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The Year in Review

This has been one hell of a year.

New job
Move from Delaware to Tennessee
Cancer diagnosis
Sucky cancer news
More chemo
Hospital stay
Move to Pennsylvania
Even more chemo
Lots of really long hospital stays

Like I said, one hell of a year. The year started off well. I was offered a new job in Tennessee, so the family started the process of relocating our lives. The kiddo got settled into a new school, a new swim team, and we found her a girl scout troop. Things seemed to be going good, except that Space had trouble finding a job. That actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

April started the suckage. What was originally thought to be pneumonia wound up first being diagnosed as lung cancer. Then it became Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and finally it was decided that I have the funky Stage IV gray zone lymphoma. Of course, I have to be unique! It was mostly concentrated in my lungs, with a few other areas here and there. My parents were a huge help and stayed with us through the summer.

Three cycles of R-CHOP later, I got another scan that was supposed to show all the poison they were pumping into me had worked and I had licked the Big C. It turned out to be the exact opposite. The cancer progressed through the chemo, and I was lit up like a Christmas tree on the scan.

That’s when the whirlwind really started. Like I said, it was actually a good thing Space hadn’t found a job in Tennessee yet. She works for a group of cancer docs that deal specifically with lymphoma and stem cell transplants. After getting my first round of R-ICE at Vanderbilt, we moved up to PA. But, of course, things couldn’t be simple. The R-ICE completely kicked my ass, and I wound up in the hospital with a fever while we were packing up the house. Space’s family were great in helping us move and were able to take the kiddo back with them while Space and I waited out the hospital stay.

We finally got to PA, got the kiddo registered for yet another school and swim team, then started the frenzy of doctor appointments at Jefferson. I was admitted for what was supposed to be a 3-day hospital stay for my second round of R-ICE. It wound up being 35 days, and had what seems like every complication in the book. Finally got out, and four days later I was back in with fevers and a bleed near the hip. Lots more scans and several procedures later, I got out after 3 weeks, 2 days before Thanksgiving. We did find out that almost all of the cancer in my lungs was gone. But it couldn’t be that easy. Something was still active in the scan, and now they’re trying to figure out what it is.

The next month was relatively uneventful. No fevers for over a month, but had to journey into the city every day, and I do mean EVERY day, for IV antibiotics and whatever else they decided I needed. After being able to spend Christmas at home, I was admitted back to Jefferson the next day with yet another fever.

At this point, they’re talking at least one more round of chemo, but most likely two. They’re going to try to collect my stem cells, but I will most likely be getting a transplant from an unrelated donor sometime in the coming months. Just have to keep getting stronger and finally kick this cancer’s ass rather than it kicking mine.


2 Responses

  1. So proud of your commitment to beat the cancer. Keep fighting. Mom


  2. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?




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