hi, my name is Chantel. im 16 . i found out i was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in the month of July 2010. i was pretty shocked that i got cancer because i thought it came mostly from family genes, but neither my mom or dads side has cancer of any sort, so i learned something new. I was really scared hearing all the stuff i had to go through and not being able to have a good summer. i thought my friends would visit me when i was out of the hospital, but i haven’t seen them in a month and a half and really miss school already. i guess i just feel isolated from everything since i cant be active like i use too.

  • Kym Martin

    Hi Chantel,

    I was visiting the Curesearch website for information and found your post.

    I’ve lived a very similar experience and understand how you’re feeling. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma just after I turned 17. I was treated during the summer between my junior year and senior year of high school back in 1983. No one on either side of my family has ever had cancer, either. What I have come to believe is that I brought my cancer on myself because I had a very stressful childhood and lived a pretty unhealthy lifestyle as a teenager. Our bodies can only take so much stress before something goes awry.

    Like you, I spent my summer in the hospital and also laying low at home so I understand the feelings of isolation. I remember enjoying the visits I had from friends yet it was always a bit awkward because they didn’t know what to say and couldn’t help but treat me differently. You’ve probably already figured out that friends often don’t know what to do or say in tough situations and they don’t want to make you feel bad, either. Many times people avoid facing reality so if you can try not to take it personally, you’ll do yourself a huge favor. It’s great that you have the Internet so you can make new friends, too. : )

    You might want to visit and order the free Cancer Survivor Toolbox under the Resources tab. It’s a series of audio CDs that address many of the issues and topics that are important to cancer surivors and their families. Your parents will learn alot, too so maybe you can all listen together.

    Another site you might enjoy is It’s a site devoted to young adult cancer surivors and it’s a bit edgy so you can say what ever is on your mind. It’s another great community and caters to teens and young adults.

    I’m very sorry to hear you’re going through this experience. Do your best to stay positive and believe that one day you’ll be able to use this challenging time for a great purupose. My cancer experience led to my becoming a nutrition consultant and fitness trainer so that I could learn how to avoid further diagnosis for myself and help others do the same. You may already be thinking of what you’ll do… my guess is it will be something great!

    I hope you feel better soon.


  • Vanessa Ibarra

    Hi my name is Vanessa I am 16. I have what is called myxopapillary ependymoma which basically just means that I have a tumor and cancer in my spinal cord. That tumor has caused some problems for me. My left leg does not have a lot of movement, it feels numb in places, it tingles, it gives out on me so it makes me fall, so then I can not get myself back up just because my left leg is so weak from the tumor compressing on that side more that it does not have the strength. I was diagnosed on November 18, 2009. My reaction to when I found out was probably like yours I was shocked I can’t really explain the feeling. But it was hard on my mom and I and all my other family. But I out of all of my family knew that I had to be strong for them just so I could go on with a semi-normal life. I have been in and out of the hospital since then, the last time I was admitted was on June 6 and got out July 2 of this year. If you need anything please e-mail me I would be glad to have you as a friend and help you through anything and any question =]

  • Leah Shearer

    I think shock is a pretty natural reaction. But I think what is amazing is when you can draw strength you never knew you had. Chantel and Vanessa…you ladies are strong young women. Let’s draw strength from each other.

    Leah (Two-time young adult cancer survivor, TLC Program Coordinator, Rochester NY)

  • Alexx

    If any of y’all every need to just talk or need a friend I am always here.

  • Shannon

    Hello, When i was reading your story i was shocked because i was diagnosed with hodgkin lymphoma in may 2010.. i also was shocked and my friends havent been there for me glad i have found someone who is going through the same as me, i actually am going to school , but i have had a rough day today..i wear a wig and a head scarf but some looser pulled it of so i just whent home. i also feel isolated and i cannot do what i used to do, its a horrible feeling..! maybe we cou ld chat on MSN of if you have facebook and share are from shannon:)

  • ilikecoffee44

    Hello, I am 17 yrs old and i was diagnosed with Hodgins Lymphoma this past April. I just finished up my treatments this past July. I can realte to how your friends won’t talk to you, I had the same problem. I lost alot of my friends just because over the Summer they wanted to hang out and I couldn’t because I didn’t feel like it and couldn’t be around alot of people cause my immune system was low. If you have any questions i’d be glad to talk! =] I wear a hat to school also. And something that really bugs me is when people complain how tired they are and they really don’t know what tired is, for example doing chemo treatments all day or being in the hosital. I allways went neutropenic after my treatments and was put in the hospital for a week, did that happen to anyone else??
    Thank you!

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