Lymphoma Blogs

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8/21/16 – I had an appointment at the cancer center this past Friday and I am thrilled to say that all my blood counts were… as crazy as it might...
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7/17/16 – Am I crazy to want to celebrate the 8thAnniversary of the day I was diagnosed with cancer? One would think that I would want erase the...
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6/22/16 – WOW… it’s like I am a school kid starting summer break. I met with Dr. Goy today with the expectation that I would be starting PD-1 (Opdivo...
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5/31/16 – It’s been about a month since my last post and not much has changed for me. My blood counts continue to be great… one may even say that...
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4/28/16 – I met with Dr. Rowley today and learned a lot more about my situation with MDS. It all points to chromosome 20. Basically the bone marrow...
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4/20/16 – Over that last few weeks my counts have been awesome. My platelets have gone from 97 to 123 to 126 to 137. I couldn’t have asked for more....
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3/26/16 – Yesterday was one of the holiest days of the year. Good Friday is a day commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at...
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3/21/16 – The last few updates to my blog have been difficult because it seems each day brings something new and it is hard to carry one topic into...
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3/8/16 – With all the twists and turns of my life it seems like plans fall through more often than not. Since I was at the cancer center on Friday I...
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3/4/16 – Over the almost 8 years I have been on this MCL journey I have had and many discussions with medical people. There are times the...
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2/27/16 – I must say this process of figuring out what’s up with my platelets is pretty slow moving. My platelets had continued to trend down in...
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2/14/16 – At my Friday, February 12th appointment my platelets were down to 18. With recent check-ups I have gone from 67 to 59 to 26 t0 18....
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2/5/16 – I was back in Hackensack today to check my platelets (and other blood counts), get an NPlate shot and then have a PET Scan. The day started...
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2/2/16 – I was back in the cancer center on Friday, January 29 and Monday, February. On Friday my platelets were at 39. Although they did go down it...
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1/28/16 – I continue to be at the John Theurer Cancer Center to treat my ITP and low platelets. My day can include me getting platelets (HLI or cross...
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1/22/16 – After a week of my trying to get my platelets to rise we started today with a count of 8. Following 2 bags of platelets the count hit 19....
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1/19/16 – Last week we continued to treat my ITP and it seemed like we were making good progress. After a platelet infusion and a couple of IVIG’s...
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1/8/16 – We were planning to start treatment with PD-1 (Opdivo) next week but I run into another obstacle. I started to bleed from my nose and mouth...
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12/28/15 –Bristol-Myers Squibb contacted me today to notify me that I have been approved to receive a year supply of the PD-1 drug known as Opdivo....
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12/17/15 – I had my follow up appointment at the Cancer Center today and, believe it or not, I am showing some signs of a GVHD rash. My forehead,...
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Jan Hansen's picture
A few weeks ago, doctors modified Dale's diet by excluding milk products and gluten. He has lost over 30 pounds and feeling much better. Who knew?...
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11/25/15 – Last year on Thanksgiving Day I celebrated my 1 year anniversary of my stem cell transplant. As I approach my 2nd anniversary (or what...
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11/12/15 – After a few delays, I finally had my DLI today. The plan is to wait 4 weeks to have a follow up appointment being it typically takes 4-5...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
Wow! It has been almost 2 years since I have updated this! I just wanted to post a quick update. I am still cancer-free and am doing great. I am...
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11/6/15 – My DLI has been rescheduled for Monday, November 9th. Unfortunately I am running a high fever (102ish). I also have a sore throat and cough...
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10/26/15 – Today I went to The John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center for my DLI and believe it or not we were not able...
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10/13/15 – On December 12th 2008 I reported that I had achieved remission. On October 28th 2013 I again reported that I had achieved remission. Today...
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10/2/15 – On Thursday, October I had a PET scan. I followed up with the Cancer Center on Friday, October 1st. Although I know Dr. Goy is not...
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9/23/15 – On Tuesday, September 22nd I had another great appointment with our nurse practitioner from the transplant team. My CMV is gone and I have...
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9/15/15 – On Thursday, September 10th I received a call from the Transplant Team. They wanted to let me know that my last blood test came back...
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Jan Hansen's picture
Forced cleansing must work because Dale reported he has not feel this good for a long long time. He did two days of chores all in one morning and...
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9/9/15 – I had another follow up visit with the Transplant Team on Tuesday, September 8th. In reviewing my overall health situation there are still...
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Jan Hansen's picture
Dale has done relatively well and then, perhaps, it just seems that his bad health is normal. He is constantly plagued with diarrhea which precludes...
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8/31/15 – I met with Dr. Scott Rowley today to review where I am with the Stem Cell Transplant, the DLI from August 3rd and the recent challenges I...
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8/28/15 – It has certainly been a couple of interesting weeks for me... Fevers, GVHD sighting, low heart rate, etc…My new cardiology doctors are...
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8/26/15 – As a follow-up to my hospital stay last week… I had an appointment at the Cancer Center on Monday, August 24th. I am sure it wouldn't...
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8/20/15 – Looking at the events of the past week for me it shows just how crazy a ride this adventure could be. With my last post I had mentioned...
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8/8/15 – On Monday, July 27th I started my 4th cycle. I had my additional treatments on the 28th and the 29th. According the Dr. Goy this should be...
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7/26/15 – I am thrilled to report that I attended my daughter’s wedding and was there with energy and enthusiasm. I walked her down the aisle, sang a...
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7/17/15 – Today marks 7 years since I was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma. As strange as it may seem, this is a day when I feel the need to...
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7/8/15 – On Monday, July 6th I had a check-up appointment which resulted in me needing fluids due to continued lightheadedness I have been...
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6/30/15 – My chemotherapy days for cycle 3 (June 17-19) seemed to move well. We had a planned follow-up on June 30th but this ended up being too long...
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6/17/15 – Today I started my 3rd cycle 5 days ahead of schedule. The thought with jumping into my treatment a little early is that it will give...
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6/12/15 – I’m back home again. I was released on Thursday, June 11th at around 8:00PM. This seemed to make sense being I had not run a fever since I...
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6/10/15 – It sure is great to be home. On Monday, June 8th I had to head back to the cancer center where I had a checkup and received fluids to keep...
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6/7/15 – My plans for the week of June 1st was to work from home. With my past episodes of passing out it would probably best I stay close to home at...
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5/31/15 – I received my chemo treatments for cycle 2 on May 26 – 28. For some reason at the end of my last day of chemo, and a couple of days that...
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5/17/15 - On Tuesday, May 12th, my wife Sue and I were relaxing watching TV after a day at the Cancer Center. I have mentioned in the past that I...
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Jan Hansen's picture
We traveled north to the Tetons. It was a good thing for us to do. First vacation with no agenda attached for many years. The travel was quiet and...
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5/12/15 – There is a reason why chemo treatments are referred to as cycles…. It is because you literally experience a cycle. First you get the chemo...
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5/7/15 – Today I had my first follow-up checkup since my treatments last week. I have been feeling a little tired and I have had a nagging cough....
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4/29/15 – I have made it through my first treatments and so far so good. I will say that I feel a little tired but for the most part all is going as...
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4/27/15 – I started with my first treatment of my first cycle today and all went well. It was a long day. My wife and I left the house at 8:30AM and...
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4/15/15 - I met with Dr. Goy today and I received the official word that the biopsy results showed that my Mantle Cell Lymphoma is back again. Of...
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3/29/15 – Last year on April 2nd I started back at work following months of recouping from my Stem Cell Transplant. This year on April 2nd I will be...
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3/20/15 – I met with Dr. Goy today. He assured me that there are many options available to me but he first wanted to perform a full work up on me and...
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03/19/15 - It is now 19 months since my stem cell transplant. I have been very doing well… up until now.On March 17thI celebrated my 54th birthday....
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Jan Hansen's picture
Although Dale's last few days have been miserable, I feel spiritually fed and uplifted.  One night he was rechting from one end with...
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Rich Franco's picture
Thanksgiving Day: 11/27/14 – Today I am joyfully celebrating my 1 year birthday and there could be no better day for this to land on than...
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Jan Hansen's picture
Cancer is no respecter of anything or anyone. It creeps into a life, takes over, and becomes an obsessive soul of thought. A friend's remission is...
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The past several weeks brought an urgency to, once again, get things in order. To make sure decisions are made, talk with those that are loved, and...
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Rich Franco's picture
7/14/14 – I simply cannot believe that 6 years have passed since I was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma. Then again, when I look back at...
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5/22/14 – I had my 3 week check-up today and all is GREAT!!! All my counts are right where they need to be and I continue to feel good. I hit another...
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Jan Hansen's picture
Dale is suffering with lots of pain this week. Headaches, leg aches and fatigue. It has been very difficult to get through the days. He does not feel...
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Sarcoidosis. That is what it is. Especially all over his lungs. Another doctor will look at him in two weeks. Symptoms continue to overwhelm his well...
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4/18/14 – In a blink of an eye I have been back to work for 13 days. Sure there are times I am exhausted at the end of the day, but it is a good...
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Dale has good days and not so good days. Yesterday was not a good day. His timing is usually bad for my world. I was ready to drive the two hours on...
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4/1/14 – Can it be 125 days since my stem cell transplant? It is truly amazing how things look after you have been through them. When we are faced...
