Saturday, November 25, 2006

New to SharingOurDays -- Another Dose! (Hodgkins Lymphoma)

Hey Y'all,

Here's a blog from Jeff, who has Hodgkins Lymphoma. What I particularly like is that Jeff has a huge nework of supporters who contribute to his blog on a regular basis. If we all had a network like this, life would be a lot easier.

- sean

"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail"

After last week's bombshell, this week has been spent developing a plan of action for handling my relapse. I ended up not getting my port placed on Tuesday, since we wanted to hammer our the exact details of treatment before geting carried away.

Basically, my PET shows 4 or so cancerous masses in various locations around my chest, and some activity in my neck (where presumably this all started). My doctor, Jeffrey Wolf, Craig Moskowitz from Sloan-Kettering in NY, Stephen Foreman from City of Hope in LA, Michael Kaplan from Stanford, and Patrick Swift from here in Berkeley all have agreed on the same treatment.

Here's the low down:

Month 1: 2 cycles of chemotherapy, each cycle will be 3 straight days of chemo. I'll be in the hospital since it's a tough couple of days on the body. I'll have a week, possibly 2, off, then a second round. The regimen is called ICE for the type of drugs used (ifosfamide, carboplatin, etoposide).

Month 2: 4 weeks of radiation. A half-hour or so each day they fire up the X-Ray machine, and aim it straight at anything that's left after the chemo.

Month 3: A Stem-Cell Transplant (also known as a bone marrow transplant). This is pretty rude procedure meant to annihalate any remaining cancer left in my body. So there it is, it appears that the next couple months are all planned out pretty well. I need to spend the next week or so getting things in order, and figuring out what I'm going to do about school. I'm also considering continuing the treatment back in NY, possibly at Sloan-Kettering, or someplace closer to Albany. Those exact details need to be hammered out, but in the meantime I'm planning on starting the first rounds of treatment here, since regardless of the location, the treatment will be the same. I head in to the hospital Monday morning, they'll place my port (permanent IV), then do a quick biopsy to double check that the cancer is still hodgkins.

Phew, what a week!



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