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Unread 01-22-2007, 06:50 PM

I went today and had my tour of the chemo area at my cancer center. I have my first treatment on Thursday. I feel bad becuase I don't want to look at or talk to anyone there. I'm usually the opposite. It's just wierd that everyone there is so much more older than I am. Anyone else feel like that? Also wondering if anyone else from New Hampshire?
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Unread 01-22-2007, 06:57 PM

Yep, definately felt that way! I dreaded going to chemo because of the other patients. We got it in a side office from the onco's, so it was just the patients of the 2 doctors there. But...all the women there had children my age, some had grandchildren my age. I had quite a few women say to me "you're too young to be here". I tried talking to them...but each week I felt more and more excluded from their convos. Fortunately they had a tv there and the doctors assistant was around my age, the nurse wasn't much older than I am either...I talked to them, slept, or watched tv.
Unread 01-22-2007, 07:38 PM

Everyone is in a different place. Don't take things personal. I am most near 51 and sometimes I feel like others are shutting me out and other times there's someone who wants to talk. I go prepared to mind my own business and if an opportunity opens I take it. Actually most of them sleep and I hardly ever do. This is the first treatment that by 1PM I'm dozing for about 30-40 minutes. Otherwise I'm reading, listening to music, balancing my checkbook, whatever. It whiles away the time and the day goes much faster. I'm ready to be outta there come 2:30.
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Unread 01-22-2007, 07:59 PM

Diva32 - I am about to start undergoing chemo in about 3 weeks time and I have kind of been dreading the same thing. I am 29 and everytime I go to my GYN/ONC office, I feel so out of place. Every now and again I will see someone about my age, but not very often.

I will be undergoing radiation at the same time and from what I have heard it makes you pretty fatigued, so I think I will be doing a lot of sleeping too. But otherwise I intend to take a light book or some easy movies to watch on my laptop.

I guess I am pretty lucky in that I can keep myself company. I don't mind if I don't chat with anyone.

I hope your first chemo session goes well.
Unread 01-22-2007, 08:04 PM

I know Thursday I just want to walk in with my dark sunglasses and my mp3 player on and wait my long six hours and get it over with and get out of there.
Unread 01-22-2007, 08:07 PM


I understand how you feel. I've had to visit a cardiologist a few times and I was the youngest patient there. I know it is better to be screened, diagnosed, and/or treated early, but I still was a lil saddened by the fact that I was so much younger than the rest of the patients.

I had to remind myself that everyone's path is different and I am on path regardless to what that path is, as long as I am doing my best and doing what I am supposed to be doing.

I trust God will give you a spirit of peace and comfort as you begin your treatments. I find it helps at difficult or aqward times to try and deal with things with a lil humor if I can. It really does make the rough going better.

Take care
Unread 01-22-2007, 10:36 PM

The time passes more quickly if you can talk with other patients. But everyone is different. If you can't talk well with people who are older than you are, I'm sure they'll understand. When I was in chemo I very much enjoyed talking with women were much older than I and those who were much younger. It was interesting to hear how they got to where they were, much like the journeys that we read about here. Cancer effects all of us in many similar ways, many similar feelings, but it also effects each of us differently, depending on where we are in life and what kind of cancer we have, what stage, etc. I'm always interested in the stories, the journeys, and learning how women of all ages deal with this miserable disease. I learned a lot from the women in the infusion room, many who had struggled with cancer for years. One woman had ovarian cancer for 10+ years, and she was still in her 40's. Her children were in their teen years. They'd grown up with their mother getting cancer treatments, including 5 surgeries and countless chemo treatments. She was such an inspiration! She was living her life to the fullest, playing tennis, going out with friends, raising her children, traveling to the Caribbean and all over the US on family vacations. She was planning a huge anniversary party for her parents and would discuss the details with us while we all got our chemo. She brought in pictures of her daughters at birthday parties, vacations, and other family events.

Everyone has a story, regardless of their age, marriage status, or anything else. You can learn alot from the other women who have been where you are. But if you don't feel like talking, if you're too upset, or whatever, they'll understand. They've probably been there too. They're aware that everyone handles this differently. And some people just aren't comfortable talking about themselves or hearing about others. They'll understand. Although I'm not sure they'll understand about the sunglasses.

Best wishes to you. The first chemo is the worst because you don't know what to expect. It won't be nearly as bad as you fear and everyone will be nice and try to make you feel as comfortable as possible. Do whatever works best for you.

Love and hugs,
Unread 01-23-2007, 02:43 AM

Hi everyone- When I went for my treatments, which were radiation in the waiting area the women counldn't wait to chat. Each one had their own stories and we learn off of each other. I found it rather comforting.
Unread 01-23-2007, 05:21 AM

Hi 32diva, I'm not from NH, but I am north of Boston. I have my first visit to oncology today, so I guess I'm not too far behind you, and I'm wondering how I will react as well.
Unread 01-23-2007, 05:59 AM

Dear Diva,

At my chemo center they have private rooms with beds (overlooking Biscayne Bay) and also the chairs area, which is more open (although each chair is in its own cubicle).

I did all my chemo in a private room with my husband to talk to, and drop in visits from my son, daughter, and sil. Even at my age (52), most of the patients were much older than myself, although I saw younger ones, too. Didn't really talk to any of them, though, at least not at chemo.

My husband and I did more chatting at radiation, where we were all sitting around waiting together. One woman, recently widowed and in from another country, loved talking to my husband as I think she misses male company. We met another woman with a beautiful singing voice and a charming personality who got lung cancer even though she never smoked, but she did perform in smoky bars (NO MORE SECOND HAND SMOKE!!). The people at radiation were all ages and from all walks of life, and I enjoyed meeting them and their families.

Your idea to show up with your mp3 player is a good one -- if you don't want to talk, then just stay "plugged in" and that will serve as a message that you don't feel like chatting. Do try a little conversation once or twice, though, as you might find support (or give it!) in surprising forms.

Best of luck to you going through chemo.

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