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Dale met with primary care physician today to discuss the latest results of the CT scan. The lumps have spread more abundantly: lungs, lymph nodes,...
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One week has made a big difference in Dale's well being. Sun is shining, he has been out in the yard, and he is feeling much better. The virus must...
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Jim Davis's picture
In some ways having cancer is very simple: It is a serious disease that invades your body and, in most instances, will end your life if not treated...
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Last Tuesday was my second Romidepsin treatment and it seems to have gone a little better than the first one.  No nighttime chills and fever...
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Jan Hansen's picture
Kidney stones have shown their painful face once again. I came home from a stressful intensive day of work, run Dale errands, fix dinner, and spend...
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We got out of the house yesterday and enjoyed the pre spring blue sky day. It was good to do--for both of us. There is something about nature that...
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3/7/14 – It is Day +100… Woohoo!!! This morning when I awoke there was a huge rainbow in the sky, all the snow had melted, the birds were all singing...
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Last Tuesday we left home at 7:45 AM for our visit to Duke, and walked back in the house about 7:30 PM.  It seems like that may be our "normal"...
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Several days of weakness, coughing, vomits, and diarrhea do not make fun times. Dale continues to make it through a day, but is quite weak and in...
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Last week was spent completing various testing and reviewing treatment options.  There was one specific clinical trial that seemed to be the...
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It has been a couple of weeks since my last post, and most of the focus has been on my lower back and right leg.  The tumor on my spine was...
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Rich Franco's picture
2/21/14 – I received that results of my scans today and all is clear. YES!!! Also, all my counts were good. Based I these good results I no longer...
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Jan Hansen's picture
Although we have an answer to the ongoing ailments, Dale's needs are intensive. Early yesterday morning, I heard a thud and found that Dale had...
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It is not tuberculosis. It is erythema nodosum.The bumps on Dale's arms and legs became troublesome and painful. They grew in new places and the...
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Rich Franco's picture
2/12/14 – I had my weekly check-up yesterday and my counts continue to be very promising. The only thing that has caused me some minor discomfort is...
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Antibiotics have one more day to magically work. Then what? Dale's red eyes turned pink for the weekend, and are slightly whiter today. Weakness,...
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Christopher Poynter's picture
Since I'm currently one and a half years in remission and healthy as a horse, I will likely only be updating this blog once a year from now on. If...
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It has been about 5 months since we last made the hour-and-a-half drive to Duke, but we found our way to Dr. Beaven's office with no difficulties....
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Jan Hansen's picture
I was right. Dale was sent home from hospital yesterday with prescriptions of antibiotics and orders to rest. His persistent cough is annoying for...
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Appointment with primary care doctor was quick. He listened and asked questions. He prescribed updated blood labs, chest x-rays, and antibiotic...
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Rich Franco's picture
2/5/14 – Yesterday I had my weekly check-up and my counts continue to look good. Also, there are no longer any signs of me having CMV, so I no longer...
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Dale did not progress well enough, in my mind, through the day Monday, so off to the ER we went. Insta-care places will not service him because...
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Cancer may not be the greatest concern here. Look at that pathetic face! Dale has been sick with something for over 10 days now. One night-...
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Jim Davis's picture
My last experience with Non Hodgkins T-Cell Lymphoma, which started about 18 months ago, involved almost no symptoms of the disease itself, and very...
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Since my last post, we have continued with the radiation treatments and gleaned some additional information regarding the tumor on my spine, which...
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Rich Franco's picture
1/29/14 – I had my weekly visit yesterday and was given the great news that I am now 92% of my donor. This is awesome progress for me. Also, all my...
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1/23/14 – I had my normal visit on Tuesday, January 21 and all my counts were looking good except that my immune system was a little low. We have...
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Fortunately, biopsy results turned out good. The spots/growths/foreign objects/whatever-they-are in Dale's lungs are not cancerous at this time. Come...
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We were fortunate enough to be able to spend the holidays with our families; Christmas with our daughter Jill and New Years with our son Adam.  ...
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Jan Hansen's picture
We have no results of biopsies from four days ago. A weekend and federal holiday do not help the time tables for us in finding out the results. Dale...
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Chills and slight fevers did not dominate the day, but did manifest themselves a few times last night and today. Weakness turned into restlessness so...
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Another day of testing. Pulmonary oncologist did a scope and found many lymphocytes for biopsy samples. Details of results will take a few days. I...
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Rich Franco's picture
1/16/14 – Could it be that 50 days have a passed since my stem cell transplant? It sure has. Here I sit, feeling pretty well, my counts are doing...
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Jan Hansen's picture
We are both emotionally exhausted. Our minds are functioning at about 43% of our normal capacity. The stress of anticipation takes over thoughts....
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Minimal news to report, however, minimal is a good thing. We both anticipated doom and had feelings of "here we go again. We've done it before, we...
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Friday, we received the cancer message. Saturday, Dale was able to spend a wonderful day with his daughter and her family. Sunday, Dale spoke to many...
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Dale made the 2 year mark last Sunday. But not really. It's back.  A lump was found in one lung that has more than doubled since July.  ...
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Rich Franco's picture
1/7/14 – Good news…  my Creatinine level came down a little. It is now 1.7. I did get IV fluids yesterday but I was able to avoid getting a PICC...
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1/4/14 – It appears that controlling my Creatinine level will take more than me drinking massive quantities of water. The results from yesterday’s...
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12/31/13 – I was recently posed a question in a book I was reading. “What do you think is bigger, your disease or God?” Of course, God is infinite;...
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12/30/13 – Can you believe that I am 1/3 of the way to the 100 day milestone? You may be thinking... so what's the big deal about “Day 100?” Day 100...
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12/24/13 – I had two more checkups since my last update and my counts continue to be on track. So much so I earned a “Rich, you are the man!” and "...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
Hello to all who are still reading this! I cannot believe that it has been so long since I have posted an update. Time really does go by so quickly,...
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Jan Hansen's picture
A visit with Dale's primary care provider yesterday, confirmed that he still needs to rest as much as possible. Although he may look fine, a bone...
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Rich Franco's picture
12/16/13 – I had another good day at the John Theurer Cancer Center. My WBC count is up to 5.2 and my platelets are 239. Regarding me feeling...
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12/13/13 – I had my 2nd outpatient appointment at the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center today and my...
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12/11/13 – WOW, it is already 2 weeks since my stem cell transplant. On one regard it feels like it was yesterday but now that I am home and I am...
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12/8/13 – Yesterday my WBC count was 0.2 after my first neupogen shot. Today my counts climbed to 1.2 after my second shot. Do you know what...
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12/7/13 – As I am going through this process and attempting to blog about it, I am finding that it is long, slow process where thing don’t change...
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12/3/13 – Today I will be getting a dose of Rituxan. In addition I will get Methotrexate (which I also had on Day +1 and Day +3).The process seems to...
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12/1/13 – How often after hearing: “your white blood cell count is zero” would you respond with a “GREAT!” Yesterday when I me t with my doctors I...
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11/29/13 – I am trying to ask as many questions of my doctors so I can have a better idea what is ahead of me. Yesterday when I asked one of the...
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11/28/13 – Yesterday I was up at the crack of dawn to start preparing for my big transplant day. I guess the process of preparing the stem cells took...
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11/27/13 – One of the nurses came into my room early to wish me an early “Happy Birthday”. I said “Happy Birthday?” and she responded sure, today is...
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Jim Davis's picture
In my last post I was discussing aspects of the somewhat unexpected and/or potential difficulties that a cancer survivor may encounter when adjusting...
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Rich Franco's picture
11/26/13 – It always interested me on the whole logistics on how the donor’s stems cells are moved across the country, world or wherever they come...
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11/26/13 – I must say that I didn't sleep that well last night. It is probably due to the combination of anxiety, excitement, and the...
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11/25/13 – With my second day of getting ATG I hit a bit of brick wall. It was probably the combination of the ATG and the Benadryl that really...
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11/24/13 – So, I was really a trooper with the ATG infusion. I handled it great. I was a little tired from the premeds (Benadryl knocks me out every...
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11/23/13 – Yesterday went great. I actually got to play my guitar, walked about 2 miles around the nurses station (22 laps makes a mile). I really...
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11/23/13 – Yesterday went great. I actually got to play my guitar, walked about 2 miles around the nurses station (22 laps makes a mile). I really...
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11/22/13 – So I did make it into the hospital last night. I was in my room at about 7PM. To keep things on track I settled in quickly, was given some...
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11/21/13 - Yesterday I had my triple lumen installed. It was a very quick procedure that left me with 3 tubes sticking out of my right shoulder....
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11/13/13 - What a difference a day makes. I am really feel so much better. If you could believe it, I ever feel like I have more energy than I did...
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Jan Hansen's picture
One week before Halloween, Dale had a cold. He stayed home, rested, and coughed. This has lasted for about three weeks now. He is up most of the...
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Rich Franco's picture
As I said with my last post, my transplant was moving forward. An unrelated near match has been identified, contracted and has agreed to be the donor...
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10/8/12 – Today I met with Dr. Goy for my normal cycle follow up and to review the results of a PET scan I had last week. Dr. Goy said: “You are in...
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Jan Hansen's picture
Last week Dale had another cancer check up that was successful. Blood levels are fine, platelets a bit low, but okay. It is always nice to verify...
