Let’s me start by clarifying a few items. When a Hodgkins Lymphoma cancer victim is first diagnosed the medical team then establish what Stage the cancer is at.
Lymphoma is a blood cancer that attacks the lymph nodes which are part of the immune system, it is classed as an immune cancer, lymph nodes are in cluster chains throughout the body
Lymph nodes are part of the immune system and protects vital organs
Lymphoma is staged from Stage 1 to Stage 4 – Stage 4 been the most advanced. This is further broken down as A or B. Stage 4B is the final stage.
Lymphoma is viewed as Hodgkins HLD and Non Hodgkins NHL
Hodgkin disease differs from non-Hodgkin lymphoma in several ways. In Hodgkin disease, people have large, malignant cells known as Reed-Sternberg cells; physicians will look for these cells to confirm a Hodgkin disease diagnosis. Hodgkin lymphoma has several variations: one is a “classic” type (with four different subtypes) that comprises about 95 percent of all cases; another 5 percent of cases are known as modular lymphocyte predominant NLPHD is typically a slow-growing form of the disease.
When the medical team have Staged the lymphoma they consult a panel of specialized lymphoma oncologists, decisions on how to proceed are agreed by the panel. These panels are generally conducted through video conferencing which are held nationally every Thursday and internationally once a month. Stage 3 & 4 patients are the primary topics.
Make no mistake cancer kills. There is no such thing as “an easy cancer to beat” Once the cancer requires chemotherapy or radiotherapy then it’s a battle.
I was diagnosed 14.Feb.2014 as Stage4B Hodgkins Lymphoma (Large B cell, Liver & Lungs)
But it can be beaten It takes everything your have to muster and commit to the battle. But you can win against any odds.
📍 FACT Worldwide, over 62,000 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma every year. Of those, 60% are male and 40% are female. Approximately 25,000 people die every year from this disease. That relates to a 60% survival rate. This is a general estimate. Factors break down further into age, prior health (other prior underlining heath issues like heart, liver lung diseases & diabetes plays a big role) stage of cancer and the bodies ability to take the chemo. So survival rates can change from 90% down to 5% it is an area that has received a lot of attention over the past number of years. In most cases doctors can estimate your survival rate.
📍 FACT: placing a patient into remission must be agreed by a panel of Oncologist
I entered into remission for the first time on 14.Feb.2016
📍 FACT: Lymphoma starts in your body’s white cells. Lymphocytes usually come in two types of cells: B lymphocytes (B cells), which make antibodies that fight infection, and T lymphocytes (T cells), which help kill microbes and tumor cells, and control the immune system. Lymphocytes are found in the various organs and tissues of your immune system, including the lymph nodes, bone marrow, thymus, spleen, tonsils, and the lymphoid tissue in your digestive tract.
📍 FACT: placing a patient into relapse must be agreed by a panel of Oncologist
I relapsed on 29th March 2017 to Stage 4 Non Hodgkins Lymphoma
📍 FACT: There is no known cause
📍 FACT: Early diagnosis and treatment greatly improves the outcome of the disease.
📍 FACT: Stem Cell research is rapidly proving to be a key element in defeating Lymphoma
📍 FACT: No two victims are the same, they may have common symptoms but never identical. Never tell a cancer victim that “you know someone with that” your wrong. Each victim is unique & it is vital that they not only listen to their medical team but completely understand and create their own mindset to fight their cancer
📍 FACT: Negativity is a vicious enemy of cancer victims. Get negative people & negative thoughts away from you. Positivity & influencers are vital in both the battle and recovery. In meeting negative people I have found a great solution. Extend your right or left arm or both, ball your fingers into a fist facing upwards, now extend your middle finger directly upwards (known as “go fuck yourself.” Or “the bird” or simply “giving the finger”) it has a positive impact on negative influencers – I have practiced this over the past number of years and I can assure you it works.😇
It is vital that any currently or recently diagnosed cancer victim gains a clear understanding of what type, Stage and subset cancer they have. Professor Google is a great source of information & most medical professionals will explain in detail what you have. If in doubt ask, a problem shared is a problem resolved.
