Final Diagnosis (D-Day) - (Journal Date: 3/4/05)
After twenty (20) very difficult and trying days, my final diagnosis was in! Several specialists at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital reviewed my case, pathology results, and subsequent tests. These reviews served as a second opinion for me. Since there was concurrence among the doctors, I felt confident that we were on the right diagnosis:
Diffuse Large "B" Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL)
This form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL) is the most common and makes up 31% of all NHL cases. My grade was established as intermediate and not fast or slow growing. I did exhibit positive results for CD5, CD20, and CD22.
Finally, comparing the CT Scan with the PET Scan confirmed the two (2) small bright spots in the scan of the abdomen below the diaphram. Since it was going to be difficult to determine in these were cancer, they were assumed to be so to not delay treatment any longer. Potentially having the disease on both sides of the diaphram classified mine as Stage 3E.
We discussed the treatment that would be best for my type of cancer and I learned that I could receive the exact same treatment at the HPRHS Cancer Center. I knew immediately that I was ready to get back home and get started on the prescribed regimen of CHOP + R. This is a fairly common recipe for lymphoma and consists of:
H: Hyroxydaunarubicin (Doxorubicin)
O: Oncovine (Vincristine)
R: Rituxin (Rituximab)
I am excited about the Rituximab. As I understand it, it is a new drug that has been approved since 1997. It is a monoclonal antibody that seeks out the cancer cells, attaches to them, and then selectively destroys them. This sounds like Star Wars technology!! Let's get started!!!
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