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Any other really long-term survivors here?

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  • Any other really long-term survivors here?

    I finished treatment in 1992 for ALL, so this June will mark 25 years of survivorship for me. Aside from a few side effects, I've been relatively healthy and "normal" (is that even a thing?). Wondering if there are any other childhood cancer survivors here from the 80s or 90s and what your experience has been. Thanks!

  • #2
    My daughter is a Wilms tumor survivor. She's was diagnosed at age 5 and she's now 20.
    She's currently a nursing student in her second year at college.
    She has had very few long term physical side effects, but she deals with daily anxiety. I believe it stems from the total lack of control over her childhood cancer diagnosis. I'm hoping at some point she finds the time and courage to seek treatment for it.
    Congrats to you on your health!! It's wonderful to see something uplifting on this board.

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    • #3
      Congrats to you and your daughter, too! So exciting that she's found a path for herself.
      It's interesting you mention anxiety- I struggled with it too around that age (sometimes I still do!). It took me a long time to figure out who I was-- everyone knew me as the girl who had cancer, not the girl who loved to travel and sing and babysit and throw dinner parties with friends. People still asked about my health all the time and it made me paranoid about every bruise and yawn.
      I hope your daughter will talk to someone about how she's feeling. My anxiety really quieted down when I talked about it with a counselor. She helped me see that my life is so normal now that I can let go of all that trauma and just let it be in my past. Easier said than done, but it helped.
      If she ever wants to connect, let her know I'm here
      So glad you're on this board!

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      • MaddysMom
        MaddysMom commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you! I will let her know. I hope she does reach out to you.
        I don't know if it's been your experience, but mostly people think that since she had cancer so long ago and she's healthy now, that everything is in the past. She's still "that girl who had cancer" but at the same time she's also supposed to just have moved on and have no lasting effects from it. Like you said...it's hard to find yourself. Sometimes she feels there is nobody else like her. And because there is only just beginning to be more long term child survivors, there isn't much guidance out there. Even finding a therapist has been a challenge. She's been to a few but hasn't really made a good connection with any of them. She says they don't "get it" and she's probably right, because understanding childhood trauma is one thing, but understanding childhood trauma that wasn't related to abuse or all the associated more common problems is different.
        There are so many levels to cancer and it's aftermath.
        Again, thanks for your posts!
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