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Mark G.'s picture
Mark G.
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2013

Shortly after my dx I found this site and have been reading for a couple of months.  There is no finer group of people than those at this site that give of their time to advise, comfort, and support ones just begining this journey.  I cant thank you enough!

While new to this site, my fight with cancer started in a different venue.  For six years Ive had forty skin cancers removed.  Thankfully none were melenoma though starting out my doc said I could die at any time.  A four hour surgery with a team of three surgeons successfully removed the threats and now I have check ups every six months. This cancer seems to be under control for now. 

About eighteen months ago following a mohs surgery a lump started growing on my right temple.  Sometimes the body fills in voids by growing fat cells called lipoma.  They pose no danger but can get quite large.  A punch biopsey confirmed lipoma and while busy removing other cancers the lipoma could wait.  Finally on 9/11/2012 a plastic surgeon attempted its removal and lab showed fNHL grade 2 stage 3a.

I now see a Malignant Hemotologist I really like.  I've had 3 ct-scans, an mri, and blood labs.  Im told my blood looks really good, but have mesenteric, periportal, and pericardiophrenic lymphadenopathy.  Swollen lymph nodes in neck, chest, and abdomen.  My next onc app is on May 13 to get results of last ct-scan of my brain.  My prayers now are that there is no cns lymphoma.  This will be a long week of waiting.

Running a small landscape business in the spring has enough stress without dealing with cancer.  Im still able to work 12 hr days but its getting hard.  Bouncing around on a tractor a few days a week is tough on my lymph nodes.  I love working and will be lost if I have to give it up.  Have been told chemo will start soon with r-cvp.  Best wishes to all.

Sincerely

Mark G.

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3162
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi Mark,

 Our cancer sounds the same, at least with FNHL-stg3-grd2 Dx. My swollen nodes were in my groin,abdomen and neck. I did 6 rounds of CVP-R and 2 years of Rituxan maint(every other month infusions). I am now in remission, so hopefully it will go the same for you. I am retired, so I didn't have to deal with feeling good enough to work or not. Some people feel good enough to continue working during treatment, but for me, I don't think I could of. The fatigue gets more severe with each round, so doing a physical job may prove to be a challenge for you. Landscaping is not easy work, but I'm sure you will know if you can do it or not as  your treatments progress. Please come back and share how things go for you...you have friends here to help you through this. Best wishes...Sue

(Follicular NHL-stg3-grd2-typA-Dx 6/10-age 62) 

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Mark,

  I also went thru 6 rounds of R-CVP starting back in June 2010. I was in remission in Sept. and remain so today. Our Lymphoma diagnosis was very similiar. Mine was follicular as well. Stage 4,grade 1 with (type1)no symptoms. The treatments will probably drag you down starting about the the 3rd round and you may not feel like working, but as Sue said we are all different and it may not affect you as much. Anyway keep us informed to the progress.  John

Mark G.'s picture
Mark G.
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2013

  Thanks for the welcome.  It lifts the spirit to hear many of the group are in remission.  By the 3rd round of treatment will I feel bad for just days or weeks?  I know everyone is different but it helps to know what others experienced.  I mentioned to Sue that maybe taking the summer off might be nice.  I  tend to push myself working and this might not be the best time for that.  Also Ive got workers that have been with me for 12 years. Im like a dad to them and they are like sons.  So much to decide.

take care John

Mark

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 2001
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Mark.  People can be very individual in how they react to chemo so it's hard to predict right now.  The most common side effect is fatigue which increases as you move through the cycles.  My advice would be to plan for the worst and you will probably be pleasantly surprised you are doing better :).  Regarding your business, let one of your "sons" help you out and have a back up for that just in case.  Avoiding stress is in your best interest too so try not to worry too much about everything (easier said than done).  Anxiety is normal so you might want to consider medication to help with that.  Ativan really helped me tremendously - it took some of the teeth out of the "worry monster" and I slept better.  

I say it so many times but humor and attitude are free weapons in this war so use them.  It helped me to set mini-milestones along the way and celebrate: "2 down 4 to go", "halfway there", etc.  Be good to yourself - you are worth it Laughing.

The first couple of cycles is always the toughest.  As you progress, you'll know more what to expect and can prepare.  This will be over before you know it :).

Electric Lawn Mower on Prednisone ;)

Hugs - Jim

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Mark,

  I also went thru 6 rounds of R-CVP starting back in June 2010. I was in remission in Sept. and remain so today. Our Lymphoma diagnosis was very similiar. Mine was follicular as well. Stage 4,grade 1 with (type1)no symptoms. The treatments will probably drag you down starting about the the 3rd round and you may not feel like working, but as Sue said we are all different and it may not affect you as much. Anyway keep us informed to the progress.  John

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Mark,

  The effects of chemo build up in the body. At least it did for me. After the 3rd session I started to feel really tired with little energy. It was getting rough to stay awake 8 hours. It actually felt as though a bus had run over me by the end of round 4. Between rounds 5 and 6 I was totally drained and felt I crossed the finish line on my knees. I would get some energy back waiting for the next session, but not that much. Between 5 and 6 there was no energy at all. Some people were lucky and it was not as bad for them, but some were worse off than me as far as energy goes. I could not even pick up a 25 lb. bag of dog food from the grocery store. Maybe others will share with you since we are all different in our reactions.  John

  You will notice your hair will start to thin after the second session as well. I did not lose it all, but it thinned pretty good.

