Yesterday I finally received some good news!
I received the results of my bone marrow biopsy and it looks like the cancer has not spread to my bone marrow. This is incredibly good news as it reduces me down to Stage III from Stage IV. At first, the doctor (a locum, because my regular oncologist is away on vacation) told me that I am still Stage IV, but we read through the staging criteria for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma together and, so long as the cancer hasn’t spread to another system of my body, I am actually at Stage III.
This means so much for my prognosis. Base 5-year survival rates for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma are 65% at Stage IV and 80% at Stage III which, in my opinion, is a huge difference. If you add in the fact that I wasn’t having any symptoms of Lymphoma (drenching night sweats, unexplained fever or weight loss) prior to my diagnosis, this means that my chances of making it through this ordeal are quite good.
When I heard the doctor mention that the cancer may have spread to my bone marrow, I instantly lost a great deal of hope and morale. She also discussed the fact that, if the chemotherapy wasn’t effective in eradicating the cancer, there were other options. I have been dreading those other options. I have been dreading the fact that I might need further treatment after chemotherapy. While I know that it is still highly possible that I will need further treatment after chemotherapy is completed, I feel like I can at least be a little more optimistic about the fact that the chemo alone might be enough. I can’t express in words how much that means to me and the positive effect that it has had on my morale. I spent a few hours this afternoon crying. I was completely overcome with emotion.
Today I’m going for my second chemotherapy infusion (I should actually be on my way home by the time this post goes up). Of course I’m dreading it, but I’m happy that I will, at least, be going in with a little more hope than I did last time.
I will probably be pretty quiet for a few days, but I’ve written and scheduled my next three posts, so please watch out for them.