Placing a patient from any Stage into terminal takes serious decisions from a panel of oncologist. Terminal by definition means “Terminal illness is an incurable disease that cannot be adequately treated and is reasonably expected to result in the death of the patient within a short period of time. Wikipedia”
I officially relapsed on 29th March 2017 was declared Terminally Stage 4 Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and given less than ten weeks to live
So on the 29th of March 2017 I was placed into relapse, I had originally been diagnosed on the 14th February 2014 as Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma and managed to get into remission on 14th Feb 2016, but by Nov 2016 things were looking bad. As I said above it takes some serious discussions by the panel to place someone into “relapse” and the team will go to every extent to keep a victim in remission. In some cases it is so obvious that the decisions are instant however in my case it took over 4 months. Why ? Because even with the cancer cells been present they appeared to be not active. It was only when the lymphoma started to rapidly spread that the team had to react. Please do not misunderstand the last part, my medical teams were brilliant- they saved my life, they attacked the lymphoma head on. Exposing people to aggressive forms of Chemotherapy is a decision best made by a number of professionals, if they were any avenues open to avoid chemo they would explore them first.
But let me get back to the 29th March 2017. 365 days ago. After multiple scans followed by a biopsy to my back & a PET scan I was declared in relapse and required urgent medical intervention as a form of a rescue operation for Stage 4 Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. This was further complicated by the fact that I was told that with or without treatment I had between a 5 to 10% chance of surviving till June 2017. Basically I was been given a maximum of 10 weeks to live. Serious shit. Terminal Stage 4 Lymphoma I’m not going to drag you all through the following months as it is well covered in my previous blogs but it was a rollercoaster. Obviously I survived and underwent a Stem Cell Transplant in 13th July 2017, 100 days later my PET scan showed no sign of cancer cells and on the 8th of Feb 2018 I was officially placed into remission
In the famous words of Robin “Holy shit Batman”
So I went from Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma to remission then relapsed to Terminal Stage 4 Lymphoma (or Non Hodgkins) and survived to tell my story.
📍 FACT: Cancer be beaten
How? Motivation, drive, determination, stubbornness & a fantastic medical team. Oh and let’s not forget attitude
12 Months 1 year or 365 days ago on the 29th of March I was told I basically would not survive. Yet here I am telling my story.
12 Months 1 year or 365 days is a day I will never forget. Anita was with me and my oncologist was gutted, I could see the sadness in his eyes, something that is impossible to hid. You see I read people, I have no choice as I have only 45% hearing since I was 8 years old. I only started waring hearing aids last April. So 55% of what I don’t hear I see in body language. It’s an art and takes years to get right. But my oncologist just didn’t want to tell me I was fucked, but he did in the polite gentle way that he has. He wanted to insure that I had all my affairs in order and stopped me from working. Making decisions during ICE Chemotherapy or BEAM Chemotherapy is not advised and as senior management/consultant I had to cease working.
📍 FACT Once in remission the medical team will monitor you ever 3 to 4 months for 5 years. After 5 years you will be given the “All Cancer Clear” the chances of relapse to the same cancer after 5 years is less than 1%
📍 FACT: This blog site only commenced in March 2017.. it now has 6,000 viewers from 56 countries and building
So it’s taken me 12 Months 1 year or 365 days to create M.I.N.D.S
M.I.N.D.S is my own personal philosophy
Motivation, Inspiration, Needs, Determination = Success,
(I will be writing a blog later on this)
Believe me I am living proof that this philosophy works
But even when placed in remission a patient has to rebuild lost strength, repair any damage to their confidences, damage to their bodies, mental health, work back into a normal life, work back into society & in a lot a cases try and rebuild their career or simply secure a job.
12 Months 1 year or 365 days and counting
This blog site is all about Awareness. It is one persons battle against this cancer and his ongoing war against cancer. It has been built to show that a 55 year old Stage 4 Lymphoma (Large B Cell) victim can not only beat this cancer once but twice in 4 years. My name is Ian Doherty
📍 Final Fact: New treatments for both non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma are currently being tested. According to Robert W. Chen, M.D. , recently approved drugs and drugs currently in clinical trials look very promising, even for people whose cancers have relapsed. Among these is a new class of drugs, called PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibitors, which enhance the patient’s own immune system to fight Hodgkin lymphoma cells. A drug called Imbruvica (ibrutinib) has gotten approval from the FDA for treating certain types of lymphoma. “It is strongly effective and very well-tolerated,” says Dr Chen. VHI are currently deciding on the drugs
Robert W. Chen, M.D. joined City of Hope in 2008 following a hematology/oncology fellowship at University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO. He received his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL.. He is a leading research scientist for Lymphoma research
Thank you Mr Robert Chen your devotion and continued work is inspirational
I have a Go Fund Me donation site available. If at all possible could you please leave a small donation. If every person that has read my blog left just €3 as a donation it would clear all medical bills to date Over 6,000 people have viewed the site to date.
(Update: unfortunately the Go Fund Me account will only accept a min donation of €5).