Cyclophosphamide, Doxorubicin, Vincristine and Prednisone.

Did I get your attention from the title? and what are those names?

Well for anyone who has recently or is still under going treatment for Lymphoma then these are some words that will affect you in a rather personal way. These are the chemicals that make up the treatment called CHOP. This is of course not the only treatment for such blood cancer, As this will vary depending on your individual type (B-cell, T-cell)

Now for me the word CHOP means a lot, but also disappointment! as I underwent 4 cycles of CHOP to only relapse part way through the 4th cycle. Of course this was no fault of the treatment, it had a lot  more to do with the disease that was consuming me. The next move for me was Radiotherapy, its strange how this is called a therapy! because depending where you have it it can be quite uncomfortable. The side effects don’t usually present until you are well into your treatment. In concert with radiotherapy I was also subjected to a very high dose of Methotrexate, this is a nasty chemotherapy! as it made me very ill and I was left with a residual level in my body 3 weeks after it was administered. Folinic Acid is used to neutralise the effect of this when used in such high doses, this was also administered via IV. On the day that I went into hospital to have the Methotrexate chemo, there was a pretty purple sign on the wall (to indicate that I will be cytotoxic) this had 48 hours written on it, and I thought that it meant I would be home in 2 days! hmm… try 3 1/2 weeks 🙁

Extranodal NK/T cell lymphoma, nasal type (Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) was my official diagnosis back in September 2006. I’m almost 3 years in remission and life has certainly changed since that day that I received the news. The person I have to thank for keeping me in good spirit and constantly being there is my wife Clare, with out her I certainly wouldn’t have continued the journey I was subjected to…

If in doubt… get it checked out! 😉

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