I was diagnosed with primary mediastinal diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in December 2008. After months of vague symptoms, I developed a horrible dry cough. As part of investigating my cough, my doctor ordered a chest CT scan. The images showed a tumor under my breastbone that was over five inches wide.
After six months of chemotherapy, the last part of my cancer treatment was a decision to add radiation to my treatment plan. I wrote two posts about my radiation experience, one during treatment, and one after I was finished.
I hope my story is helpful to others. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to email me; my address is
Throughout my battle with cancer, I have found a lot of support on the message board community at http://forums.lymphoma.com/. They have a "share your story" thread where I have posted a much more detailed description of my initial symptoms and how I was diagnosed.
Before I knew I had cancer, I wrote several posts where I talked about being tired all the time:
- Feeling better
- A mean sick
- Procrastinating past first frost
- A long fall
- Wheat awareness
- Pericarditis that goes on and on
- New symptoms
During treatment, I had several CT scans and one PET scan to track my progress:some thoughts on residual scar tissue.
A couple of posts (although the subject is so important is should really have more than that) on how much the support of others has meant to me:
Posts about the technology used in my treatment:
- Amazing IV Technology
- Hickman line
- Putting the "DA" in chemo
- Lifetime limits and EPOCH
- Hickman out!
The bulk of my posts on this topic has been discussions of my side effects:
- EPOCH + R, first round
- "Break" week one
- A mixed break (week 2)
- Difficulty concentrating
- EPOCH + R, round two
- Break, round two
- Beginning EPOCH+R round 3
- EPOCH + R, round three
- EPOCH+R, round four
- EPOCH+R break four: side effect round up
- EPOCH+R, round five
- EPOCH+R, round six
- Minor insomnia
- 7 quick takes
- EPOCH+R, round seven
- EPOCH + R, round eight
- EPOCH+R, recovering from round eight
- Residual effects
I have been extremely lucky to have my insurance cover every cost associated with my care, after just one small snag. There are several active members of the lymphoma message boards who do not have insurance, and their situations are just heartbreaking. I hope that soon everyone will be entitled to the same level of care that I have received.