I was diagnosed with FNHL (follicular Non-Hodgkin lymphoma) stage 3B in March 2015. The cancer manifested as a 16cm mass in my abdomen that had caused stomach pain for months before and swollen lymph nodes throughout my body. I immediately began aggressive treatment with a series of six infusions of Rituxan at three-week intervals, which by the end shrank the mass by fifty percent.
The infusions were followed by fifteen radiation sessions which shrunk the mass another ten percent. Treatment concluded in October 2015, I was pronounced in remission and since then have been watching and waiting to see if it sticks. As of April 2017 my oncologist gives me a 40% chance of recurrence.
This blog started as a series of Facebook posts to keep friends current on my treatment and recovery. It’s since expanded to cover aspects of post-treatment life and future expectations, while its companion blog Walk Into The Sun addresses parts of my life not solely concerned with cancer. I’m lucky to still have plenty of those; all things considered, I figure I got off pretty light this time around.
(The title So Take Your Shoes And Go Outside is a lyric from the song "Bye Bye Pride," referring to what a humbling experience cancer has been.)
I hope this blog is useful to you regardless of your relationship with cancer. If by sharing my story I can make anyone’s journey even a little easier it’ll have been worth it.