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Jim Davis's picture
It has been about 16 months since my initial cancer diagnosis, which started me and my family on a journey that none of us expected or wanted.  ...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
At the Celebration of Life event on October 5th, hundreds of quote books were distributed as keepsakes. This 74 page collection of quotes was...
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The Celebration of Life event for Karin Diamond is only a few days away. It is shaping up to be a fantastic gathering filled with musical and dance...
Rich Franco's picture
9/30/12 – Today was the 5thAnnual Celebrate Life and Liberty event hosted by the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center...
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Christopher Poynter's picture
Hi everyone,I have decided to celebrate my one year of remission by taking part in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada's Light the Night...
Rich Franco's picture
9/24/13 – I had my 3rd set of scans yesterday (I get scanned after every 3 cycles or every 64 days) and I met with Dr. Mateo today to get my results...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
Karin (Dubreuil) Diamond, 31 of Tariffville, CT, passed away in the comfort of her home on September 21, 2013, surrounded by her husband, family,...
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Karin took so much pride in expertly crafting each word of each sentence that you have been following in this blog. She was working hard to publish a...
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By my side along with friends and family, Karin passed out of this world today, peacefully and calmly.It's been a most difficult week. The cancer...
Christopher Poynter's picture
This post is dedicated to Emma Smith, who is a brave young lady diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour nearly a year ago. She goes to one of the...
Jim Davis's picture
Just over 16 months ago, on June 6, 2012, I was told that I had a rare and aggressive form of Lymphoma, that is very difficult to get into remission...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
I desperately miss writing and apologize for not giving any updates and being so way behind on getting back to emails and messages. Things have been...
Jim Davis's picture
Next Thursday I have an appointment with Dr. Horwitz at Duke for my 3 month followup exam.  He has me scheduled for a CT scan rather than a PET...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
No energy to write a long blog, though I’ve got many story nuggets collected. Consider this an executive summary of what’s been going on with me. We...
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I am here and okay. There have been some changes but I feel strongly that they are the right ones. I am no longer pursuing inpatient IVAC. It did not...
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Welcome, August. I’m proud to say I made it through July – barely, but I made it. I’ve been home since last Thursday when I was deemed ready to...
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Goodbye sweet, curly ringlets. It is now Wednesday, July 24. I have been in the hospital for a week. That’s after being in the hospital for six...
Rich Franco's picture
7/22/13 – I met with Dr. Mateo today to get the results of my 2nd set of scans. His comment to me was:  “you have really hit a home...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
I was released from the hospital on Sunday. I was able to remain home until Wednesday afternoon when I was sent back to the hospital, where I still...
Rich Franco's picture
7/17/13 – It was 5 years ago today when I was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma. Back in 2008 it was not easy to find any information that gave...
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Jan Hansen's picture
After the tests yesterday and today, the cancer doctor says Dale is all clear and doing well! Three months and another check-up, and then that is...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
I have been so moved by the comments left after my last two blogs. I am so touched and so in awe as to how we can all feel so connected by relating...
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I am in the hospital starting the IVAC chemotherapy today. In the simplest terms, I'm doing it because I'm not done yet. I hope with everything in me...
Jim Davis's picture
I have heard from many people that my blog has been very informative and inspirational.  In fact, several have said that I have a gift for...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
Block Island crew (minus 1) enjoying a perfect day.I realize I’ve been absent from blogging and thank you for the concerned comments. If I haven’t...
Jan Hansen's picture
No more 3 AM mornings. No more van pools. No more of it all. We drove to a small town three hours away for a school thing I needed to do on Dale's...
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6/28/13 – One of my favorite lines from a movie is in the film Rocky II. The movie begins where the first Rockymovie ends. Rocky and Apollo Creed...
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I recall that, in reading the blogs of other cancer patients/survivors, it is quite common that the frequency of posts begins to go down after their...
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In a couple of weeks, Dale will have his six month check-up with all the tests, lungs, blood works, PET Scan, perhaps bone biopsy, heart, and...
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The Visible Ink program at Sloan-Kettering has posted the video from its 2013 staged reading. Here is a link to my piece, "The Guru in the Elevator...
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Ducking out in the rain with Craig for some Thai food to celebrate his birthday betweena very hard-to-swallow doc appointment andan always-...
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Hope you enjoy reading my latest piece for The Huffington Post's Generation Why Series: "A Complicated Relationship." This essay personifies the...
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Another wife of a mantle cell lymphoma patient contacted me through the blog this past weekend.  There are many people searching for hope,...
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Several significant dates and events have all come together this week, and what a grand week it has been. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of...
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A throwback photo.Sometimes I am embarrassed by how I reacted to my initial diagnosis, shocked at how immature and naive I was – invincible! cancer!...
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5/31/13 – I have an update to share with you regarding my Bone Marrow/Stem Cell donor search. I have two brothers and they were both tested to see if...
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I am two infusions into my second cycle of Gemcitabine. Today was supposed to be the last in the cycle, but it didn’t happen. Then again, there’s...
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5/21/13 – I met with Dr. Goy today to get the results of my first scans since beginning my Mantle Cell Lymphoma treatments with Ibrutinib 63 days ago...
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As I do most mornings, I woke up far too early and lay in my bed for a while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed until my body caught up with my...
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5/19/13 – I must say, these 21 day cycles just fly by. Tomorrow is the last day of my 3rd cycle. That will mark 63 days that I have been on Ibrutinib...
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Today is Day 73 post transplant.  The magic number for an autologus transplant (using my own cells) seems to be 90 days and I am getting close...
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Check out my latest contribution to The Huffington Post. It's addressed to oncology nurses and offers a patient's perspective on what works and what...
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When my mom takes notes at doctor’s appointments she likes to star and quote the good stuff. She loves when doctors give me positive comments and...
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If you were to look at my cancer treatment in phases, the first phase was my diagnosis in June of last year and the subsequent chemotherapy...
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For three nights I’d wake up from a dead sleep gasping for air. I’d sit up straight in attempts to get the blood moving then would be acutely aware...
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The May issue of Hartford Magazine containing all the 2013 Best Of Winners has hit the press. Turns out I was voted "1st Runner Up" as "Best Blogger...
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Check out this high school project our Diamond-side cousin, Halle, and her class partner, put together to spread awareness of Hodgkin Lymphoma. I am...
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4/28/13 – I am quickly approaching the end of my 2nd21 cycle on Ibrutinib and I continue to feel great. I have been able to take 3 business trips in...
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The chemo-absorbing offerings at BurgerFi.I looked at the printout of my CBC bloodwork report with disgust. My platelet level was 63,000, down from...
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Dale is always tired. He has frequent leg cramps, difficulty breathing, and trouble with the constant pain in his bones. Today he has a fever, has...
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Yesterday was Day 49 since my Bone Marrow Transplant, and my first followup visit with Dr. Horwitz since escaping from the grasp of the transplant...
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No chemo last Friday as scheduled. Here starts the “Special Karin Regimen.” We have no idea how my body will react to the Gemzar (Gemcitabine) so it’...
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What a gratifying treat to be able to travel to Manhattan not for medical treatment or pow-wows, but instead to see a piece of my writing staged by...
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photo courtesySalvage treatment has started. I had my first infusion of Gemcitabine (Gemzar) chemotherapy this past Friday. It is not a drug that is...
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I receive an occasional email from blog followers out there in cyber-land. Unfortunately, mantle cell lymphoma is active in these people's lives. I...
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A little over six weeks ago I was admitted to the hospital at Duke to begin my autologus bone marrow transplant.  And what a six weeks it has...
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Long-time-no-blog!! I thought I should just pop in here to write that I had a CT scan at the end of February, a blood test at the end of March,...
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Though I’ve had many minor surgeries, I was most nervous about this one. It was only another lymph node biopsy, but I would be getting full sedation...
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4/8/13 – Today is the last day of my first 21 day cycle on Ibrutinib  and I must say that I still feel great and have experienced no side...
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Dale went to his quarterly checkup at Huntsman today. Good news is that the blood work is okay and remission continues. Bad news is the infection he...
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Cancer sucks !!!!!!!!!Thank God for the many dedicated medical professionals, who have committed their lives to helping cancer patients fight back...
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We’ve done a little shimmying and a little shaking with the schedule of events but I’ve long ago released expectations of set timelines.That's the...
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It isn't good when the ER calls you to come back. Two days after Dale's initial visit to the ER and enough time for the lab results in the blood...
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Looking at the calendar, I find that this is Day 23, after my transplant.  So 24 days ago I had my baby stem cells transplanted back into my...
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3/27/13 – I had two appointments at Hackensack University Medical Center. My first one was a follow up with Dr. Jenifer L, Marks to see how I am...
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Dale came home early from work on Monday due to his vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue.  He took Frontrunner and then TRAX where I could meet him...
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When at its peak, my pain can be blinding and completely arresting. Toradol, a high-dose Aleve-type drug, has been the only thing that holds it back...
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3/25/13 – Today marks one full week that I have been taking Ibrutinib. I can say without any hesitation that I have experienced no side effects. I...
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My battle with cancer over the last nine months has been a very consuming journey.  While I would not  recommend it to anyone, there have...
