This is Part 2 of ABVD
So I’m released from hospital on the 3rd of May 2014 as a newly diagnosed Type 2 Diabetic just to add to the already Stage 4B Hodgkins Lymphoma. I’m also told that an appointment was set for Tuesday 6th for my PET scan.
P.E.T. Scan May 6th 2014 (P.E.T. Number 2)
A Positron Emission Tomography scan is a type of imaging test. It uses a radioactive substance called a tracer to look for disease in the body. A positron emission tomography (PET) scan shows how organs and tissues are working. This is different than MRI and CT scans. These tests show the structure of, and blood flow to and from organs. After the first failed attempt to do this scan they got my blood sugar under control. Chemotherapy Steroid Induced Diabetes Type 1
I arrive at the set time, have my blood sugar taken and it’s at 7.0 which is fine. Off we go.
I don’t particularly like PET scans and the knock me off for most of the day. So after I have it I went home to bed.
Thursday 8th I’m back in for 3.1 of ABVD & the half way mark. The results of the PET are in and it appears that the Chemo is working with the exception of 6 new tumors in my liver. Prior to ABVD I am sent for an ultrasound and it’s confirmed that even though they have the Lymphoma under control the cancer has spread further into my liver. The level of ABVD is increased by 20% bringing it to the highest level of ABVD permitted. I can feel the difference straight away but I still manage to escape the know side effects.
Thursday 22nd of May back in for 3.2. I have now lost all body hair, bald as a q-ball and the mixture of steroids & insulin injections has bloated me. But outside of that I’m doing well. Getting used to the ward & nurses who are Gods Angels on earth.
Thursday 5th June ABVD 4.1 – I commence with an ultrasound on my liver and by so fantastic chance it’s clear. A great sign that things are going well. My oncologist decides to give me a bone enhancement drip after Chemo to help prevent the cancer spreading deeper into my bone marrow. This is given by IV and takes about 45 minutes.
Thursday 12th and no it’s not Chemo it’s my birthday I’m 52 but feel about twice that. The effects of the Chemo are now something I so used too it’s easier. But I never loose focus on how dangerous things are for me and continue to push myself to beating the side effects.
Thursday 19th back in for 4.2 with only 2 months left no more issues or so I thought
Thursday 3rd July 5.1 Normal question prior to Chemo but I tell the doctor that over the past week I felt a little breathless. So I’m sent off for a respiratory test. I had this test prior to ABVD in March and the results back then showed 90% volume intake which was excellent, but this one showed 47% which was bad. So off to X-Ray department for a chest X Ray and back to the ward.
Basically the B – Bleomycin can cause your lungs to collapse, it’s not a normal side effect as it only effects 1 out of 50 but yes I just happen to be the 1.. My oncologist explained that to continue using Bleomycin would basically destroy my lungs, my right lung was seriously damaged and further exposure could kill me. So they stopped the Bleomycin. From 5.1 onwards I’m on AVD.
Thursday 17th July 5.2 and only 2 more to go. Still feeling better than expected and the oncologist is very happy with progress but keeps questioning about side effects.
Thursday July 31st. As July is basically a five week month 6.1 falls on the last day of the month. I’m still bloated from all the drugs used and I am now fighting nausea more and more. But by some miracle I never vomit.
Thursday 14th August 2014. My last day for Chemo 6.2 it is singularly the fastest day so far, it’s 30 plus degrees outside and because Chemo drugs heat you up I am very warm. But less than 2 hours after arriving into hospital I’m finished. I have successfully completed 6 months of Chemotherapy. My respiratory system is recovering well but I’m still Type 2 insulin dependent diabetic. So I’m to call my Oncologist secretary to arrange an appointment in 6 weeks time.
And that really concludes my experience with ABVD. I called the secretary on the 14th of August and she advised that I would be going for a PET scan on the 25th Of September and my Oncologist would call me in to see him shortly after that.
The last day of chemotherapy is strange. Its like walking off a cliff, months of constant monitoring and weekly visits to the oncology wards suddenly stop. Your body has become used to IV and then it’s over, done, dusted… In reality you do feel a little lost by this sudden anti climax. It takes nearly 100 days for the body to get used to not been battered. But in our minds throughout the waiting time we have to battle mental health and insure that we stay focused on a positivity.
The practice of ringing a bell on the last day of chemotherapy had not been introduced in 2014. In reality I never fully understood why this was introduced. For me it is not a signal that you have beaten cancer, the reality is that on the last day of chemo your body is at its peak in the war. But it seems to be now something to celebrate. I am a solid believer in positivity and my focus on the last day of chemotherapy was to beat lymphoma