Growing up is hard to do. As a 24 year old, just starting out in the working world, being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma can be a big blow. Here's my attempt at putting it behind me as smoothly as possible.

29 September, 2005

I'm missing something...

Dawn shaved my head today. I don't know what to think of it yet. I guess it's not as horrible as I was imagining.

To the Victoria folk, I just got the a-ok from Howie and booked my flight out for Head of the Gorge today. Dawn and I will be coming out on the Thursday afternoon and flying back Sunday night. I can't wait to see you guys!

27 September, 2005

Just say no to your fears!

After I was diagnosed I was scared that my PET scan results would come back showing that I had a large spread of cancer. I got the results back and I had a large spread. I've been fearing having a low white blood cell count because that would mean I would have to inject myself with Neupogen daily. Today, the doctor told me I have a low white blood cell count and here comes the Neupogen! From now on, I'm going to think happy thoughts and hopefully only good things will happen.

I guess the first chemo really took my bone marrow out and it's not recovering too well, so they have to delay chemo #2 until next Wednesday. After that I have to inject myself with Neupogen on the 5th, 6th and 7th day following each treatment. Each injection costs $270! Thank you Sun Life!

23 September, 2005

After Chemo

I'm feeling pretty much back to normal now. After the first chemo I was nauseous for about 4 days. I felt like I was about to throw up all the time and especially if I tried to eat. I lost about 8 pounds during those 4 days. About Monday my stomach began to return to normal and I have put 4 pounds back on since then. I've had a headache pretty much constantly since chemo. It's not too bad but it's a constant annoyance. My chest/lungs started hurting on about Saturday and still hurt now when I take a deep breath.

I read up about Bleomycin and it's effects on your lungs. It causes lung damage and will cause oxygen toxicity problems which means that I can never scuba dive again as well as never being able to be put on oxygen in the hospital. This was quite the kick in the nards to me because I just got certified about 2 years ago and was really enjoying it. I was planning on diving in Hawaii in April. I try to keep my spirits up by saying that cancer is just a temporary thing and after 6 months I'll be back to normal, but stuff like this drags me back down again. I realize that I'll never be the same again and it's a scary thought.

15 September, 2005

Chemo #1

It turns out they do all of the chemo through a hand IV, I hate hand IVs! It took a bit to get it in and it never really stopped hurting for the whole 2 hours or so that it was in. Everything else was pretty uneventful. The last drug they gave me made my veins burn all the way up my arm but then they mixed more sugar solution into it and it helped a bit. My Dad, sister and her boyfriend, and my girlfriend all were there with me which was really nice.

Afterwords it wasn't too bad. I had to go to the bathroom lots because of having so much fluid given to me in the IV. The first time it was red too (one of the chemo drugs is bright red and makes your urine red)! I started to feel a little bit sick to my stomach last night, but it wasn't too bad. This morning I woke up with what feels like a really bad hangover. My stomach is a mess and I have a headache. I took my Zofran pill and it helped a bit, but it doesn't seem to make too much difference.

13 September, 2005

Excuse me?

I have always believed that I caught this early, and I've always feared that I hadn't. It looks like my fears have won. I got the PET scan results today and not only is the cancer on both sides of my lymph node system it's also spread to my liver. So instead of being Stage 1 (the best) as they originally thought I am now Stage 4 (the worst). I will now have to have at least 6 months of chemotherapy and survival rates drop a bit. I have to go for an MRI of my liver soon as well. Ever since my diagnosis I've never really feared for my survival, I was mostly just worried about possible side effects of the treatment. I think that has now changed.


I had a great time last night! Most of my Calgary friends showed up at the Bull & Finch and we had some food and drinks. I wanted to have a little get together before chemotherapy started and I think it was a success! Sometimes it amazes me how many great friends I have, I consider myself incredibly lucky to have so much support. Thank you to everybody!

08 September, 2005


Just got back from getting my stitches out of my neck. I asked for the results from the biopsy and it's nodular sclerosing Hodgkins lymphoma. I was pretty sure I had Hodgkins all along, but I'm still feeling kind of crappy. I guess I still kept a little bit of hope that it might not be cancer. Oh well, I'm glad chemo is starting next week so that I can get this going.

06 September, 2005

A Wild Weekend

I was in the Okanagan with Dawn for the long weekend, visiting my Grandma, touring some wineries and getting some time on the beach. We stayed at a nice bed & breakfast in Peachland. It was all great except that we were going to hit the beach on Sunday but it was cool and rained a bit so we didn't end up going. We had some excitement the first night when we almost walked right into a black bear on a dirt path by the golf course and on our brisk walk home we walked right past another one in the bushes (maybe 2-3 feet away!). I saw it first and didn't tell Dawn because I thought she would run! Sunday night a coyote got into our bed & breakfast and their dog fought it in the kitchen and pushed it out of the house! Excitement aside, it was a great trip and it was nice to have a little bit of a vacation.

01 September, 2005

PET Scan

Yesterday was pretty uneventful. The radioactive glucose was a little bit late from Edmonton. I wasn't supposed to have surgery for 2 weeks before the scan, and this would have been fine, but since they delayed it I had minor surgery the 2 days prior! They said it was okay though because they were both pretty minor, but I was worried for a bit that they might have to delay it for another 2 weeks!

They got me into a small, dark room with a nice recliner chair. They injected the glucose through an IV and I sat still in my chair for about an hour. I just had an hour long nap! Then the scan took about an hour and I went home.

I get my stitches out of my neck next Thursday and then I have my appointment the next Tuesday. I feel free not having too many doctor's appointments coming up! I leave tomorrow morning for the Okanagan with Dawn and I'm very excited about the trip. It will be so nice to get away and relax for a while.