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Today's Starbucks nest. Thursday also starts with a “T” meaning that it qualifies as a Tuesday blog post, right? Really, I am trying to get back...
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3/17/13 – Today is my birthday. I was at a Saint Patrick’s day Dinner at my church last night with my wife, daughters, their boyfriends and many good...
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Over the last several weeks I have developed a much deeper understanding of my body and how it works, and I have learned to be able to discern when...
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My post from 3 days ago was just about at the low point of everything.  But since then I have started to rebound.  My white blood cell...
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3/15/13 – I am sitting in the waiting room of the John Theurer Cancer Center a Hackensack University Medical Center. Since my last post I have had an...
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No better way to start the day!My late friend Steve (ugh, “late” sounds so formal and awkward). Try again: My very good friend, Steve, that died from...
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We are approaching the end of Day 8 and my various counts have all pretty much reached zero.  Typically, transplant patients hit bottom about...
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Lives come in every shape and color and that's what makes them beautiful. I was talking with someone in the grocery store parking lot that I’ve...
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3/12/13 – When you are diagnosed with something like High Blood Pressure or High Cholesterol, what happens? Typically you will be prescribed a pill...
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My transplant started last Wednesday, which means that this is Day 3.  I have been making daily visits to the ABMT Clinic to have blood samples...
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Taking in the majesty of the Pacific.I realize I’ve been missing from the blog world for a while, but to write, I need time, energy and focus and I...
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3/8/13 – After a few days of recovering from my Thoracoscopy - Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS), a fancy way of saying "my biopsy", I am still...
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In bone marrow transplant parlance, the actual day when the stem cells are transplanted back into the bloodstream is referred to as Day Zero.  ...
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3/4/13 – I arrived at Hackensack University Medical Center at 5:30 AM. I moved through the registration process very smoothly and I was soon ready...
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I have reached a milestone of sorts.  After 3 days in the hospital and 7 chemo infusions, I have crossed the halfway mark in the high dose chemo...
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Well I am all checked into the Duke Hospital Transplant Unit (9200) and ready to start my high dose chemo regimen.  I am scheduled to receive...
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2/25/13 – I arrived at Hackensack University Medical Center at 8:00AM. I was directed to my room, told to put on my hospital. A nurse soon came in...
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On Wednesday of this week we head back to Duke for an appointment with Dr. Horwitz, followed by a few final tests.  Then on Thursday I am...
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Either high stress, depression, or cancer has caused Dale's ailments in the past several weeks. All probably contribute. Work (just another couple of...
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As is probably obvious, I've been taking a blogging hiatus. I miss writing and connecting with all of you greatly, but life has kept me away from it....
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On Tuesday I was the proud recipient of a "central line", or Hickman Port, which enabled me to spend the next two days tethered to this delightful...
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2/20/13 – Here is a quick update on my schedule.  I have been officially scheduled for my biopsy on Monday, February 25thand I all get my...
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Tomorrow is another visit to our home away from home, Duke Medical Center.  I will get a Hickman port installed, which is just a fancy way of...
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1/11/13 – I went for my CT Scan today. I will get the results on the 15th. Over the years I have gotten very good and keeping myself busy as I wait...
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It is Valentine's day today and I thought I would cook dinner for us tonight instead of asking to go out and rustle with crowds. I fixed what I...
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Hartford Magazine is conducting its annual Best Of Hartford Readers' Poll. I'm in contention for being named "Best Blogger" in the Greater...
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The last week has been restful, and there are still a few more days remaining before my transplant kicks into high gear. The middle of last week was...
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On February 5, 2013, New York Times columnist Mark Bittman wrote an article entitled “Cosmetics Wars.” I’d like to bring it to your attention for two...
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When there are times as a grown woman that I have to be as dependent as a newborn, I latch on to the times that I can be independent with vigor....
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As I write this post I am sitting in my hospital bed at Duke Medical Center.  Yesterday I was admitted to the "9200 unit", which is the section...
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When I was interviewing survivors for my book, When Cancer Hits, one thing I heard over and over again was that looking good—or even normal—can help...
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The below piece was published yesterday on The Huffington Post and is featured in the Healthy Living section as part of the HuffPo's Generation WHY...
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I am one round into this latest clinical trial: a combined therapy of Brentuximab Vendotin (SGN-35) and Bendamustine. The premise of this Phase I/II...
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Yesterday was a very full day.  We left home at 7:30 AM and returned back at 7:00 PM.  Needless to say we slept well last night.  The...
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I love it when concerned citizens get together to create change. Today, I’m happy to report that we’ve done it again. We’ve...
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At the beginning of my book, When Cancer Hits, I talk about how I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease when I was sixteen years old. I had no idea at...
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This coming week with begin the second phase of my treatment for Non Hodgkins Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma.  Phase I was a Clinical Trial at Duke...
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blog.1800gotjunk.comWe all have one of those closets that you need to kick its door with force to be able to shut it closed, as there is so much junk...
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I passed all of the pre-tests with “flying colors” to get onto the NAE inhibitor Phase I trial at Columbia: healthy heart, healthy urine, normal...
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My last chemo treatment was on December 11, which was almost 6 weeks ago.  And all of a sudden my hair has begun to grow again - on the head and...
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I’ve posted about parabens before—those potentially harmful preservatives that are used in so many of our personal care products. These synthetic...
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Dr. Beaven called again Friday morning to advise that she had talked with Drs. Horwitz and Kelsy, and they have agreed on a course of treatment....
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This is the first year I wasn’t quite sure how to approach my 2013. I thought about doing a new vision board. Then I thought I’d write...
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After several days of waiting (cancer helps teach you patience) Dr. Beaven finally called yesterday with the results of the biopsy done last Friday...
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As some of you may recall from some of my earlier posts, I enjoy researching our family trees (both mine and Holly's) and finding out new details...
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Last Thursday we met with Dr. Kelsey in Radiation Oncology at Duke.  The purpose was to discuss the options for radiation treatment of that...
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MLN4924 chemical structureAt some point I'll write more eloquently about the adventures of the marathon day that was Wednesday, but these are the...
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I originally learned of this Zen story from a friend who shared it in her blog. I now think about it all the time. Nothing speaks truer to how I am...
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Saturday, January 5th, was Dale's one year bone marrow transplant birthday. In the past two weeks he completed several health tests checking levels...
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Yawn. I am so tired. I'm sleeping 11 hours a night and still feel like I need a nap. Any little bit of exertion is enough to totally exhaust me...
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We met with Dr. Beaven at Duke yesterday to review the results of the reassessment testing I completed last week.  After 28 weeks of...
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(c) lifestyleoftheunemployed.tumblr.comI wish that it were different, but I ended 2012 on a downbeat. The legitimate physical constipation that I...
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By the light of the treeAh, Christmas. It was a beautiful whirlwind of food, loud family gatherings, quiet moments lit only by the tiny white lights...
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Yesterday was reassessment testing day at Duke.  Blood work and a bone marrow biopsy, followed by a PET scan, filled out our otherwise boring...
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Did you know that cell phones and smart phones have small amounts of toxic chemicals? This last October, the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center teamed up...
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Sending you all warm wishes of love, peace and laughs this holiday season. I hope that your days have been filled with family, friends, cookies and...
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I already have my Christmas present from Santa this year.  My last chemo treatment was over a week ago and I have no more scheduled.  I...
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You probably already know that harsh, cold, and dry winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin. Skin becomes dry, dull, flaky, and sometimes even...
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Photo credit: newsnet5.comEvery parent and every educator, everyone who works with children in any capacity, is no doubt projecting the unfathomable...
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I started to write a new post, confirming that last Tuesday was indeed my last chemptherapy treatment at Duke.    My mood up until now has...
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We’re in the middle of the month of December. Have you lost it yet? No matter how you cut it, the holidays are often stressful. There are the...
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I'm a little late updating this because it is a busy time of year, but I just wanted to post that I went for my first quarterly check-up and blood...
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I’m excited to tell you not only about Rachel’s new book, Flirt Fearlessly, but about the new partnership between Rachel DeAlto and CV Skinlabs...
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A story to share that has nothing at all to do with me or the c-word. It's a piece I wrote for a writing class I am taking that asked us to observe a...
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For all young adult cancer survivors out there – and those that love us. The Huffington Post has put together a HuffPost Healthy Living series...
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One more treatment remains.  Next Tuesday will be my last regularly scheduled chemo treatment and I can't even begin to tell you how much I am...
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During a recent workshop I presented with my friends at Women’s Voices for the Earth, I had the pleasure of meeting Paula Mozen. Paula is an...
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Annual Christmas tree hunt on the farm. The pain got to be very severe, setting in seethingly Thanksgiving Day night and increasing through that...
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I was really excited when our friends at Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) asked me to submit my favorite non-toxic, safe gift ideas for the...
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I read something at church yesterday, and was struck by how very true it is.  "Allow us to be still, in the midst of what our minds cannot fully...
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Thursday marked one year since Craig’s mom, Linda’s, passing. On that day, the sky literally opened up. I was in New York City by myself – without an...
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Happy Remission!Cancer remission brings interesting perspective on many things, especially when two friends diagnosed and treated within the same few...
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Yesterday was spent getting another chemotherapy treatment at Duke. It has been 2 weeks since I had my regular 3 consecutive days of chemo, which...
