I had intended to just let this blog whither on the vine, so to speak. Maybe it would fade away like my cancer. Well, I was wrong about both.
I learned about two weeks ago my Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma had returned. Statistically, I should not have been surprised. About 40 percent of Lymphoma patients have a re-occurrence of their cancer within two years. I made it 18 months.
Hearing you have cancer, as I did April 17, 2015, is a serious game changer full of uncertainly. But hearing that its back is perhaps more of a shock because you have a much better idea of what that means – some sort of chemo therapy.
Well, my initial diagnosis was pretty serious – probably medium grade cancer requiring very aggressive chemo and probably ending with a bone marrow transplant of my own marrow. I was a bit freaked out.
But merely a week ago the final bioposy was deliver to my oncologist, and to a team of four oncologists I had seen for a second opinion and the diagnosis was unanimous. I had low grade lymphoma – less than I had a year ago.
So, here we go. Yesterday, Oct. 26, I had bone marrow withdrawn from my hip (it hurts) and that will be analyzed on the west coast. Basically the docs want to see if any cancer has entered my marrow. Next week I’ll start treatment by having Rituxin (a monoclonal) and Bendamustine, a typical chemo drug. I’ll have both one day and then just the chemo drug the next.
The docs and my chemo nurse from a year ago tell me I should handle this much easier than the traditional CHOP chemo I received last year which kept me from working for four months. I’ll have the two-day treatment then do it again a month later. We’ll do that routine 2-4 times. If the treatment cleans out the cancer, then I go onto a routine of just the Rituxan, every other month, for two years. The gist of the treatment is kill the cancer, treat my blood for two years so it never returns. Now, that’s my words more than the doctor’s but it’s how I understand it.
I’m off today for a fun four-day weekend with buddies planned several months ago. I started a new job just over a month ago and I’m told I should be able to work through this compared to 2015.
The blog is back and I’ll update it.
Dammit. Cancer sucks!