A Survivor’s Triumph Over Double-Hit Lymphoma

 

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I’m the guy in the middle flanked by the wonderful nurses of 5 Pavilion West cancer ward at Hackensack University Medical Center in NJ. The photo was taken upon being discharged on my final day of treatment: a journey encompassing 10 rounds of high-dose chemo over seven straight months at two different hospitals.

In the summer of 2012, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  During the next eight months, I went on an incredible journey which tested my will to fight. I gained a greater appreciation and understanding of what is to be patient and to be a patient; what it is to be focused, to be humble and to be grateful. The researcher in me searched the Internet and perused reports to gain a better understanding of the multiple blood cancers that plagued my body.

I joined online support groups for personal insight from other patients. Soon afterwards, while undergoing chemotherapy, I took on the role as an online support group moderator for aggressive lymphomas like mine. In doing so, I got acquainted with my caregivers and warriors who went through similar ordeals. An editor from one of the lymphoma sites saw the work I was doing for the support group. She reached out to me and asked if I would write about my experience. At the time, I was only one month removed from having completed the final round of intense treatment. Initially, I thought the experience was too fresh: allow time for the turbulent odyssey to abate so my mind could be in a more peaceful place before tapping into those memories. But it was exactly what I needed to do: to share my story, and let other warriors and caregivers know it is not all gloom and doom; there is hope!

Here is the three-part story I shared with LymphomaInfo.net:

Part I: Reality Sets In  (April 3, 2013)

Part II: Attitude Is Everything  (April 10, 2013)

Part III: Perseverance Is Rewarded  (April 17, 2013)

Here is a snapshot of the chemotherapy I endured, intravenously (administered into my bloodstream) and intrathecally (injected into my central nervous system).

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