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Home Alone booby trap success.(c) forallthosesleeping.buzznet.comWhen I was a junior at the University of New Hampshire, there was a campus creepster...
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Even if you’ve decided to try to reduce the number of toxins in your life, you may find it a bit challenging. All that label reading and...
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Among the many things I am grateful for this Thanksgiving weekend is something I no longer have: my rash. I was able to enjoy the three Thanksgiving...
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Five months ago I was diagnosed with cancer and, for a while, I wondered if I would be alive to see the end of the year 2012.  I am thankful...
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At the beginning. I love you and am proud of you, sweet girl. I’ve actually been taking tangible steps toward recreating this blog into a book...
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Think because you’re going through chemotherapy you can’t look good this holiday? Think again! This isn’t the time to stay home and...
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Dale had his quarterly blood work and check up this week. Report is good. Blood is progressing well and it looks good. They scheduled CT and PET...
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Cancer is an ugly monster, and chemotherapy and radiation are it's twin brothers.  Surgery sucks.  The emotional toll that accompanies a...
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This has been one very full and busy week.  On Monday, our granddaughter Eliza had brain surgery at Duke Children's Hospital in Durham.  ...
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Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, Culver CityThis week will be a one-blog-entry week due to a variety of reasons, not the least of which are jet lag and...
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Its obvious consumers around the world are getting smarter about going green, and are looking to buy more environmentally friendly and sustainable...
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I have picked up several new readers recently and felt that a recap of my battle with cancer might be in order.  One of the problems with a blog...
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Just got home from Duke and wanted to post a note that Eliza came through the surgery with flying stars.  The surgeon said that everything went...
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I can tell you that here in New York City, Hurricane Sandy may be gone, but it’s destruction remains. Things are slowly getting back to running...
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This coming week marks the beginning of Cycle 4, hopefully my last chemotherapy cycle.  Of course it takes seven weeks to complete each cycle,...
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Tomorrow we fly to Los Angeles, California, to say goodbye to my friend, Steve. Comprehending and accepting his death has been extremely difficult...
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I thought I would do a quick post on here to say that I have been doing well over the last month and a half since I went into remission. I proposed...
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If you’re one of the millions who lost power during hurricane Sandy, and since then have been using a generator or other alternative mode of...
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On Monday of next week our 10 year old granddaughter Eliza will undergo major brain surgery at Duke Children's Hospital in Durham.  After...
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image copyright washingtonpost.com "I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the...
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Our friends at Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) are trying to get the word out—that Tide laundry detergent contains a cancer-causing...
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Recently, while taking one of my walks around the neighborhood, the sun was shining, and I noticed my shadow on the pavement.  It was right...
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After several months of editing, the 2012 Visible Ink Staged Reading was posted to Sloan-Kettering's website. Below is the performance of my piece, "...
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See entry details below! Times of adversity can show up in all sorts of ways in our lives. For myself and millions of others, Hurricane Sandy is a...
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Things have gone well lately. Dale has worked longer days more frequently, energy level increasing, and sense of wellness stabilizing. It is as...
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I have been taking the Revlimid immunotherapy treatment pills for just about three weeks. I think it’s safe to say that overall I have been feeling...
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October swamped the market with pink. Some companies had the best intentions in donating funds for breast cancer research, but others seem to have...
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This year at church, when the choir started up again after their summer break, Holly and I both decided to join.  It has been a long, long time...
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This is a piece that I wrote and shared at Syllable: The Reading Series, held monthly in Hartford at La Paloma Sabanera Coffeehouse. This month's...
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What do most people want once they’ve been told the cancer is gone? For it to never, ever, ever come back again! It’s natural to worry...
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Craig and me with Chevonne putting our paws up before her performance at the Lady Gaga concert in Houston.I get really jacked up when I see...
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Yesterday, we were at Duke for the final treatment in my 3rd Cycle.  And this morning I went to my local Oncologist to get a Neulasta shot to...
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Phthalates cause health problems. The evidence continues to come in. Here’s the latest: a study from the University of Columbia reports that...
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We spent this past weekend down on the coast at Ocean Isle with some friends.  We have attended the annual Oyster Festival there for several...
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This isn't the first time I've posted this poem by the poet we met in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, but its sentiment is again very appropriate. It's...
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It's been a while since I've updated this, so I thought I would write a short entry. I've thought about discontinuing this blog altogether since I've...
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I want to sleep in late, but Sammy dog has to go out and get fed and so do I, so I get up. I want to be productive and wildly incredible every single...
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Did you know that about 1 in 18 people in the U.S. have eczema? That’s about 15 million people suffering from this itchy, inflammation of the...
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Yesterday was another treatment day at Duke, and things went very smoothly.  Without question, the prayers of many, many people have played a...
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Last week Dale told me he felt better, his energy slightly increased, and closer to normal although not there yet. Unfortunately, there are many...
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A visit to Dr. O’Connor with Columbia/NewYork-Presbyterian in NYC confirmed my gut instinct that giving the immunomodulating drug, Revlimid (...
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It seems that Pinkwashing is starting earlier and earlier every year. We expect all the pink products to roll out in October, during Breast Cancer...
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A little piece of my heart left me on Sunday. My incredible friend, my inspiration (he’d hate me calling him that, but it’s true), my cancer...
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Yesterday was another Duke day, an opportunity to spend a few hours in those impressive facilities, meet with my equally impressive medical team, and...
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It was only a couple months ago that I told Cinco Vidas readers about the great news—that Johnson & Johnson plans to get rid of potentially toxic...
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10/5/12 –With my last post I wrote about an event sponsored by the John Theurer Cancer at Hackensack University Medical center called “Celebrate Life...
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Breaking Bad as therapy?I’m sure everyone lives their days following receiving traumatic news a little differently than their ordinary days. For me...
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It has been 2 weeks since I had the PET scan and the bone marrow biopsy.  As reported earlier, the test results were most encouraging and...
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Can you believe that Halloween is almost here? Many of us love the fun fantasy of the holiday, but aren’t so in love with the toxic face paints...
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Last week was what I have come to refer to as my "heavy week".  Three consecutive days of chemotherapy could probably be called a lot of things...
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My opponent: Reed Sternberg cell indicating Hodgkin Lymphoma presence. It looks like owl eyes or a pig's nose - or a big asshole...
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9/30/12 – Today was the BIG event hosted by the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center: The 4thAnnual Celebrate Life and...
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A recent editorial published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives (April 2012) called for increased research to identify possible...
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While taking my walk today, I kept thinking about an incident that took place as we were leaving the Duke Cancer Center last Thursday.  I had...
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Monday is another PET Scan day. I’ve been on a schedule of one every three months. That means that once every 90 days I have a particularly rough...
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Today I just finished up my third consecutive day of chemotherapy, the usual start to a new treatment cycle.  That involved about 8 total hours...
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Christopher Poynter's picture
I took this photo from the balcony at my parents' house in Langley this morning. I think it is a good representation of what I am about to write...
Jan Hansen's picture
He is doing okay. Dale has good days, and not so good days. The last few days--good. Makes it sooo much easier on me. He put in almost a whole day of...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
Photo by Allison Hopkins Photography“If you place two living heart cells from two different people in a Petri dish, they will in time find and...
Jim Davis's picture
Our appointment with Dr. Beaven was at 12:00 noon today, but we had to feed the vampires in the lab at 11:00 so we left home at 9:45.  By the...
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Jim Davis's picture
Tomorrow (Tuesday) we have an appointment with Dr. Beaven and will get the "official" results of my testing last Thursday.  At this point we don...
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CincoVidas's picture
I got a very disturbing comment from one of our Cinco Vidas readers a little bit ago. After reading it, I felt really angry that more isn’t...
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Jan Hansen's picture
Dale's Upper GI Endoscopy tests on Friday, looked fine. Doctor took biopsies for more information but said nothing looked unusual. Dale told me he...
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Jim Davis's picture
I was reading on the Internet today and I came across a blog, written by a young lady named Heather, who I am guessing is somewhere in her late 30's...
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CincoVidas's picture
I’ve done several presentations now to help people reduce their toxic exposure in life. I talk about potentially harmful chemicals in our...
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CincoVidas's picture
I’ve done several presentations now to help people reduce their toxic exposure in life. I talk about potentially harmful chemicals in our...
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Jim Davis's picture
The unofficial report we got today from Dr. Beaven, after completing my testing, was that I am making really good progress. The bone marrow biopsy...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
Mission: Find potential faces in nature that need just a little attention for their expressions to fully come to life. Leave finished designs to be...
Jim Davis's picture
The next week will be a very significant period in my battle with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.  On Thursday of this week I go to Duke for blood tests...
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CincoVidas's picture
Would you like to join volunteer Terri Wingham at the Taj Mahal in February 2013? If you’re a cancer survivor interested in getting a new start...
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Jan Hansen's picture
Test results found nothing significant, however, they are ordering a GI specialty test for Dale. His digestive system does not do well, therefore,...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
It was a particularly foggy-headed day. I had mustered the physical strength to get to the grocery store, but the mental capacity to handle it while...
Jim Davis's picture
I have never been much of a reader.  Aside from college text books, you could probably stack all of the books I have read since then on the dash...
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Christopher Poynter's picture
Just a short update for today, because my brain is mush and my hands are numb and tingly.I had my 6th and final chemotherapy session last Friday, and...
