• What would you say has been the hardest part of your cancer experience up until now? And, on the other side of that, what has been easiest?

    Asked by GregP_WN on Thursday, October 19, 2017

    What would you say has been the hardest part of your cancer experience up until now? And, on the other side of that, what has been easiest?

    We here lots of people that have never been through cancer in any way that spout about how hard chemo is or radiation, or other types of treatments that they "heard" about. Since you have first hand experience now, which was the toughest part, and which has been easiest.

    I'll say that out of all three diagnoses I've had, and all the treatments and procedures, that recovering from the radical neck dissection was the toughest part. That was misery for over a month.

    The easiest was the first course of radiation treatments that I had in 88, they were nothing like what I had in 2009,

    24 Answers from the Community

    24 answers
    • Newby2Cancer's Avatar
      Newby2Cancer

      For me it's been the disfigured face and eye. People are just so rude, curious maybe, but it feels rude to stare at you. And some even say some terrible things.

      11 months ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      The hardest part of my cancer experience occurred after my first IV infusion of chemo. The next day I started to spike a fever. By late afternoon it had continued to rise so my gyn/ onc told me to go to the ER. This was on a Friday night and
      the ER was slammed. While waiting to be seen, they monitored my temp . and blood pressure. After four hours I was seen by a physican who stated I needed to be admitted. There were no beds available however so I spent the night on a guerney in an empty exam room. I spent the next five days in the hospital undergoing all kinds of tests. Finally the fever abated and I was released. The consensus was, I had experienced a “ tumor fever” and not an adverse reaction to the chemo,so, my treatments resumed.
      The easiest part was going through my last chemo treatment. It had been a long journey since diagnosis, and my final treatment had been postponed twice due to low WBC counts, so when I was able to do it, I felt very relieved and grateful.

      11 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      The hardest by far was chemo. I will be hard-pressed to do chemo again.

      The easiest has been immunotherapy.

      The actual process of radiation was easy, but I am still having a ton of fatigue from it. So, it falls into the medium-hard range.

      11 months ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      The hardest thing for me has been the lingering side effects. The neuropathy in my feet is the worst. I have tried many things to help, but nothing takes it away completely. I force myself to keep doing what I want to do, but some days are harder than others. The most hurtful thing that I had happen was being referred to as "sir" when I had no hair and even when I had very short hair. Even though I was dressed in female clothing and had a scarf on my head, it still happened. People just don't take the time to think before they speak. I know this will seem crazy to some, but chemo was the easiest part for me. I never got sick and was able to work the whole time.

      11 months ago
    • BeckyTice's Avatar
      BeckyTice

      I would say the hardest thing is the afterlife. Now that the government is attacking the healthcare system, and cancer left me out of work with no private health insurance and expensive pre-existing conditions.... I am afraid of any new "surprise" cancer has for me. Looks like lymphedema might be on the horizon and I don't think I have the money to fight it.

      11 months ago
    • Fightnwin's Avatar
      Fightnwin

      For me the hardest was chemo treatments, i was sick after everyone of them and each time was worse than the previous ones. Down to the last 2 treatments my hands and feet felt like they were stuck in blocks of ice and i couldn't get them warm at all, nothing i tried work.

      The easiest part was hearing "They got it all" and i was done. I still feel cold and my feet and hands still have their days but i WILL live with that, because I AM ALIVE!!!

      11 months ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      @BeckyTice... Please look into "serrapertase" and "nattokenese".

      These are fermented bacteria from foodstuff. I eat an Asian fermented soy called "natto", which I slather in mustard for taste. It is amazingly anti-inflammatory and studies have shown it can be effective against thr development of lymphedema. Use Professor google and see.

      11 months ago
    • Fightnwin's Avatar
      Fightnwin

      @beachbum5817 i also had the "sir" consistently after losing all my hair, it took me months too be"alright" with it. As for the neuropathy its been 2 years and I'm doing the same as you doing what i must, some days i just don't think I'll make it through. But I'm strong and i have the will to survive even with all the pain! Something you can't explain to another that's never been through it

      11 months ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      The fact that my children gave up part of their life to help me through cancer is the hardest part of my cancers. The second hard part of cancer was how hard it hit me financially. The embarrassment of taking charity to pay for my treatment. Last year I learned that it was not over. I spent a total of 10 days in the hospital due to the aftereffects of my 2 cancers. And the Dr.s assure me that there will be more. I have found a Dr. who can remove my teeth and am not saving for that.
      The physical part of cancer was easy paying for it was not.
      I think the hardest part of treatment was Chemo Brain. It took me almost two years to come out of Chemo brain. I am not as smart as I was before Chemo, I am still working on my brain. But that has a Brightside, I am getting older, I am working on my brain so I probably will not decline in the years to come.

      11 months ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar
      Ejourneys

      The hardest part was and continues to be balancing cancer treatment (and now collateral damage and continuing side effects) with fulltime caregiving.

      The easiest part was anything that counts as respite, from taking naps to sitting in the chemo chair and zoning out to music.

      11 months ago
    • Skyemberr's Avatar
      Skyemberr

      On the people side of it the hardest part for ne has been having to tell my kids and husband its cancer, worse when i told them it was metastatic( though my youngest doesnt know that) on the physical side the hardest part was my big cancer surgery last year. I felt like the lady in the magic trick who is sawn in half. That was a very long recovery!!

      the easiest part for me has been my most recent treatment on the truebeam radiation machine. It did cause some pain later and I'm tired, but i only had to go in 4 times and havong the tumor cut out of my lung would have hurt a lot more i think!!

