Hodgkin's Lymphoma: a Hodgkin's Disease Survivor

Uploaded by ElCaminoHospital on 13.07.2010

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>> I went and a standard TB test done
with my primary care physician, and...
didn't think anything of it.
Couple of days later I went back and they noticed
that it was positive, asked me the standard questions -
if I was traveling internationally
or may have been exposed to someone who had TB.
And the answer is no, so they thought oh that's OK,
you probably...
just go ahead and let you have an x-ray done just
to confirm that.
The day after my doctor called and said
that they had found a mass on the upper front left of my lung,
and they wanted to have me take another x-ray just to make sure.
And the next day it was confirmed that there was a mass
on the front left of my lung.
Concerned, but I really didn't want to get really worked
up about it because I really wasn't sure what it could be.
So my doctor had then referred me to a specialist,
cardiovascular specialist, to do further testing.
Spent several weeks with biopsies and CT scans, MRIs,
just trying to pinpoint what it was.
And then it was determined that it was lymphoma,
but they weren't sure which lymphoma it was.
And then I was then referred to Dr. Shane Dormady to finalize
that and then go through treatment.
Yes, so 12 weeks of chemo and then 13 sessions of radiation.
At that point it was still overwhelming.
I remember meeting Dr. Dormady for the first time, and...
having that experience of...
his voice kind of slowly diminishing, and watching him,
his mouth move but not hearing his words.
And I just had to shake out of it and listen
to what he was suggesting what the treatment should be,
and then really tackling this and moving forward
and getting this cured.
So I don't think...
the emotion was still very shocking and overwhelming
but I just wanted to take care of this, and so whatever needed
to be done to get it taken care of.
At the Cancer Center I felt welcomed.
I was very impressed how they always remembered my name,
and then my family as they would come with me to my appointments.
I almost felt like I was adopted into their family.
We were just 1 big team tacking this together.
It was just very impressive, their professionalism,
the way that they cared for me, my family,
and just from observation with other patients as well.
To this day I still keep in touch with them,
so we just continue to be this 1 big happy family and team
that we're still working with post op.
So it was a great experience.
I almost sometimes made me feel I wasn't going
through treatment, and then when I would leave then feel the
after effects, but I wish they were still with me
by my side holding my hand or talking
to me and offering support.
Yes, actually I was cleared.
I was pronounced in remission in July.
But I hadn't really gone through radiation yet,
so even though my doctor told me he was really confident
that I was in remission, I really wanted
to see what the result of the PET scan was going to be
in December after I was done with the radiation.
And so when that was completed and Dr. Dormady gave me the news
on December 22 to be exact, I was ecstatic
and it was the best Christmas present ever.
I finally showed the emotions
that maybe I kept inside all that time.
Just now overwhelmed with happiness and just excited
that now we've overcome this together.
So yeah, it was a great feeling and I will never forget that,
and have thanked him face to face
when I have my post op appointments, or via email
and tell him he's just the best.
So yeah, it was great news.
So at the beginning of the year I became involved
with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, team in training.
It was something that I wanted; I was planning to do already,
thinking about it last year.
With the diagnosis it was even more important for me
to become involved because now it had affected me personally,
so I inquired about becoming an honoree
and a participant at the same time.
I was welcomed with that as well through the organization.
In the last few months we've been training
for A Century Ride, which is 100 miles to an event
in Lake Tahoe Nevada, well in California depending
on what point we're going to ride.
And the training's been great,
actually completed our last big...
mile ride, 84 miles this past Saturday,
and they've declared us completed with our training
so now we just taper down the next couple of weeks
and participate in the event.
So I'm really looking forward to that.
Life is pretty good, yeah I've got a milestone birthday coming
up, got the ride to look forward to, other events
that involve being part...
a survivor of cancer, wanting to participate
and volunteer my time further
with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society,
or at El Camino Hospital.
I'm still in touch with the concierge at the Cancer Center,
so that's an option as well.
I want to get my children involved.
The biggest thing still that I think about in the back
of my mind is I hope that my children don't experience what I
have gone through, or become diagnosed
because you really don't know what a person really goes
through unless you've experienced it yourself.
I would do it all over again
to avoid my children having to go through that.
So that's probably one of the biggest fears that's still
in the back of my mind, but yeah life's great, back to normal,
and I look forward to...
just adding more fun to my life
and just watching my children grow up.
So it's been good.
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