The diagnosis is definitely lymphoma, 99% sure it is Hodgkins. This is good (in a relative way). The doc is sending it for a second opinion, but that may not be back for a week or two. He doesn't want to wait that long to start treatment, so we're going to start on the assumption it's Hodgkins, and if it's not, we'll change course. He said the meds will work on any kind of lymphoma, but if it's some other kind, there are other meds that are better.
The treatment is outpatient (YAYE!!!), every other week, injected. Takes about an hour. They'll give me some good nausea meds ahead of time, and some others to take home. If I'm going to be sick, it's 6-8 hours after the treatment. Varying degrees of fatigue are another potential side effect.
Depending on how the tumor reacts, the treatment will go from 4 to 6 months. Once it's gone, they do some radiation to make sure it's really gone, and then I'm cured!
Simple as that.
There are lots of unlikely but possible side effects/outcomes/etc. but I'm not going to get into them because they happen to Someone Else.
He said that healthy people get through this much more effectively than unhealthy people, and since I'm fit, not overweight, don't drink and don't smoke, I fall into the healthy category :)
There is a decent chance that I will end up sterile as a result of the chemo, though he said that many women have come through it and then had families. But this is the thing: I'm going to lose my periods, and if they come back, then I can get pregnant. If not, I can't. Seems kind of win-win to me, since families can be started by other means as necessary.
My hair will fall out and will grow back. (My friend shaved my head last night, #4 all the way around, so there's less hair to fall out now anyway. And I'm kinda diggin' this look...)
I'm done school for the year, though I am hoping/planning to be able to go in for a morning or afternoon and say hello to people, and goodbye to my kids who are moving or going to other schools next year.
Other things: my breathing today is not as good as it was yesterday, which is concerning. Hopefully we can get this breathing nonsense taken care of ASAP.
There were several really painful and fruitless procedures today, which made for a very unhappy afternoon. They will be re-attempted tomorrow, under sedation :)
That's my story to date. I feel much relief and am looking forward to kickin' it and movin' on!
Another self portrait
2 weeks ago