WonderKitty's Journey with Hodgkin Disease

Survivor: Hodgkin Disease

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 8 years ago, Female, Age: 32, Stage II

  1. 1
    over 4 years ago
    WonderKitty's Avatar

    Whether or not to go tot he doctor for the lump on my neck

    Decision Point

    I had found a small lump just above my collar bone on the left side quite a long time ago, but it was so small, that I didnt think anything of it. When I noticed it again and found it to be bigger, and getting bigger at a pretty rapid pace, I had to decide if I thought it was something to worry about. My mom convinced me it was time to see a doctor.

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  2. 2
    over 4 years ago
    WonderKitty's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I was told that the symptoms I had were condusive of either Leukemia or Lymphoma. I had never heard of Lymphoma before, but I knew that Leukemia was a bad word to hear. I was sent to have a CT scan done right away and by the end of the day I had the diagnosis of cancer. Most likely Hodgkin Disease.

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  3. 3
    over 4 years ago
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    Full on freak out about how my body would handle the treatment

    Oh No

    I was so worried about how sick I would get with treatment. I was having anxiety that made it so I could't sleep at night, or focus at work.

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  4. 4
    over 4 years ago
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    Implant chemotherapy port

    Procedure or Surgery

    I am eternally greatful for my doctors up front decision to have me get a port. It was a weird experience, and having it under my skin was definitly different, but in the long run, I was saved so much pain and suffering cause of that port.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  5. 5
    over 4 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had to have two biopsys of the lump on my neck to determine what kind of lymphoma it was. The first didn't yield enough good tissue, so the next week I had to go under again. This one led to a pretty solid diagnosis of Hodgkin Disease.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  6. 6
    over 4 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I had four drugs given to me through my port. It took about 2 and a half hours and I tried to sleep the whole time. I would get a weird feeling during the procedure, and it wouldn't leave for 6 months. Sometimes I would feel a little better, but most of the time I would just feel tired, and have a funny taste in my mouth. Three of the four drugs had hair loss as a primary side effect so I did lose ALL my hair. Eye brows, eyelashes, everything.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  7. 7
    over 4 years ago
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    Anniversary

    Celebration

    Just days after my first treatment, my husband and I celebrated our third wedding aniversary. We went to a baseball game in our town, and had a great time. It was hard to have the repeated realizations that I had cancer. And that I was just at the begining of this journey.

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  8. 8
    over 4 years ago
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    Other

    Loss

    Hair! I lost all my hair!! It really wasn't that bad once it was all gone, but it was certainly hard when it was happening.

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  9. 9
    over 4 years ago
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    Bone strengthening drugs

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I had to get a shot of neulasta in my arm the day after every treatment to help my white blood cells rebound. The primary side effect of this was bone pain. I had never experienced anything like this before. My bones were tired, and I didnt want to move cause everything hurt, but it didn't feel better by NOT moving. It just hurt for about 3-4 days.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  10. 10
    over 4 years ago
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    Half way!

    Celebration

    When I reached my half way mark it was cause for celebration. I was only to have treatment for 6 months, but even three months in I was looking for land marks to show I was on my way out.

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  11. 11
    over 4 years ago
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    Foot and leg cramps, night sweats, low grade fever.

    Side Effects

    These were primarily side effects of one or two drugs, and they were prominent enough to happen almost every night, and some days. I still have problems with the foot cramps. If I stretch my foot or leg in just the right way I end up with a charlie horse in the arch of my foot.

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  12. 12
    over 4 years ago
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    Amazing home care by my husband

    Other Care

    My husband was laid off from work about a month before I was diagnosed. We were worried about not having his income until we had something more important to be worried about. My health. Having him home was the biggest blessing I could have asked for. He was able to take care of me much better than I could have ever taken care of myself. He got me to eat, he remembered what I liked to eat on different days, and just had it there for me. He got me water, and blankets, and medication whenever I needed him. Having him by my side made all of this so much more bareable.

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  13. 13
    over 4 years ago
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    Birthday

    Celebration

    With only about 3 treatments left I celebrated my 25th birthday. By this time I had met two other women my same age in my same situation. Having that support, even just through email and blogs, was amazing. Those women were amazing.

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  14. 14
    over 4 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    My last treatment was on October 26, 2009. I was so excited I decided to have a Halloween party to celebrate. Halloween is my favorite holiday anyway, and I knew that I had reason to do more than trick or treat. My parents hosted, and let me invite as many people I wanted. I was overwhelmed (and still am!) at the number of people who showed up to congratulate me. It was standing room only for hours in that house. We had so much fun, and I felt so very loved by so many friends and family members.

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