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My Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer Story

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor

Cancer is something you never think will happen to you. I think I’m living proof of that. This page will go into detail my own personal cancer story, detailing when I started having symptoms, what my treatment consisted of, and how I’m doing now.

 

Spoiler: I’m doing fine now 🙂 And I’m thankful for that.

At First a Lump

On January 29th, 2017 I found a lump near my neck / clavicle area.

I found this while I was taking a shower and was cleaning my neck area and thought to myself, “Huh. That’s weird.”

I  decided to make an urgent care appointment to get it looked at.

A Benign Needle Biopsy Diagnosis

After some tests were ordered, such as a ultrasound of the area and one of the first of hundreds of blood work tests, my ENT doctor thought it necessary to perform a needle biopsy on the lump.

The diagnosis that came back? Benign.

But we agreed to look at getting a lymphadenectomy (lymph node removal surgery) if the lump was still there in three weeks time.

Lymphadenectomy - Complications Ahoy!

Three weeks went by. Still a lump.

The surgery went off with many hitches, namely a chyle leak that had me with a tube in my neck for two weeks.

March 8, 2017: Diagnosed with Stage II Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Chemotherapy

I started going through chemotherapy with an ABVD regimen.

A – Adriamycin
B – Bleomycin
V – Vinblastine
D – Dacarbazine

Chemo is a really nasty thing. Pumping poison into your veins is no joke. I had decarbazine leak out of my IV and into my arm the first chemo I had. From then on, I decided to have a PICC line put into my arm.

Number of Chemo Body Poisonings

Radiation

Whereas chemo was an easy, front-line attack choice, I was hesitant to want to go the radiation route.

Shooting rads. At your body? And near my heart, lungs and otherwise?

The NCCN guidelines proposed that combined treatment (chemo + radiation) had the best chance of treating this cancer.

Number of Radiation Zaps

I’m lucky to say that today, I am officially in remission of this thing called cancer.

I said in the beginning: Cancer is something you never think will happen to you. People live their lives as they do, whether destructive in some way or otherwise.

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.

I had an attitude throughout this whole journey of mine, from first feeling my lump to my last radiation appointment. That feeling can be summed up by the quote above (bolded emphasis mine).

There is no why. No reason why this cancer hit me vs. someone else. No reason why recurrence will always be on my mind from now on, whenever I’m feeling tired for an extended amount of time or if I think I feel a lump elsewhere on my body.

All we can do is live in the moment. In the now. Take stock of what we have and be grateful. For friends and family. And those we choose to surround us.

I’m infinitely grateful to my wife Jess who was someone I leaned on quite a bit during this whole process, both emotionally and physically. I’m grateful to my parents who made sure I was comfortable and did everything they could to help me. I’m grateful for everyone who made us meals, who dropped by to say hello and wish us well, who mailed cards offering a cheerful sprit and positive messages.

I’m grateful for my children, Marleigh and Penny, who were the bright spots in a dark time.

I’m lucky. This cancer was extremely unlucky to hit me, just about the luckiest guy in the universe.

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