Penny’s Blog

Medical update

Posted on: January 16, 2009

Since I had chemo and a doctor’s visit on Wednesday, wanted to make a couple of notes for those who are interested.

I asked the doctor, “Just making sure: Does the fact that my scan was clean mean that I really no longer have lymphoma?” and he said, “Yes.”

The next chemo treatment (early February) should be the last one; then we’ll start discussing follow-up. We will consult with a radiologist, and Dr. Van expects that the radiologist will recommend radiation as a preventive measure. It’s going to be pretty hard to sell me on that. First, as you’ll know from having read this blog, I’m running out of patience with treatment and side effects. Second, I am choosing not to think about the possibility of recurrence (yes, this is what we call “denial”).

I asked when I could get the port removed. Dr. Van said when I come back 3-4 weeks after my last chemo, if my blood counts are good enough for me to have surgery, we can schedule it then. I’m eager to get this device out of me so I can stop feeling like a chemotherapy receptacle and start feeling like a normal person.

Dr. V. said that the slower recovery time and increasing fatigue after each treatment is not imaginary. In fact, he said that I should allow about 9 months after the final chemotherapy infusion for my body to heal completely. So although I’ll definitely be feeling better in March, I may not be in the zip-a-dee-doo-dah category until maybe November.

In the side-effect department, I continue to gain weight and lose body hair (just a few eyelashes left). The latest development is hot flashes: Chemo appears to have kick-started me into menopause. This is common with chemo and may or may not be permanent. If any of you have experience with herbal supplements or the like, let me know.

As always, love and thanks to everyone for your support and patience.


3 Responses to "Medical update"

Hi Penny,

Hang in there! I love how your recovery from this coincides with the coming of spring!

Dearest sister, please feel free to kvetch. You got a right to sing the blues. Your wisdom and outlook always have blown me away.

May Rebecca and her many loved ones be at peace now.

Think thoughts of a weekend at Carolina Beach.


Hang in there! I would recommend Black Cohosh as an herbal thing for hot flashes!


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  • None
  • dswope: I just happened by after my I received an email from a close colegue that he was headig for IVPalooza. All I knew was that it was a form of chemo.
  • Brian: Hi Penny; When I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma I found your site. Reading about what you went through was incredibly helpful to me. Tha
  • Tricia: Still here; still caring; still rooting you on!


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