My journey - battling lymphoma

Recently I celebrated my 46th birthday. I love celebrating birthdays! Then I participated as a co-captain for our local "Quabog" Relay For Life and the Pack 57 Rocks! Cub Scout Team. This was the time frame that I had discovered an uneasiness in my stomach and growth in my spleen and stomach. After weeks of monitoring, my husband Steve took me to the doctor who felt the lumps and ordered a CT scan. The CT scan showed a massive area, my spleen enlarged to twice its size and an additional growth lower in my stomach. Next was the localized CT guided biopsy and subsequent PET scan. The biopsy showed positive for lymphoma and most likely Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma.

This is my online journal sharing my experience through battling this cancer that has abruptly entered my life for no apparent reason. The story is documented here if you want to start from the beginning, you can check the archives on the side bar.

As a top competitive master athlete this year winning my age group at the Marine Corps Marathon and placing 3rd in the New England Trail Running Championship I have been truly excited with my results of late and am a truly driven athlete. Driven by goals.... my goal right now.... to beat this "thing"!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Here we go - this is a timeline of each point in the road on this journey to date....

June 1 (approx) - Felt a little sick on my runs, stomach just not right...

June 7 (approx) - Felt a lump in my stomach, maybe digestive issues, diet?  Tried various things... Steve helps to monitor and watch the size.  Stomach sick, appetite supressed, a little nausea are my other symptoms

June 18 - Lump has grown bigger, Steve encourages me to make an appointment with my doctor

June 23 - appointment with Dr. Levheim for evaluation of lump(s) found in abdomen area

June 25 - CT Scan at Cooley Dickinson

June 28 - appointment with Dr. Levheim

It's CANCER - Lymphoma - CT scan shows indicative results

June 29 - appointment with Dr. Marvelli - pre surgery biopsy appointment

July 1 - phone conference with Dr. Len

July 2 - CT guided biopsy with Dr. Hartnell

July 7 - Oncology consult with Dr. Deb Smith

It's Lymphoma - Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma
Chemo - RHOP - 6 cycles at 3 weeks = 4 months

July 9 - Dr. Jeffrey Barnes at Mass General oncology consult, bone marrow biopsy, blood tests. Blood tests good - results on biopsy take 4 days
Potential of 3 different types of Bcell Lymphoma

July 12 - Echo Heart testing at Cooley Dickinson Hospital

July 12 - Phone with Dr. Barnes - bone marrow tests show other possibilities, including Hodgkins Lymphoma - still same prognosis, but with different and possible less toxic treatment.

Need to now schedule a surgical biopsy. If we have the biopsy at Mass General we can get results and action sooner. Waiting to hear from Dr. Smith to work to schedule surgical biopsy and expedite this surgical biopsy and get a good diagnosis right from the start, which was our advice from Dr. Len right at the beginning!


shelley said...

You know what I love? We were Relaying during your CT scan on June 25.

I can only imagine how this year's event was dramatically different for you.

Seeing the rapid progress makes me so happy that you were on the ball and got into the doc!!

Nancy E said...

Yes we were at our Relays the day of the CAT scan... Pretty cool actually... They had a pic of a woman and her family in our local Sentinel - she is a lymphoma survivor. It will be my anniversary at my Relay every year from now on.... Another day to celebrate and I am all about celebrating! Especially after this!