I’ll start with a question. What does one do when they’re told they have cancer – or even worse, lymphoma?

By: Robin Harry

I’ll start with a question. What does one do when they’re told they have cancer – or even worse, lymphoma?

Well, if you’re me (and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone), you continue life as normal. Take it in stride, read up on the facts, reach out to your friends, hold on to your faith if you have one (thank God I have Jesus), and keep on trucking. But there’s always the little nagging reality that you have to deal with that tells you that the days ahead are gonna be rough…

My friend RT thought it might be a good idea to keep a blog – just to chronicle the ups and downs of this journey…the diagnosis, the reaction (both mine and family), the treatments, the good and bad days. So I’ll start the chronicles of cancer by going back to the beginning and letting you all know in the blogosphere how this journey began…

In mid-May 2011 I started having severe chest pains. Went to my doctor after a couple days, did an ECG, chest X-ray…ECG came back abnormal because I had acute pericarditis. Basically, the fibrous layer that sort of carries my heart was inflamed. Easily dealt with – took elephant doses of ibuprofen and it was good. Except about a week later, the doctor reviewed the x-ray again and saw that there was a mass in my chest.

Anyways, I did a ton of tests including a surgical biopsy (mediastinoscopy to be precise), and I got the results a week ago. The mass was a cancer tumour – diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. It’s a non-Hodgkin’s type which is high-grade (grows fast), and aggressive, but ultimately treatable and curable as long as it’s treated quickly. I start treatment pretty much now LOL – chemotherapy starts next week, and radiation after that.

The cancer is still in the early stages – it hasn’t spread to other parts of the body yet as far as we can tell, though I have another CT scan to do to confirm that. And apart from the symptoms I have because of its location (coughing, occasional chest pain, shortness of breath), I still don’t feel anything! So the prognosis is pretty good. We’re all actually a little more worried about all the side effects and secondary problems that chemotherapy and radiation can cause – infertility, hair loss, cardiomyopathy, secondary cancers, etc but gotta weigh the benefits, right?

My faith in God has kept me through all this, and I trust Him completely. It’s gonna be a heck of a bumpy ride, I know that, but since He’s promised that He won’t give his children more than they can bear without giving them a way out, I know He’s got me covered. It’s like Jesus said to his disciples when Lazarus was sick, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it. (John 11:4)” That’s my honest belief – that God is going to get the glory through all of this. And that gives me peace. For now.

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