CincoVidas's picture
I received an interesting question a couple weeks back from a Cinco Vidas blog reader—is there such a thing as a toxin-free birth control option? All...
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Jan Hansen's picture
After a run around with insurance and who actually has the equipment to perform a PET scan, Dale was able to get it done yesterday morning. We do not...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
A while back while I was being injected with the radioactive dye that would reveal any cancerous cells within my body, a little boy was in the cubby...
CincoVidas's picture
You know, it’s not just our personal care products, homes, or cleaning products that can be filled with toxins. Sometimes, our thoughts can...
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Jim Davis's picture
For some time now I have been thinking that I needed to do a post on how I found out that I had cancer in the first place.  As I read through...
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CincoVidas's picture
A couple weekends ago a girlfriend and I got together to watch the documentary called “Miss Representation.” I’m telling you,...
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Jim Davis's picture
Back in the middle of July, after the first 4 or 5 chemo treatments, I began to lose some of my hair and my beard started to thin. Since I didn't...
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Jim Davis's picture
Yesterday morning we had to get up early to leave Emerald Isle and drive up to Duke for another treatment.  It seems like no matter where we are...
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CincoVidas's picture
When I had finished a recent presentation on avoiding toxins in our world, we opened the phone lines for questions. One of the subjects that kept...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
Two of my favorites: Mer and John.Photo by the incredibly talented Alison Lassiter, alisonlassiter.comThere was much love this weekend in a very...
CincoVidas's picture
As the kids get ready to go back to school, one thing that most parents need to do is go shopping for school supplies. If you’re one of those...
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Jan Hansen's picture
Dale attempted to go to work on Friday--well--he got there safely anyway. Coworkers brought him home a couple of hours into the morning. A 100 mile...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
Some days it takes a very concerted effort not to completely unfold. It can be just plain exhausting working to tame the beast that is my emotions...
Jan Hansen's picture
Someone at Dale's work contacted whooping cough. Highly contagious and he should stay away from it.  He felt horrible enough that we took a trip...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
With my amazing group of high school girlfriends at Lisa's wedding in late July, now nearly all of us 30 and growing even closer together...
Jan Hansen's picture
The cough lingers on and on. Dale continues to battle with coughing episodes. Although he hates winter, when the snow flies there are minimal...
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CincoVidas's picture
Back in June we talked about cosmetic procedures that are considered mostly safe, and those that are more risky because of toxic chemicals or other...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
Outside a kitschy Little Italy bakery For 100 days I could not step into the world without slipping my hands into protective latex...
CincoVidas's picture
Did you know that August is National Psoriasis Awareness month? The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) works hard during this month and throughout...
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Jan Hansen's picture
In my care taking mode, I decided to make Dale go to Huntsman for blood work and consultation with his doctor since he complains of increased fatigue...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
Five infusions of SGN-35 down. All went fine. I feel pretty damn good for one day post-chemo. I don't know how long this will last and that is a...
Christopher Poynter's picture
I had my fifth round of chemotherapy this past Friday, and it went about the same as the fourth, except it only took 3.5 hours instead of 4.5 which...
Rich Franco's picture
8/13/12 – I went for my PET scan today. I am still feeling great and very confident that the test results will come back just fine. I continue to...
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CincoVidas's picture
Friends, I’m here to tell you that when we put our voices together, we can make a difference. On August 15, 2012, we got proof of that fact. I...
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Jan Hansen's picture
Unfortunately, I have more to report this week as Dale continues to exist day to day. Fatigue continues to increase as do night sweats. I think his...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
Captain Jack reeling in the catch on the Lulu.From the vantage point of the Lulu lobster boat, we saw both gray and harbor seals basking on a rocky...
CincoVidas's picture
I’ve recently made some changes in my life, and one of them is leaving lattes behind. Sounds drastic, right? (ha) I feel so good, though. Even...
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Jan Hansen's picture
Dale took himself to ER yesterday. Anemia and viral infection. Bone marrow not producing enough red blood cells and a weakened immunity. He takes a...
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Dale looks good. Skin coloring healthy, hair seems to be fuller with less graying, and sense of humor growing. Inside, though, he is extremely tired...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
We saw the sun rise over the Atlantic from the 1,500-foot summit of Cadillac Mountain. It was one of the most peaceful and serene things I have ever...
CincoVidas's picture
Do you celebrate your accomplishments? If you are like most of us, I’m willing to bet that you don’t very often. It’s unfortunate...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
It was this time a year ago. I was in the thick of allo transplant recovery, meaning I was tired, uncomfortable, irritable, frustrated, nauseous and...
Jan Hansen's picture
I was out of town for a conference this week. When I came home, Dale was asleep and hardly noticed me. I could tell by the way our home had extra...
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CincoVidas's picture
Are you trying to change your diet to lose a few pounds? You may be missing something. Consider these study results: A long-range study that...
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Eyes Peeled Always's picture
I always harp on the point that I don’t want to give the cancer credit for anything. If cancer is a gift, I don’t know who is dolling that out, but...
CincoVidas's picture
Several weeks ago, I was in the middle of a burnout. After releasing my new skin care line, I realized I hadn’t stopped to take a breather for...
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Christopher Poynter's picture
I will begin with an apology, yet again, for taking more than two weeks to update this. I have good reason, which I will explain towards the end of...
Jan Hansen's picture
 One year ago-chemotherapy; Last Friday-Zion National ParkOne year ago Dale received his first round of chemotherapy, I got in a car wreck on...
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CincoVidas's picture
You know that a lot of foods are really good for you, but did you know that several actually have properties that can help protect your skin from the...
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The FDA recently announced that it would delay enforcing its new regulations on sunscreen. The new regulations were supposed to make it easier for...
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Christopher Poynter's picture
Wow. That's about all I can say. Thank-you SO much, everyone, for your unparalleled support and love. I started this blog to keep family and close...
Rich Franco's picture
7/17/12 – It was 4 years ago today when I was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma. I remember like it was yesterday… the words coming out of the...
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CincoVidas's picture
I’ve posted about toxins that can show up in our homes, like those that may appear in household dust, cleaning cabinets, and even in the...
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Jan Hansen's picture
Day 190 was last Thursday. Generally, Dale goes from day to day okay. He needs much rest and feels "just not right" although he continues to make it...
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CincoVidas's picture
It’s a great feeling when you get the news that your doctor can no longer find any cancer. Your last treatment is over, and it looks like you...
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Christopher Poynter's picture
I just wanted to write another short update for today to say that I haven't actually been feeling quite as bad during this third round of chemo, for...
CincoVidas's picture
If you experience road rage, you may be said to be “seeing red.” If you’re sad, people may describe you as “feeling blue....
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Christopher Poynter's picture
You may notice that the frequency of my blog posts has been declining. Mostly it's because I've felt great for a week and it was sunny outside, but...
CincoVidas's picture
Did you hear the news? On June 12, 2012, ABC News warned about spray tanning, and possible exposure to DHA, which is a potential toxin. Know...
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As women, there’s probably no other time when we’re more concerned about our exposure to potentially harmful chemicals than when we...
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Christopher Poynter's picture
I have been feeling progressively better this week, to the point where I have gone to work a couple times, and even lifted weights this morning. Here...
Jan Hansen's picture
Good thing Dale's colonoscopy is next week. The issues are still present. Had to get the gloves out, turn fans on, and clean up the results. Dale...
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CincoVidas's picture
Some of the most common side effects to occur when you’re going through chemotherapy are those that affect your hands and feet. These can be...
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When you think of areas of your home that might contain toxins, I bet your bedroom is the last room on your list. You may be surprised to learn that...
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Jan Hansen's picture
We are in trouble. I feel that Dale should have whatever he wants since he made it through over 1300 hours of chemotherapy with grace (sans constant...
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Christopher Poynter's picture
Today Kaitlin reminded me that I have a blog and that I should maybe write an update. Good thing I've been taking notes each day.On Tuesday I woke up...
CincoVidas's picture
The seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.—would you be surprised if I told you it’s diabetes? According to the American Diabetes...
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Jan Hansen's picture
Being tired gets old quickly. Dale gets up every day, very early, heads off to work (about a 45 minute drive in the early morning hours) works a 9...
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Christopher Poynter's picture
I tried to snap a nice photo of me smiling to text-message to Kaitlin to say "good luck on your toe mole removal today" but I couldn't smile because...
CincoVidas's picture
Continuing our series of detoxifying your life, this time I’m covering your cleaning cabinets. For many of us, this is where some of our most...
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Christopher Poynter's picture
Here is a photo as promised. I haven't been awake for very long...My body hair has been gradually starting to thin and fall out for the last week or...
Christopher Poynter's picture
Yesterday I went for a blood test at Jubilee Hospital in the morning, and received a call from the BC Cancer Agency in the afternoon. Apparently my...
Rich Franco's picture
After attending Dr. Goy’s MCL Symposium this past November,  I walked away with the following impressions:For one thing it seemed that I heard...
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CincoVidas's picture
I’ve incorporated exercise into my life for years—with activities like long distance running, triathlons,  hard-core boot camps and intense...
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CincoVidas's picture
Do you feel like you’re always battling against fatigue and a lack of energy? Is the stress of daily life wearing away at your digestive system...
