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Last modified on
Tue Mar 12 2002 21:47:28 PST

Diary

Pre-treatment



May 5-11, 1997 June 2-8, 1997
May 12-18, 1997
May 19-25, 1997
May 26-June 1, 1997


  • May 5-11, 1997

    • Thursday - Have been experiencing some shortness of breath and pain a little below my left shoulder. Decided to make a doctor appointment. First available appointment for my doctor of choice is Tuesday.


  • May 12-18, 1997

    • Tuesday - Have appointment with family doctor. He first suspects a punctured lung, so we start with chest x-rays. X-rays revealed too much distance between the lungs. Doctor suspected a tumor and scheduled a chest CT Scan. Chest pain was never really diagnosed. It eventually went away. I think it was just a muscle strain.

    • Thursday - Have Chest CT Scan with contrast (They gave me an injection to emphasize the veins). Scan shows a tumor. I am immediately referred to a Pulmonologist.

    • Friday - Had appointment with Pulmonologist. He confirms chest mass, based on Chest X-rays and Chest CT Scan. He says Lymphoma is likely. He does physical exam which doesn't reveal any additional problems. He immediately refers me to a Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon for a biopsy.


  • May 19-25, 1997

    • Tuesday - Have consultation with Surgeon. He confirms likelihood of Lymphoma based on the Chest X-rays and Chest CT. His physical exam also turns up no additional problems. He schedules me for biopsy (Left Second Interplace Explore for Section) in two days.

    • Wednesday - Went for surgery pretesting (Chest X-rays, Blood Counts, Blood Oxygen Saturation, EKG).

    • Thursday - Checked in at 6AM for biopsy. Am fully awake and feel pretty good before noon. I want to go home now. Initial pathology of frozen section indicates some form of Lymphoma. Do not expect final results for a few days. Met with Oncologist while still in hospital. He tells me to cancel our upcoming family vacation. He says tumor in chest area could interfere with organs, etc. resulting in an emergency situation. His physical exam reveals an enlarged lymph node under my left arm. He wants me in his office the next morning to extract bone marrow. I am finally released from Hospital about 7PM.

    • Friday - Didn't have much pain from surgery, but took two pain pills (Proproxy) anyway because I had read that extracting Bone Marrow is extremely painful. Went to appointment with Oncologist. Donated six tubes of blood for testing did the physical exam thing again (nothing new). Doctor then took Bone Marrow from one Hip Bone and a Bone Sample from each Hip Bone. It hurt like hell, but wasn't quite as bad as I had imagined. Gallium Scans, a MUGA Scan, and more CT Scans are scheduled. Later in the afternoon the Oncologist's office notified me that the the preliminary pathology of my frozen section indicated Nodular Sclerosing (NS) Hodgkin's Disease. This would be good news as NS HD is usually one of the more treatable lymphomas.

    • Saturday - Received Gallium injection. I am now radioactive. Advised to keep some distance from my children for next two days.


  • May 26-June 1, 1997

    • Monday (Memorial Day) - Had first Gallium Scan and a MUGA scan. Had additional radioactive IV for MUGA. Advised to stay away from children for another day. Seemed like I had to lay still forever for the two scans. Very boring! Gallium scan revealed HD under second arm.

    • Wednesday - Had abdomen and pelvic CT scans (with contrast) in AM. Got to drink Readi-Cat (Barium Sulfate Suspension) the night before. 15oz is a lot when it's Barium Sulfate! Got more Readi-Cat and "yukki lemon-aid" in morning before scans. Scans themselves were quick and easy. Had Oncologist appointment in the afternoon. He confirmed involvement of lymph nodes under second arm. Oncologist indicated that I would be receiving chemotherapy followed by radiation. We decided to go ahead with installation of a port for chemo.


  • June 2-8, 1997

    • Monday - Had Gallium Delay Scan. This scan showed the spleen involvement although I couldn't get anybody to tell me until I met with the Oncologist again on Wednesday. Received Final Pathology report of Nodular Sclerosing (NS) Hodgkin's. Pathology took eleven days!

    • Tuesday - Checked in for port insertion at 6AM. Did surgery pretesting (chest x-rays, blood counts, blood oxygen saturation, EKG) in the morning before surgery. I liked it because it didn't require another trip. Hospital didn't like it. Surgery was performed with a "light" general anesthetic. Got to go home at 10 AM.

    • Wednesday - Saw Oncologist again. He told me about the spleen. He felt that radiation was no longer indicated due to the larger area involved. Will have a consultation with a Radiation Oncologist later to make final decision about radiation. The treatment plan is somewhere between 6 and 8 cycles (12-16 treatments) of chemotherapy (ABVD). Number of cycles will depend on whether there is any more progress between 4th and 6th cycles. Less cycles would be used if we decide to do radiation.

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