cancervivor's Journey:

Survivor: Hodgkin Disease

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: almost 29 years ago, Male, Age: 55, Stage II

  1. 1
    over 4 years ago
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    Dr. Office visit for Allergy problem

    Other Care

    I had a nasty cough that wouldn't go away. After a month of it I lost my voice. At this point I finally went to the Dr. to get something for it. The Dr. asks, "how long have you had that lump in your neck"? I say, "What lump". I had a golf ball size lymph node, and two marble sized nodes swollen in my neck that I didn't know I had. I didn't even have a family Dr. at that time, was never sick. So if not for a cough that wouldn't go away, or the allergies, I probably wouldn't be here today. I wouldn't have been to the Dr. until it was too late.

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  2. 2
    over 4 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    After the lumps were found in my neck, that I didn't know were even there, I was sent to an ENT to see what the problem might be. The usual routing is, take anti-biotics for a month and see if it's still there. It was. Then a biopsy. A week or so later I was told it was Hodgkins disease. I must have been this Dr.'s first bad news delivery because when he tells me I have Hodgkins, and I say, "what's that"? He told me it was "kinda like cancer", in a stumbling voice. Kinda like being pregnant, right?

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  3. 3
    over 4 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    The lymph nodes affected were removed for further testing to see for sure that I had Hodgkins

    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  4. 4
    over 4 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I was referred to an Oncologist, went to see him and was told the plan of treatment. I was given a bit of hope at this time, by the Dr. He told me that I was lucky to have HOdgkins. Lucky in the fact that if I had Hodgkins 10 years earlier, the cure rate was only 10%, where in 1988 the cure rate had been increased to 90%. So, if your looking at it like that, I guess I was lucky. I was given 6 treatments of ABVD. It made me extremely sick, usually before I could get back home, only 30 minutes away, I would be getting sick out of the car window. After getting home, I would continue to be sick for hours, then go to sleep and sleep for around a day and half. Then I would get up and go to work.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  5. 5
    over 4 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    After the nodes were removed and it was confirmed I had Hodgkins. I was then told I would have to have another surgery to "stage" my cancer. The Dr. says "we will make a "small" incision in your abdomen, and take a look around to see how far the disease has spread." The "small" incision was from bottom of breast bone to below belly button. When I woke and raised the covers to take a look at their work I was wondering how many people were inside me. It was not "small". While in there, they took out my spleen, biopsy of my liver, and removed more lymph nodes from the abdomen. I was told stage II This was an extremely painful surgery, one of the worst out of all of the procedures I have had over the last 24 years.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  6. 6
    over 4 years ago
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    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    Being a guy, I really didn't care that I lost my hair. What was the worst was when someone asked me why I had cut my hair tht way. It looked a little funny before I got it all taken off. An older man in line at a store once asked me why I did that, I said "I didn't do it, the Cancer did" He didn't have much else to say.

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  7. 7
    over 4 years ago
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    Nausea/Vomiting

    Side Effects

    In 1988 there was not as many anit nausea drugs as there are now. I would be sick most of the time with treatment.

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  8. 8
    over 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    This round of Radiation in 1988 was painless, I had very few side effects, and other than a trip to the Hospital every morning, I didn't have to alter my daily life.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  9. 9
    over 4 years ago
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    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    My hair had started to grow back in by the time I started Radiation. The radiation was directed from my chin, down to breast bone. It made my hair fall out just in the back of my head. That looked a little odd.

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  10. 10
    over 4 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    After I had 25 of a scheduled 28 radiation treatments, I was told we were done, the other 3 were not needed. So I didn't question anyone and thought I was done.

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  11. 11
    over 4 years ago
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    Cancer is back/Recurred

    Oh No

    During a routine monthly checkup to follow me, the Oncologist squeezes on my neck looking for lymph nodes like the usually do. I almost jumped off the table. It felt like fire on my neck when he squeezed. I knew then it was back. He left the exam room in a hurry, returned with my blood test results and told me we have a problem. This I already knew. He also told me that they would give me a stronger version of chemo, it would hit me harder than the first, and it would last l longer this time. So, here we go again.

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  12. 12
    over 4 years ago
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    Implant chemotherapy port

    Procedure or Surgery

    During the first rounds of chemo my veins had gotten to the point of being hard, they would roll or blow when they tried to stick me. So before we even started this second chemo regimen, they put in a port. I was very glad to have it and would recomend anyone getting one that was going to have to have an extended treatment of chemo. It's good for blood draws, treatments or administering some of the drugs we have to have during procedures.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  13. 13
    over 4 years ago
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    Low white blood cell counts (neutropenia)

    Side Effects

    Twice during this course of treatment, I had to stop the chemo to let my blood counts come back up. Once, I had a 105.9 fever when I arrived at the er. I spent a week in the hospital just taking an IV drip of antibiotics.

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  14. 14
    over 4 years ago
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    Diarrhea

    Side Effects

    During this chemo treatment I would alternate from diarrhea to constipation. First I was given a little white pill to stop me up, then I would have to take something to make me go. There was no in between.

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  15. 15
    over 4 years ago
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    Implant chemotherapy port

    Procedure or Surgery

    The first port that was put in decided it didn't want to work any longer, so in one operation it was taken out of my left side, and another one was put in the right side. That one worked like a champ for around 15 years until I finally let it go. I was out of treatment for some 15 years and just didn't want to let it go.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  16. 16
    over 4 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    After about a year of treatments, procedures, stopping treatment to let me build back up, scans, and anything they could think of doing to me, I was told for the second time that I was clean. Cancer free and free to go.

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