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Christopher Poynter's picture
My mom reminded me yesterday that I haven't updated my blog in awhile, and that I should post updates when I'm feeling good sometimes too. The title...
Jan Hansen's picture
Dale made it through 4 days of work without much harm. His worst is at night with a cough keeping both of us awake. He sleeps part of the night but...
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CincoVidas's picture
As you work to reduce your exposure to dangerous toxins all around you, you may have neglected to think about your refrigerator. Here, two types of...
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People always ask me—whether in person, on my blog, on Facebook, or on Twitter—what the safest cosmetic procedures are. Here are my thoughts on some...
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Jan Hansen's picture
Dale's first day back to work went well. He met with many surprised co-workers welcoming him to the work grind of every day jobs. He has a new...
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Dale was up early, got ready, and packed up hand sanitizer, bleach wipes, and surgical masks for his return to work. It is great he is able to go to...
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Christopher Poynter's picture
A friend and mentor emailed me yesterday because my blog had been silent since Tuesday, and he was wondering if everything was okay. Yes, I am still...
CincoVidas's picture
Anna Scurry used to spend her days suffering from migraine headaches and fibromyalgia, among other things. Now she’s feeling healthier and more...
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Jan Hansen's picture
We are continued to be blessed by many around us. Last night a group of youth assisted with window washing and weeding. Although we have not been...
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Christopher Poynter's picture
I went in for for my remaining 360 mL of Rituximab today at 9:00 am. After they hydrated the piss out of me with another full litre of saline...
CincoVidas's picture
Have you looked in your bathroom cabinets lately? I mean, really looked? Most likely you’ve got toxins in there you haven’t even thought about. We’ve...
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Christopher Poynter's picture
Today I went in for Part II of my first round of chemotherapy. The reason I had to spread the chemo over two days is because the Rituximab is known...
Christopher Poynter's picture
Last night I went to Kaitlin's for our weekly "Sunday Night Dinner" with her parents. We had the usual fare; roast beef, mashed potatoes, and...
Christopher Poynter's picture
This is just going to be a short post, but I thought I'd write it anyways because I love food and maybe someone else will see it and think "hmmm,...
Christopher Poynter's picture
I had my first chemotherapy appointment from 2:30 - 5:30 today. The nurse went over everything with Kaitlin and me, and once I was comfortable she...
Christopher Poynter's picture
Today I spent my 27th birthday in the hospital. Literally... all... day.This morning I went for my bone marrow biopsy, so they can test to see if the...
Jan Hansen's picture
It is good to see Dale progressing each day for the better. He feels healthier each day, diarrhea in check (still some issues, but better), energy...
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CincoVidas's picture
Are you trying to get rid of the chemicals in your life? Are you reading labels, buying more natural products, and cleaning out your home of...
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Christopher Poynter's picture
On May 11th, 2012 I was diagnosed with a type of cancer called Mediastinal (Thymic) Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Here's the back story:In February...
CincoVidas's picture
Major Celebrities and Performers to Appear in New York City A number of top celebrities and performing acts including The Cab, Action Item, Fivel...
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Jan Hansen's picture
I do not feel compelled to report any more. That means progress for both of us. I go to work and feel I contribute instead of take up space....
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CincoVidas's picture
You already know they’re not good for you. But did you know that the World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF) recommends you stop eating...
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Rich Franco's picture
I know I said I wouldn’t have anything to post until my next scans in June but a reader of this blog reminded me of the importance of exercise during...
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Nothing To Worry About's picture
I see I didn't update again after my last post. I'm fine! I can't remember what they said the lump was, but it's not cancer. I had another scare a...
Sasha Ivanova's picture
I finished chemo about 7 months ago, and finished radiation close to 5 months ago. The time has surprisingly gone by really fast! Things are pretty...
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Rich Franco's picture
Every year my daughters ask me what I want for Christmas and every year I answer “Peace on earth”. If you think about it if you have your health,...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
Hi all! Sorry for the lack of updates, but I just haven't had too much to talk about...which is good! I feel like I have had lots of thoughts/...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
It has been almost two months since finishing my cancer treatments, and since then I have felt like I just needed a break from really thinking too...
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Rich Franco's picture
Anyone who had read this blog should know of the admiration, respect and gratitude I have towards Dr. Goy so when I received a phone call from one of...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
I am pleased to say that I have officially made it through cancer and all of the nasty treatments it requires to get rid of it! I had my last...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
Okay....maybe I spoke too soon in my last post, because although radiation may not be that bad compared to chemo, it is not very easy either. I...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
5 radiation treatments down...and 12 more to go! I wanted to make it a point to dedicate a few blog entries to my experience with radiation. I was...
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I have GREAT news!! The Hodge has been beaten! I had my PET Scan on Saturday August 6th and had to anxiously wait until today to get my results. Let...
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I have my first PET Scan tomorrow since starting chemo, and I am freaking out a little bit. It seems that most people have a scan at their halfway...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
Just a little update of sorts. Nothing too new to report, just enjoying my time before starting radiation. I had an appointment with my Radiology...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
It's been over 3 weeks since my last chemo, and it has been so nice to allow my body a break from being pumped full of toxic drugs...the thought of...
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Rich Franco's picture
7/17/11 – Today marks my 3 year anniversary of being diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma.  If you were to see me today, other that the small...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
I am going to make a confession...but please do not judge me! And this does NOT mean that when you see me, you can eye me up and down! Upon diagnosis...
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When Life Hands You Lymphoma's picture
This is going to be a mostly non-cancer related post, but it's sort of groovy and I wanted to share.If you know anything about me, you know I'm a...
Sasha Ivanova's picture
Chemo #8 was exactly how I had expected it to be...horrible. It is so crazy what all of those chemo drugs do to your body and just how crappy they...
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Rich Franco's picture
6/13/11 – I went for my scans today. As I was being registered I was asked if I had ever done this before. As I thought about it I have completely...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
I finished chemo #7, and now have just one more to complete on June 23rd! Hopefully that will be my last time EVER receiving any type of chemotherapy...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
There is some light at the end of the "chemo tunnel!" I had my 6th chemo treatment on Thursday May 26. I had such a hard time getting myself ready...
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Annie's picture
  I have only just written an entry with this title on it, because it truly has taken this long for me to feel that I have regained myself...
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Annie's picture
  I have only just written an entry with this title on it, because it truly has taken this long for me to feel that I have regained myself...
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Annie's picture
  I have only just written an entry with this title on it, because it truly has taken this long for me to feel that I have regained myself...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
I now have 5 chemo treatments down...and 3 more to go....followed by some intense radiation therapy :( I am trying my best to stay positive and look...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
It has been one week post chemo, and usually this is when I would start feeling slightly better from all of the grueling side effects of chemo...but...
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I had my 4th chemo treatment on Thursday April 28th. This was not only my grandmother's birthday, but also the 11 year anniversary of her death from...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
I had my third chemo treatment on Thursday, and it has been really rough on me...so I am going to keep this entry short. I have felt more sick to my...
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Well for those of you who do not already know...I mustered up enough courage and shaved my head last night. Saying it was a hard decision would be an...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
I received my second chemo treatment on Thursday, and this one has definitely been harder than the first, both physically and emotionally. I have...
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I had my first blood draw today since starting chemo...not fun at all since the person drawing it had such a hard time getting a good vein. He poked...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
I just wanted to post a little update with some very good news that I got from my bone marrow biopsy...it is CLEAR! No bone marrow involvement, which...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
It has been a few days since my first treatment, and up until today I actually felt pretty good considering what I am going through. I've been...
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
I know that it is still early, so I do not want to jinx anything...but so far, I am feeling better than I ever expected to after my first treatment....
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Sasha Ivanova's picture
I am going to try and just be quick with this entry since I literally just got home from receiving my first chemo treatment today. I had no idea what...
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Nothing To Worry About's picture
I'll make this short and sweet: I had a mammogram and I have a lump. I'm scheduled for a biopsy this week Friday. The radiologist and my oncologist...
Rich Franco's picture
2/23/11 – I had my CT and PET scans today2/28/11 – I met with Dr. Goy to get the results of my scans today. He never ceases to amaze me on how upbeat...
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Nothing To Worry About's picture
I am just terrible at keeping this thing updated. I'd love to say that I haven't been updating it because I've just been too darn busy, but that ain'...
Annie's picture
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Annie's picture
  I have not come to you for a while. It feels like so long. Another curve-ball and you are the only one that I can think to share it with....
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Annie's picture
  I have not come to you for a while. It feels like so long. Another curve-ball and you are the only one that I can think to share it with....
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When Life Hands You Lymphoma's picture
It seems really weird to me that so much time has passed since my last blog entry. That was on August 22, 2009 and now we’ve already ushered in...
Rich Franco's picture
Christmas is a time of year where all you want is your loved ones to be happy. It is also a time of year when it makes you feel so great to spread a...
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Annie's picture
  Something has shifted. I know that next week I'll probably enter a post about how horrid things are again but for now, something has improved...
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Rich Franco's picture
As I think back to the spring of 2008 when I wasn’t feeling well and had so many questions to now where it is all a distant memory, I truly do have...
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Annie's picture
I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. That I can't be more brave or more strong. I'm sorry that many nights this thing gets the better of me . I feel sore...
