I received a call from the Dr Hentschel today with the results of my biopsy on Monday. I was not expecting this call so soon. I am so thankful and impressed that we have such amazing doctors and professionals right here in Kitchener.
The pathologist and another lymphoma specialist both reviewed the results of the biopsy. It is confirmed that I have Hodgkins Lymphoma. They are "pretty sure", 97% certain but not 100% certain that I have a form of Hodgkins called Nodular Sclerosis. In doing some research, I have learned that this is the most common form of Hodgkins. Between 60-80% of all Hodgkins cases are this kind. In early stages, it is very treatable with a high prognosis rate. Even in more advanced cases, the prognosis is very good.
Unfortunately in medicine, they need 100% diagnosis and confirmation of the type of Hodgkins in order to plan my treatment. In order to do this, I will need to see a surgeon early next week to have a excisional lymph node biopsy, Dr Hentschel is hoping that the surgeon will be able to remove one of the enlarged lymph nodes in my neck/collarbone area. I will also need to have a Gallium scan. A second appointment. This will involve some sort of radiology dye that travels to the cancer in my body, in order to stage the cancer they need to determine whether the lymph nodes below my diaphragm are involved.
Dr Hentschel has made the referral to an Oncologist and I will see this new doctor next week as well. It will be busy week but all of these appointments will lead me closer to the start of the treatment part of my journey. The diagnostic phase while seemingly long, is a very important one. They want to get it right. I want them to get it right. There is nothing about my health that I want to second guess.
This call is one I have anticipated and waited for. Dr. Hentschel was patient, answering all of my questions with the right amount of kindness, humour and knowledge. I firmly believe he is a large part of the quick turn-around time in getting me results and ultimate answers. I thank him for that.
I take a tiny amount of solace in knowing that if the diagnosis turns out to be this form of Hodgkins that many others have walked this journey and are survivors. This being the most common form of Hodgkins means there are many treatments available, others out there like me who have made it to the other side. I am hoping that it is the "best case scenario" out of the worst thing that has happened to me in my life so far.
Thank you to our family, our friends, the colleagues who have taken on small responsibilities to make my life easier, the friends who have stopped by, the cards, offers and prayers. Every little bit helps lighten our load and make this a little less unbearable.