tisdag 15 juli 2008

Going global

In support of my friends abroad and my non-swedish speaking friends, I will try to keep this blog bi-lingual.
I do not know if I will just do translation of what I write in Swedish or if I will just alternate.

Well, why am an old fart like me doing this. Sharing my private life with family, friends, new acquaintances and whoever who might find their way in to this blog.

For one thing its therapy for me. Having something at least slightly meaningful to focus on while going through all the other things. Then of course it is a quite good way to keep friends and family updated on what is happening. But also, I am hoping that sharing my story I will help give some more insight in what cancer really means. My own knowledge and notion of cancer had up until this, mainly been based on horror stories from the older generation and from media (mainly House MD, ER and so on). So, to be honest I really did not know what it was. And I had no clue on how I would have reacted if I got cancer.

So, to give a short resume of the background and what has happened so far.
In July last year, I started getting pains in my kidney area. For the first month or so, kidneystones was the first suspect. After CT-scans, biopsy and a lot of blood tests, it was diagnosed in end of september to be Diffuse Large B-Cell lymphoma, stage 3B. The most common form of aggressive Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. After a 8 rounds of chemo therapy in combination with monnucleous antigenes (R-CHOP-6+2), I was finally in March this year declared in complete remission. I.e, all cancer gone.
To say the least, I felt great. Tired, fatter, but felt great.

In mid June, me, my son and a friend of his went to Tenerife for a 2-week vacation. Had a lovely time, great weather, football EM, sightseeing. Just had fun.
But slowly I was getting more and more swollen around my neck, then under my arms. It feelt a little bit like being strangled slowly, eventhough it did not affect my breathing, but the blood flow. It was really only the last 2-3 days of my vacation I started to realise that this could be sersious. I arranged to see my doctor directly after I had arrived back in stockholm. After some blood tests (did not show anything), and after a CT scan. It was clear that I had Vena Cava Superior Syndrome. Meaning that I had a growth pressuring on Vena Cava, stopping the bloodflow from the upper part of my body back into the heart. Of course a very serious condition, but the cause was yet to be found. To take care of the acute symptoms I got high-dosage of cortison (32 pills per day), and also a daily short of some heparin like medicin to prevent blood clotting. A week later I went through a medinoscopi. They go in surgically through the neck with a big pipe and camera and take tissue samples. Unfortunately they could not reach the main growth causing the Vena Cava syndrome, but they managed to get some samples from nearby lymphnodes.

After yet annother week (that is yesterday), I got the final results. It is a relapse of the lymphoma.

This time I am in for a number of different chemo sessions, then they will collect blood from me to pick out stemcells. Then another chemo session that will totally destroy my immune system. When that is done they will transplant my own stemcells back. This will then hopefully start building up my new immunesystem and hopefully then get rid of all cancer.

The whole process will start tomorrow (when I will be admitted to hospital for a first session of 5 days), the transplant will take place in September - october (at that stage I will be in hospital for 3-5 weeks maybe more, and several of those weeks I will be in isolation).

So, it will be a tough battle, but one that I am confident that I will win.

No, this was the short resume of what has happened up until now.

Today, Tuesday, has been a quite beautiful slow day. Weather has been fantastic. A really warm summer day. My friend Håkan picked me up and we went for lunch atBrostugan, a small outdoor cafe near the lake Mälaren. It was great to get out and to talk to someone about something else than the cancer and all that. Back from lunch I have packed my bag for 5 days. Never really had a chance to do that before, ending up in hospital, maybe with a book with me but nothing else. Now I have seen to that I get my laptop with me, a bunch of DVDs, books, magazines, slippers, own t-shirts (hospital clothes are just ridiculuous).
I guess I will have my days occupied with blodtests, bonemarrow tests, probably have a new pic-line or a Port-a-Cath inserted in addition to getting the chemo. The problems is keeping occupied during the evening or sleepless nights, and of course the weekend. So, I guess I am prepared.

Down - set - hut

Inga kommentarer: