As many of you know, I was diagnosed with Stage 2A Hodgkin's Lymphoma January 2006. I underwent 4 cyles of ABVD chemo and 3 weeks of radiotherapy to my chest and neck area. This is standard treatment for Hodgkins. I had clean CT and PET scans last summer as well as last winter. I even had my port removed in December 2006. At my routine CT scan last month, something showed up abnormal. My lymph nodes around my lung area were enlarged as well as some type of infection in my lungs. I had battled that horrible cold/cough in Januray/February and also had really bad allergies in Spring. I thought my asthma was acting up due to treatment, but after consulting a pulmonologist, my lungs are fine and I don't have asthma. I was wheezing due to the enlarged lymph nodes. The prednisone and antibiotics seemed to have controlled it. I was even able to come off the neb treatments. After my CT scans came back, I went to have a PET scan. That lit up as well in the same areas around my lung. My doctors said if it was a relapse, they wouldn't be able to help me. So, off to MD Anderson.
I just had my initial appt. last Thursday. We were there from 11am to nearly 10pm! I didn't get a chance to see my doctor (who left due to a family emergency), but I did see her Nurse Practioner (NP) and another doctor within the Lymphoma Dept. The NP said it could easily be an infection, but if it was a relapse my treatment would be ICE chemo (bye bye hair!) and an auto stem cell transplant (SCT). I knew this already, since I've been doing all sorts of research online in case it is a relapse. The only way we will know is to do a biopsy. Tricky part is the location of these pesky nodes, they are behind my lung. So not cool. We're looking at doing the biospy within the next two weeks, they wanted me to cut the preds because they said it could interfere with the biopsy. I quit cold turkey. They wanted to wean me off over 10 days. LOL! I'm not that dependent on them. Surprisingly, I feel great without the preds and antibiotics. I think I was wheezing more taking them. Funny, eh? They were able to schedule my CT scans, but not until that evening. And since we live across town, we were not leaving this mini-city. I'm hoping the CT scans will show my nodes shrinking from my last test in June.
I returned Friday morning for a bone marrow aspiration and biopsy. After all the horror stories I've heard and seen (thanks "Grey's Anatomy") I was really apprehensive about this. Thankfully, these people are experts and only do these all day long. My tattoos hurt more than this procedure. I'm still a bit sore, but I can live with that. Not bad at all.
The next step is this Thursday. I am doing an echocardiogram to make sure my little ticker is doing fine. The "A" of ABVD treatment can do some damage to the heart. Then I give some blood and then see my regular doctor in the afternoon. I'm anxious to get this over with. I'm just ready to kick cancer's ass if it is back. I'll come out of it bald and (hopefully) thinner. I just know I'll make a beautiful bald, my gorgeous brown eyes will stand out even more. :)
I'll continue to post updates here. I think it's easier than writing emails. I can also post pictures of my journey, if there is one. I found these here http://www.cafepress.com/chucklenut/2619770 and thought they were awesome. If I am relapsing, I will be wearing several of them. lol.