About a week and half ago, I noticed some lumps on the left side of my neck in the exact same location as last time. I ignored them for a few days, knowing full well what this meant but went to the oncologist when they hadn't disappeared after a few days. He was not optimistic but wanted me to get another PET scan before allowing that the Hodgkins was back. Had the PET scan last Weds, results back on Thursday and it was confirmed. The cancer is back in the lymph nodes on the left side of my neck and my chest. I feel great otherwise, I just got this shit that insists on growing in me. I'm pretty pissed about this, it's really starting cramp my style.
There's no really telling for sure why this has come back so quickly but while rare, it is not unheard of. The going theory is that the first chemo killed all but a little bit of the cancer with the stuff that was not killed being chemo resistant. That would mean what's left is resistant to the type of chemo I've already done. Another possibility is that the initial pathology performed as part of the lymph node biopsy missed something and that my cancer was Hodgkins mixed with some other kind of lymphoma cancer. My oncologist didn't seem to think that was likely but he also "thought" I was cured.
The treatment plan this time around is still up in the air because I will NOT be getting treatment in Alaska (couldn't even if I wanted) and I need to find a center/doctor in the Philly area. We're working on that selection process now but not sure when treatment will actually start. No later then our already scheduled trip back east in early Sept. Julie will be coming and staying too. It's not definite but it sounds like it's going to be another 2-3 months of a different kind of chemo followed by a high-dose of "super" chemo coupled with a stem cell transplant (another 3 months). Whatever it is, it ain't going to be fun. There may even be some bubble-boy action in there.
Here's a link on the stem cell transplant process: http://www.nbmtlink.org/documents/sg.pdf I haven't read it all yet. I'd be getting an autologous one, ie I am the donor as opposed to having someone else as the donor.
Things are obviously all messed up right now but we're trying to get a firm plan and sort it all out. I'm not much of a cheerleader so that's not the kind of support I need right now. Knowing that people are following this blog and the occasional comment are what helps most from the mental standpoint.