BloggerTara's Journey with Hodgkin Disease

Survivor: Hodgkin Disease

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 18 years ago, Female, Age: 34, Stage III

  1. 1
    over 4 years ago
    BloggerTara's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I had just turned 16 a few months before, got my license and a car, got my first real job and was all in all a pretty typical teenage girl. My first symptoms were night sweats and fatigue, but my PCP dismissed it as hormones. Then I started feeling ill at a friend's house on New Year's eve, and within days I couldn't keep anything down. Turned out I had a massive sinus infection that needed to be treated with IV meds. I was given a PIC line and when they checked the position of the PIC line with an x-ray they also found a mass in my chest. A biopsy was schedules and Hodgkin's Lymphoma was my diagnosis. This was about mid-January.

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  2. 2
    over 4 years ago
    BloggerTara's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    over 4 years ago
    BloggerTara's Avatar

    Implant chemotherapy port

    Procedure or Surgery

    The port made sense since I had to have chemo every other week, but I did not want to have it. If my mom hadn't decided for me, I would have not agreed. I was a pretty self-conscience teenage girl and they wanted to put it next to my right breast. I was pretty mortified. In hindsight it was a good idea and I'm glad I did it. I hated it the hole time, but it really was better than the alternative, it just made treatments so much easier. Before my 12 rounds were up though, the doctors think my body rejected it because I got very sick with an infection and had to have it out. I'm sure that doesn't happen often. I still have small scar on my right breast, but I'm kind of proud of my scars now. Plus you can't see it even when I wear a bikini.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  4. 4
    over 4 years ago
    BloggerTara's Avatar

    Chemo brain

    Side Effects

    I hated Chemo from day one. The first two were not too big of a deal, but by number 3 I was loosing my hair and getting very sick. I would usually be very sick for 4 days and then it would start to let up. I'd have about a week of feeling decent to good before my next treatment. By sick I mean that my body would be very achy, my mouth would feel swollen and I couldn't taste anything, but mostly I felt tired and weak. The fatigue pretty much lasted the entire 6 months. I did continue to go to school although I missed a lot of days. I still did track which was a passion at the time and I also still rode my horse whenever I could. I was also expected to continue to clean out my mare's stall and tend to her other needs most of the time. I was very careful about washing my hands and became a bit of a germaphobe, but it didn't really stop me from hanging out with people with the sniffles. About half way through my treatments I started throwing up a lot. I soon learned what things would trigger it, like drinking soda right after an infusion or the smell of hospitals. Towards the end I had to be drugged to get treatments because just walking into the clinic to receive an infusion would make me start hurling. I totally had Chemo brain, sometimes I think I still do, but I'm told that's not possible. I was also anemic the whole time. I also would get numbness in my fingers, there is a name for it I can't recall, but it took years after treatment was done before it disappeared.

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  5. 5
    over 4 years ago
    BloggerTara's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    I had radiation to my chest over a two week time period, if I remember right. It was like having a bad sunburn. I have three permanent dots on my chest from where they lined up the radiation machine- like tattoos. With all my freckles no one ever notices them without me pointing them out. I started having lumps in my breasts in 2011, which are totally benign, but because of my history and having radiation so close to them I now, at age 29, have to get a breast MRI every year and also an ultrasound of the breasts once a year.

    Painless Experience: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  6. 6
    over 4 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    I finished my treatment in June 1999, right before my Sophomore year finals. I also was very excited about 5 years later when my Oncologist said he didn't feel the need to see me anymore. I've thought about having a yearly celebration, sort of a second birthday, on the date I finished treatment, but I don't. I do enjoy joining in other celebrations like Race for the Cure and Hodgkin, Lymphoma and Leukemia events as well as others.

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