Mark G.'s picture
Mark G.
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2013

Thanks John for the effects of chemo post.  You painted a good picture of what I might experience and that will help the decission process down the road. 

Take Care

Mark

 

Mark G.'s picture
Mark G.
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2013

Thanks for the kind and encouraging words. Im so glade that your in remission, it does give me hope. I know that possibly having to stop work while on chemp may not be so bad. Another hot and dry Texas summer is on its way and sitting this one out might be kind of nice. I remember a while back you were having problems with colds and allergies. I was having the same problems to the extent of one morning having both ear drums rupture. I dont know how to handle this weakened immune system. Before my cancers I had not been to a doctor in thirty years. My fever during these cold and congestion spells never got to 100. How do you know when its time to see the doc. I know that sounds stupid and my onc really chewed me out for the ear thing so maybe its a learning process I have not got down yet. Take care Sue

Mark

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3162
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi Mark,

 My rule of thumb for going in to the doctor is anytime my breathing feels compromised, or when I have unexplainable pain. I haven't had any fever issues, but would go to my Doc immediately if I had a fever over 101. I'd be calling in real quick. Usually every spring I will have a few problems with sinus and allergies, but not anything like i had this year. I started out March 3rd with a minor sinus infection which turned into a full blown ears,throat and nose infection. Went on antibotics and then 2 weeks later broke out with shingles. Barely got done with the shingles and then my seasonal allergies kicked in. Spent almost 45 days taking medicine in one form or another...UGH! Having a compromised immune system makes it tough to fight things off. I was healthy as a horse before my cancer dx with energy galore...not so much anymore, but glad to report as of today, no sinus issues, allergies or anything new going on...ALL well..(knock on wood) ha! My advice is just go with your gut feeling...if your feeling bad, just call the doc and run it by him...better safe than sorry. Take care...Sue

(FNHL-stg3-grd2-typA-Dx 6/10-age 62)

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 2001
Joined: Aug 2011

Welcome to site, Mark.  I'm sorry you have to be here but you'll find very supportive friends here.  I hope your results on May 13 are good and there is no CNS involvement!  Please feel free to come here with questions, concerns, and to offer support when you feel up to it.  You are not alone here and remember there is always hope - many success stories here!  

Hugs and positive thoughts,

Jim

Mark G.'s picture
Mark G.
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2013

  Thanks for the warm welcome.  You always seem to know what to say and your attitude is to be admired.  Im not sure how the happy dance goes but I plan to leave the clinic on the 13th gangum style!

anliperez915's picture
anliperez915
Posts: 747
Joined: Sep 2011

Lmao! :D 

Please if you do post a pic or video..that would be awesome! Take care

Sincerely,

Liz

kalraaja's picture
kalraaja
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2013

Mark

We will pray for you and understand the intial challange however with god blessings and family support you will pass this.....I am also going through R-CHOP and also continue my work. Intial few days were tough but as you will move your body will guide you. Just lishen to you body.....I just want to add one more line..

Worry does not remove the sorrows of tomorrow....
                                 ....it removes the strength of today!! 

 

So, keep going with faith on God and your family.

illead's picture
illead
Posts: 501
Joined: Aug 2012

Thank you so much for your kind words about us Mark.  We're just normal folks but we care.  So glad you were able to get support from us and we didn't even know it.  Once they get a handle on everything, hopefully things will go smoothly for you.  Like the others said, everyone is different so maybe you will be able to continue to work but if so probably at a slower pace.  Please do let us know, we are hoping for the best.  BTW, that is one cute little babycake.  Bill & Becky  

Mark G.'s picture
Mark G.
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2013

Thanks for the greeting.  Early on reading posts I remember some new members were really worring and about to come unglued.  Now that has become me!  I am sure things will calm down soon.

The babycake in the picture is my only grandchild, Phoenix.  It was his first birthday and soon he will be three.  We have a special bond and I love him so much.

Its wonderful to read about Bill's treatment and quick remission.

Best Wishes

Mark

Mark G.'s picture
Mark G.
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2013

Thanks for the encouragement and prayers.  I wrote down the line you quoted so I can look at it often.  Glad to hear your still able to work, that gives me hope.  Good luck with your treatments and I'll be praying for you as well.

Best wishes

Mark

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1039
Joined: May 2012

Mark,

I'm glad you have found value is some of what you have read here. My uncle was a welder, and had melanomias cut out of his scalp fairly routinely for about two decades.  Many of the surgeries had to cut well into the skull.  Sadly, he eventually died of leukemia, but I never heard anyone state that it was necessarily linked to the skin cancers.

I hope you and your doc figure out exactly what is going on, and get it fixed.

max

Mark G.'s picture
Mark G.
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2013

Thanks for the welcome.  My skin cancers were due to sun damage in my pre-teen and teenage years.  It usually waits till latter in life to present itself.  Born with fair skin and blue eyes can increase the chances of getting this cancer.  I would often get really sunburned when I was that age. 

Both onc and derm docs say there is no connection, but im not so sure.  Sorry to hear about your uncle, melanoma is bad news.

Take care

Mark

anliperez915's picture
anliperez915
Posts: 747
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi Mark and welcome to our group :)

Hope your results come back clean...please let us know what the doc says. Take care 

Sincerely,

Liz

Mark G.'s picture
Mark G.
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2013

Thanks for the welcome.  I'll let you know how it goes on Monday

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