Friday, April 13, 2007

The latest news is that I'm being transferred tomorrow morning to NIH to participate in a clinical trial chemo treatment called EPOCH. I was supposed to start chemo this afternoon, but my doctor found out about this treatment and spoke with the doctor at NIH, who happens to be the only doctor in the country who follows this protocol and he has admitted me to the program. Apparently, getting into this program is a major deal because they don't just admit anyone and I guess I'm in good physical condition to where I'm a good candidate. So I guess it's a good thing after all that I herniated my disc in my back a couple of years ago and started all that physical therapy. I will hug my trainer when I get a chance!

I have been officially diagnosed with diffuse large b-cell lymphoma, and there's a technical name but I can't remember it offhand, but it's the GOOD lymphoma if there ever was one. I do not have any cancer in my bone marrow, so that's also good news. I will be at NIH all day tomorrow talking to the doctor and the nurses and meeting with the social worker there for information about the program and then hopefully start this show on Friday. My chemo will be administered through a continuous 24-7 IV with medication that I'll wear in a fanny pack for 5 days and then I'll have 2 weeks off before I start the next round. It should take about 6 months for the whole program. I'll have good days and bad days and I could lose my hair, so I've decided to cut it short next week so I don't have to face the trauma of seeing large clumps fall out in the shower. Plus, I really don't have to want to deal with maintaining it in the months ahead.

If you want to come visit in the weeks ahead, just please call first in case I'm not up to company and Mike is playing gatekeeper for me! No flowers since they could have germs, but I might appreciate some chicken soup now and then. I have no food restrictions so bring on the Krispy Kremes. :-) A dear friend is setting up a blog for me where I'll post updates when I can and you can also include comments, so look for information about that soon.

Thanks for all of your prayers, well-wishes, and thoughts. It has really meant a lot to both Mike and I in the past week. It's been very hard, but I think it'll get better now that we know what we're dealing with and can fight it with knowledge and the proper treatment.


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