Yesterday was Diagnosis Day. Susan and I went to Memorial Cancer Center for my first face-to-face with Dr Dax Kurbegov. He’s a well-trained, well-spoken oncologist and hematologist. He also happens to be the Medical Director of an award winning clinic. Nothing like starting at the top!
Based on all the tests, he confirmed my self-diagnosis (read “hopeful guess”). My lymphoma is at Stage II (out of IV). My bone marrow is unaffected and the cancer has not spread elsewhere in my body. I have no other complications and should respond well to chemo. My regime will be the standard R-CHOP, which includes rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisolone.
In the afternoon I had my MUGA (Multiple Uptake Gated Acquisition) scan. It checks heart function, which is something they keep a close eye on since the heart can be damaged by chemo. I was injected with radioactive particles and photographed with a gamma camera by Amy Martin. Like the other tests I’ve had, this one was painless and mostly involved lying still and spending money.
I meet with Dr. Dillon next Friday for a physical in prep for surgery on Monday to put a port in my chest. On Tuesday morning I start the first of six rounds of chemo, each three weeks apart. It takes about 4-6 hours. I just hope they let me up once in a while to go to the bathroom.
Since I don’t have to do anything till next Friday, we’re going to San Diego after all. A partial week is much better than none.
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. My prognosis is good. I have great medical care and awesome family and friends. Other than not getting cancer in the first place, what more could one ask for?