Penny’s Blog

Medical report: 3 months post-chemo

Posted on: May 29, 2009

Hey, pardners. Wednesday was my follow-up PET scan and oncology visit. The pertinent info is that everything looks good—the scan was clean, and my blood work showed normal levels of LDH (what Dr. Van Deventer calls “the poor man’s cancer marker”).

I’ll go back for follow-ups every 4 months for the next year.  My lymphoma almost certainly is cured…  what they’ll mainly be checking for at the follow-ups is secondary cancers (an occasional, unfortunate late effect of chemotherapy).

My T-cell levels should be about back to normal in a few more months.  Dr. Van recommends that in the fall I get vaccines for flu (routine for me anyway), pneumonia, shingles, and DTaP (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis).  Before chemo, I had good levels of antibodies gained from childhood vaccinations (DPT) and illness (chicken pox—helps protect against shingles). But chemo can knock down the antibodies to useless, non-protective levels.  Thus the re-vaccination.

It was a long morning at the hospital.  Four hours of tests, discomfort, and waiting around, with the payoff (i.e., the info I’ve listed above) coming in the last 5 minutes.  I must say, I love the nurses in Hematology/Oncology.  They always act like they’re just delighted to see you. And when the lady who takes my vital signs saw that the lab person had caused me some unnecessary pain, she picked up the phone and bawled her out.  I need to bake some cookies for those ladies, I truly do.


2 Responses to "Medical report: 3 months post-chemo"

Wonderful news, just excellent. Except for the hospital crap of course.

Great news indeed! I hope the rest of your life is boring as hell…no more excitement like this, please!

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  • 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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