      11 months ago
    • SandiA's Avatar
      SandiA

      The easiest part has been the radiation. 36 treatments went by quickly. The side effects were easy to handle. The hardest has been the auto immune disease I am left with after the immmune therapy. I can be going along okay then the next morning wake up in so much pain I can’t move. That has been hard to deal with.

      11 months ago
    • derbygirl's Avatar
      derbygirl

      The toughest part was going through everything so quickly. Not only did I find out about the tumor during the first surgery, I spent my recovery time going through tests and prep work for a second surgery just 3 weeks later. The easiest part was trusting my doctor because he is the person that I trust more then anyone else. I know he means it when he says for me to put all the worry and fear into his hands and for me to just relax until he tells me there's something to worry about.

      11 months ago
    • charnell's Avatar
      charnell

      Hardest part the non-relenting PAIN. Easiest part actually losing my hair.

      11 months ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      My hardest part was losing my hair because then everyone knew I was sick. The easiest part was trusting my doctors. I was in such a state of fear of the unknown_ that I just trusted my doctors to get me through it. And five years later I am still here and becoming a grandma for the second time!

      11 months ago
    • Paperpusher's Avatar
      Paperpusher

      The hardest part was the chemo. Hubby has already said he won't do it again. Watching him was difficult too. The easiest part was the radiation although hubby hated going. The only side effect so far was fatigue. Two and a half years out and the only side effects that we know he has are kidney damage and tinnitus.

      11 months ago
    • Jalemans' Avatar
      Jalemans

      For me, the hardest part is the unknown... How long before it comes back... Is it back already & I just don't know it yet... Could I possibly be that one miracle where it never comes back... What will happen to my munchkin... Etc.

      Everything else seems easy in retrospect but not while I was going through it. The breast cancer thing felt miniscule in comparason. I guess once you've gone down the path once it isn't so shocking the second time.

      11 months ago
    • lh25's Avatar
      lh25

      Losing my hair was one of the harder things for me too, it was more emotional then I expected. It was an outward sign that I was sick, that I saw every time I saw my reflection. Now however, I have decided to keep it short, it's a reminder of what I've been though and survived. OK, and it's WAY easier to style and I think it looks cute :)

      Like others, chemo was terrible. I would do it again, but pray I don't have to.

      11 months ago
    • petieagnor's Avatar
      petieagnor

      First time around was the nausea & neuropathy which lasted for nearly 5 yrs. Second time, it was the diarrhea which lasted for 6 weeks & kept sending me to the ER. All of this was due to the side effects of the different chemos.
      The easiest part was everyone contributing to the best of their ability and being understanding if I wasn't up to snuff.

      10 months ago
    • Kebohs' Avatar
      Kebohs

      Radiation was the hardest for me. I had 30 treatments. They strapped ny face down to the table and burned away until by the end I was crispy and the side effects of the surgery are still there and I believe will never leave me. The numbness on my neck it’s a daily reminder of my cancer journey but, I’m still well and March will be my 4th anniversary out and it’s promising. I get nervous that it’s coming back every time I get a sore throat etc. but, all in all I’m happy to be here and I love my doctors❣️

      10 months ago
    • BeckyTice's Avatar
      BeckyTice

      I thought being cancer free would mean I was done with cancer.... I hope it means that for everyone else.... but I know it doesn't mean that.....

      My daughter had ovarian cancer.... and now she can't have children... we have been living with that since she was 18. Everyday she is a little depressed because of it.... and yet she goes to work... as a Geriatric Nursing Assistant on the Alzheimer's Ward at the local hospital.

      I had Colon Cancer.... and it got away from the doctors and showed up in my belly button area.... so now I have no belly button...or stomach muscles..... and the surgeries damaged my Lymph system and now I deal with edema every day... and I wear girdles every day.... and I can not pick up anything heavier than a gallon of water.

      I'm extremely grateful that neither of us are dealing with daily physical pain or disfigurement of a visible body part [I can hide my missing belly button area]. We only deal with the mental aftermath.

      So.... the hardest part.... is dealing with the devastation laid on our future.

      10 months ago
    • StegalMan's Avatar
      StegalMan

      For me it's been getting used to the idea of having a colostomy bag. I absolutely hate this. I am hoping that I can have a reversal in the future, but that's not guaranteed.

      10 months ago
    • Beeg2017's Avatar
      Beeg2017

      Emotionally the hardest part was telling my kids. Physically the hardest part was the esopogitis after the radiation treatment to the lungs...eating food was like swallowing broken glass. The easiest part has been the chemo and targeted therapy treatments. Side effects were far less than I was expecting.

      9 months ago
    • kalindria's Avatar
      kalindria

      The hardest part of having cancer was telling my girls that I had stage IV ovarian cancer. IT was also tough to lose my job as it was a big part of my identity as well as the source of my income and health insurance. Luckily, my boyfriend put me on his insurance and can support us both but it still sucks not to be independent. I also hated the loss of control of my body... through the pain from the tumor, side effects from chemo and surgery, etc. It all just sucked. I definitely don't recommend the cancer experience.

      9 months ago

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