The Cancer is Back!
The mindset one needs to fight cancer is an exhausting one, especially when your cancer comes back one month after ending six months of treatment. My outlook was to spend time regaining my strength and recovering from the side effects caused by the chemo treatments. I wanted to get back to living life with my best friend, partner, and love, plus I wanted to get back to working on my business; instead, I was faced with the fact that I needed to dig deep and adjust my mindset once again.
Two Months to Know What’s Next
It has taken a little more than two months to know what my next treatments will look like. Sadly, they’ll be more difficult than before. This time, instead of going in every two weeks for a few hours of chemo, I will need to be an in-patient at the hospital for a minimum of 3 days each time. This chemo cocktail will be more aggressive, just like my cancer. For those that don’t know, I have stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It’s the type of cancer that if you were forced to choose one, you would choose this one. It responds easily to chemotherapy, and like one doctor told me, it cuts through cancer like a knife.
That’s great, but it tends to come back in a few years. MINE CAME BACK IN ONE MONTH! It’s just so difficult to accept, but I need to. I need to also get past the depression that I have been feeling and get myself ready for three treatments of this new cocktail.
Yes, three treatments. I go into the hospital for 3 days, rest for 21 days, go back for 3, rest 21 and then go back for three, but for the last 3-day treatment, I will need to be in Atlanta. This is where I will need to prepare for a stem cell transplant.
I Need a Stem Cell Transplant
The stem cell transplant is similar to dialysis. I won’t need a donor since they will collect my stem cells from my own blood about a week or two after that third chemo treatment. I go home with some self-administered shots that will help build my cells for what comes next.
I will return to Atlanta a couple of weeks later. There, I will be admitted to the hospital for about 3 to 4 weeks. The first week I will be given another extensive round of chemo that will literally wipe out my cells in my bone marrow. This is done to help completely rid my body of cancer.
As you can imagine, this is really dangerous since something as simple as a cold can make me so sick because my body at that time will no longer be able to fight against any infection. After this, they give me back my stem cells so that my bone marrow can begin to heal and produce white blood cells again. The recovery time at this point is only 10 to 14 days, a process that once used to take months.
I will eventually be allowed to leave the hospital, but I will need to stick around Atlanta to make sure that I continue to have positive results, with no complications.
Another slightly discouraging part of the impatient process is that due to the pandemic, I may end up having to spend the entire 3 to 4 weeks alone, and for those of you who don’t know, I have the best caregiver EVER. She will want to be there with me, but if I got Covid-19 during this time with such a compromised immune system, I probably would not survive.
Chemo for Another Year
Now, you would think that after all this, I should be done with cancer… which is exactly what I thought, so I asked the question: What is the likelihood that the cancer returns? I was shocked to hear that it’s still 50% at this point… 50%!!!
So, in order to increases my chances of not getting it, I will still need to have a chemo treatment once a month for a YEAR!!! Talk about needing to find a positive mindset through all this. I try not to get stuck in my own head thinking about it all, but now that I am no longer waiting to hear about what will happen next, I need to keep distracted. I need to get back to walking, exercising, and eating healthier… I mean, we did just finish up the holidays… lol. I also need to work on this, writing in my new blog. I find that it helps to share my thoughts. It also helps when I hear from all of you who are following me.
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