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Nothing To Worry About's picture
Chemo brain erased a lot of my memories, but that first discovery will never disappear. I remember the day I got married; being told I was pregnant...
Nothing To Worry About's picture
It's the middle of the night and I've been up watching TV and eating. I can't sleep anymore. It's gotten so bad that I don't know what to do. Ok,...
Annie's picture
The urging to help people is really strong tonight. I read the posts of the suppory group for HL and my heart bleeds, I feel so helpless sitting here...
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Annie's picture
A LATE JULY NIGHTI wonder if anybody knows that I cry myself to sleep every night. I wonder if they know I want my fan on to move the atmosphere, not...
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Annie's picture
From 14/6/10- pmI hesitate before towel-drying my hair and I hate running my hands through it. I keep imaging that it won't hold and it will begin to...
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Annie's picture
Ingriedients of AnnieVinblastin, Bleomycin, Dexamethasone, Adriamycin, Dycramycin, Kytril, Emend, Stemitil, Maxalon, Ativan, Xanax, Temazapam, Zoloft...
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Annie's picture
  We are soldiers of an un-understood warfare. There is something that happens within us that cannot possibly be comprehended. There is a long...
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Annie's picture
I made a list of all the good things about having a bald head-  Here is a list of some of them (feel free to add some)-   * bald is...
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Annie's picture
    I miss my life before cancer. I miss not having to care about every headache or stomach upset. I miss the days when...
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Annie's picture
  Tell me if you feel it to? Do you feel that inherant sadness weighing us down as we walk through each day. Tell me if you feel it to? Like you...
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Annie's picture
Penned approximately May 2010There are things that can be dealt with easily, and things that can’t. Just because one is able to cope with a certain...
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Annie's picture
I am tired of curve-balls. Yet no matter my complaints there is always a copious amount of them ready to be pitched at most inopportune moments....
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Annie's picture
I am trying to think of all the expletives I possibly can, but none can even faintly brush the surface of what I have been feeling for the last month...
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Annie's picture
Penned approximately late December 2009Before I was diagnosed, I used to have to do so many chemo people's bloods. Sometimes on the hospital wards...
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Rich Franco's picture
7/12/10 – Has it been 4 months already. Boy does times fly. I had my scan today. I will see Dr. Goy in a couple of days for my results.7/14/10 – I am...
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Rich Franco's picture
3/8/10 – It sure seems like 3 months comes and goes very quickly. Didn’t I just do this? Well, I had my CT scans today. I am meeting with Dr. Goy on...
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There is very little to report, but it's been so long since I updated this, I decided I'd go ahead and write about the little things that have...
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2010 has got to be a better year than 2009. I'd rather not live through another year like the one I've just gone through. I've heard about women who...
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12/7/09 - I had my CT scan today. I have an appointment with Dr. Feldman to get my results on Thursday, December 10th. It has been so great living a...
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You know how it is when you have a favorite pair of jeans (or shirt; or hat; or scarf; or husband) and the time comes to replace them? You can never...
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9/9/09 - I had my CT scan today. I have an appointment with Dr. Goy to get my results on Monday, September 14th. I am feeling great. I feel that I am...
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6/13/09 – On June 13th my parish celebrated its 30th Anniversary. A few friends on mine and myself, who call ourselves the “Hearts of Fire Band”,...
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Ok, I've set up shop and made my new blog! www.excancergirlgonewild.blogspot.comFollow me down the road of surviving breast cancer, eating cheesecake...
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On Wednesday the 20th of May, I underwent the second PET scan of my cancer patient career. PET's and CT's are going to be necessary and semi-frequent...
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This will likely be my last Nothing To Worry About blog post. I created this blog to stop the endless phone calls I was receiving from my family and...
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When you get cancer you join a club you never wanted to be in. I'm in the official Breast Cancer Survivor Club. Breast cancer survivors are...
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I'm not sleeping. Some time after the sun rises in the morning, I'm hopefully able to grab a couple hours. This is really affecting my mood, too, and...
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Over the last week or so I've started several blog posts, but finished none. Every time I would go back to reread what I wrote, I felt sure I had...
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Today was a big day: I got out of bed, took a shower, got dressed and left my house. Every other day this week has been spent either in bed or...
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I woke up this morning feeling yucky. I'm finished with chemo! I'm not supposed to be getting sick anymore. When my temp hit 100.7, I decided I wasn'...
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Today I turn forty years old. Today is also exactly four weeks since my last chemo treatment. I've decided enough is enough - no more whining!...
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6/5/09 – I had my CT Scan today. I have an appointment with Dr. Feldman to get my results on Tuesday, June 9th. I am feeling very strong. I just want...
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This has been an extremely emotional last few days for me. I'm still trying to recover from my last infection which left me completely wiped out -...
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009The summer heat is upon us which can only mean one thing: fighting over the temp in the house. Honestly! Tom believes a house...
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Way more tired than usual today. I had a very high fever and pain in my ribs which caused me to have to go to the hospital. Too out of it to blog...
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I have two 6 1/2 inch (yep, I measured) scars where my breasts used to be. I'm really not telling you this so you'll feel sorry for me. Please don't...
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Some of my readers know that, among other things that actually pay the bills, I'm a writer. My published book, a novella, falls somewhere between...
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I've not been feeling well - lots of headaches and very tired. Tomorrow I'm going to get back in the blogging swing of things!
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One of the big headlines in the news right now is the story of the 13-year old Daniel Hauser who has Hodgkins disease and is currently on the run...
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On May 16th and May 17th I gave a stewardship witness talk at my Parish, St. Francis de Sales of Vernon NJ. Below is the text of the talk I gave:Hi,...
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This blog title was suggested by a wonderful woman/friend from my church. It's not as it sounds! I mean I am blogging and I am naked...wait - I guess...
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Burnin' love is a sarcastic title. I've started having hot flashes. Hot flashes are no fun. Not only are hot flashes no fun for me, but they are...
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Chemo tomorrow. This means no blog posts until the sickness calms down. I'm not sure it's any easier now knowing what to expect with each treatment...
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All my wonderful cancer fighters out there I need your help! I've lost my sense of taste. Everyday it seems to be getting a little worse. I can no...
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Driving down Interstate 90/94, just south of the Columbia/Dane County line is mile marker 124. It's easy to notice because a set of high voltage...
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3/2/09 – Today was a great day. I received the results from my CT and PET Scans. To quote Dr. Feldman: “Your scans are perfect! There is no sign of...
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2/24/09 - I had a follow appointment with Dr. Sebti (my infectious decease Doctor) and I also stop by the Cancer Clinic to have some blood drawn to...
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I got mad a few weeks ago. Yep, I finally got angry about something. Really angry.It's about time, you're probably saying. Go for it, Sue! Shake...
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2/16/09 - I had another follow up appointment today. My counts still look good. My WBC is 4.5 and my Platelets are 66.2/17/09 - I went to work for...
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2/13/09 – Most people hear that it is Friday the 13th and they fear that that will run into bad luck. I must say that my experience was very...
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When I was in the hospital, they initially put me in a ward for the thoracic surgery candidate-type patients. The nurses were awesome, very...
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02/10/09 – Today is day 16 of Cycle 6/3B and I had my 3rd follow up appointment. It ending up being a pretty long day> I arrived and the Cancer...
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2/6/09 – Today I had another follow up appointment. My blood counts have pretty much crashed. My white blood cell (WBC) count is 0.5 and my platelets...
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Once again, I'm belated with my updates. My best friend, Janet, calls periodically and snarks at me about it. This is as it should be. Truth is, I...
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Remission. Yep, as of a PET scan on Wednesday the 21st, the doctor says that I'm "officially in remission." I'll still be going through radiation...
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Every year, I get at least one nasty cold. You know how it goes. Kleenex become an endangered species in your house, you're achier than a 1990's...
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This post isn't exactly about cancer, but since you can trace the causes directly back to it, I reckon it's fair game.Here's the deal. I have this...
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I've got to be honest. The last round of chemotherapy I had was the toughest of them all. It wasn't that driving snowy-icy roads in the dark for over...
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I don't smell like me anymore. Now let me be clear about this. I am a reasonably hygienic individual. I shower daily. I use deodorant, brush my...
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I've been remiss in not posting for a while. Ah, Christmas is a wonderful time, but some of us get rather disorganized throughout the run-up and I...
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This was written on November 25th. I've only just gotten around to typing it into the computer. (Spiral bound notebooks are my friends.)I'm writing...
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On November 1st, in the year of our Lord 2008, I followed my normal daily procedure and went to a small nearby restaurant for breakfast. Breakfast is...
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When I bought my house, (with generous aid from my parents, to be honest,) it seemed pretty well perfect. A well-kept block of homes, easy walking...
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It had to happen. By the fifth chemotherapy treatment, I came to a point where my white blood cells just weren't bouncing back as enthusiastically as...
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My daughter decided, very belatedly, that she wanted to go to the school homecoming dance. She borrowed a dress and looked gorgeous in it. (My...
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Two of the chemicals that get pumped into the ol' mortal bits on a regular basis have, amongst other side effects, the ability to make your hair...
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The complicated version is "Primary Mediastinal Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma" (PMBCL). Slightly less complicated is the phrase: "Non-Hodgkins...
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This is a different sort of story for me. It's a story without an easily definable beginning. This is a story that won't have an ending until after...

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