i know how you feel because I don’t but I do know how I feel that I don’t really have anyone to talk to also. But yeah <3

  • http://www.myspace.com/www.uniqueblondiee lettie

    Heyyy I’m undergoing tests for ovarian cancer results day thursday I’m really nervouss call it gut feeling haaa! Anywyways if you wantt to chat my email is uniqueblondiee@gmail.com and ill email you back when I get it! :y xxx

  • http://www.google.com/ Howdy

    Articles like this are an example of quick, hfelupl answers.

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