Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Follicular Center B-Cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Grade 2 - Stage 3A !! :)

My favorite number has *ALWAYS* been 3.  
A 3-legged stool doesn't wobble.
3 most important words you can ever say to someone "I LOVE YOU."
3 flavors of ice cream in a banana split!  
When emoticons came out, 3 is half of a heart!  <3!!  
When I was a pitcher in high school, 3 strikes and the batter was OUT!
I could go on and on and on.... today when we were shown to room 3, I knew every little thing was going to be alright!

Dr. Kritz showed us the Pet Scan (and let me just say, I looked pretty good in 3-D - lol!) and the NHL is primarily Big Bertha.  She is a BEAST and when we looked at the "slice" view from the CT scan, there were some slices where she took up my entire insides, but she has nice round edges, and is definitely conquerable.  She will probably be with me forever because she is so gargantuan, but she will NOT always be active.  Chemo will NOT be her friend.  Her life span just got shortened.

So, now the answer to the question SOOOO many people have been asking about.... TREATMENT:

We're going to start with 6 rounds of Rituxan +  Bendamustine.  Both of these are called "targeted therapy", meaning they know how to find Lymphoma.  They won't mistake other fast growing things in my body, like hair, as Cancer.  They know Lymphoma (...can you just feel Big Bertha's blubbery butt quivering as I type this?!!!).  

I found this article:

Targeted Therapy Combination for Lymphoma Is More Effective Than Standard Chemotherapy

ASCO Annual Meeting
June 3, 2012
A long-term study shows that a combination of bendamustine (Treanda) and rituximab (Rituxan) keeps two uncommon types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), indolent (slow-growing) lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma, from worsening longer than standard chemotherapy. Bendamustine and rituximab are drugs called targeted therapies. Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the cancer's specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival.
This coming Friday we are going to a Chemotherapy training session, then first treatment is next week.  Treatments will be 2 consecutive days, 28 days apart.  My immune system will take a big hit and I will have to take lots of antibiotics, keep my hands super clean, and stay healthy, but it will be an effective treatment plan.  And I won't get side effects like neuropathy, loss of hair, nausea, etc.  The party has officially started!  WOO HOO!  On my way home, I listened to:
  • Staying Alive
  • Somebody's Watching
  • Faith
  • Brave
  • 3 little birds
  • What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!
We had a celebratory lunch at Neomonde's Bakery and Deli:
(yes, there is a certain sister of mine that needs to wait for us to have our eyes OPEN, but that's ok, she captured the moment!)

And here's a picture of a new t-shirt that someone (someone that I have never met but has faced Cancer) gave me!  PERFECT!

Dr. Kritz said this has probably been in my body for quite a while.  That makes me feel a little better because I know the stress of earlier this year took it's toll on my body...but this would have been there anyway.  And there IS a chance that Lymphoma might be hereditary....but proving that is still in the preliminary stage.  I think my Mom and I were just exposed to the same damn environmental trigger.  GRRRRR!!!! 

I felt SOOOOO strong in Dr. Kritz's office today!  WOW!  The support I'm getting is lifting me more than I have words to describe. ❤️ It's impossible for Cancer to win this.  Absolutely impossible.  :)

I've totally got this...



Kathy Hancock said...

Oh Bubba, I am soooo glad to hear this!!! No hair loss and other hard side effects !! You have such a positive outlook and this will help you conquer Big Bertha!!!! Keeping you in my prayers 😎

Nadeen Sakowski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nadeen Sakowski said...

This is great news ! The side effects can be so devastating so woo hoo ! You've got this indeed. I am so happy you have people to go with you to these appointments. Hearing the news good or bad solo is so hard. Down the street if you ever need company or hand sanitizer :)