Follicular Lymphoma

My final biopsy was successful and provided the information my doctors needed in order to subtype my Lymphoma. I have Follicular Lymphoma – a type of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

There are many subtypes of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, each of which fall into one of two classifications: Aggressive (fast growing) or Indolent (slow growing) – these categories characterize how the disease is progressing. My Lymphoma (Follicular) is Indolent, a slow growing cancer.

It seems counter-intuitive, but we have been hoping for the aggressive, fast growing kind all along because the probability of cure is much higher. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society website says it like this: “Some patients with fast-growing NHL can be cured. For patients with slow-growing NHL, treatment may keep the disease in check for many years.” The language I’ve heard often is that my form of cancer is “treatable but not curable”, my doctor says it all depends on how the word cure is defined. My cancer will be treated soon, with the goal of going into remission for a long period of time where I wouldn’t be bothered or experience symptoms of the cancer. But there will always be a risk of it flaring up / coming back, in which case I would be treated again – and then repeat again.

If you’re wondering… YES – it has been a pretty big pill to swallow.

S T I L L   D O N ’ T   K N O W :

My treatment plan & what’s next. I will meet with my doctor early next week to discuss & make decisions about my next steps. Leading up to this week, I had been mentally preparing to take Chemotherapy throughout the Fall, but that will likely change with the new updates. It’s more likely I will take a form of Immunotherapy combined with Radiation, but that will be more certain next week.

P O S I T I V E S :

  • The treatment will be less severe than I was expecting – it will be less toxic, for a shorter period of time, and much better side effects.
  • I will hopefully get to be more present in my job at Salt Company this Fall than I was previously expecting.
  • I imagine that with any ‘cure’ of cancer, you would still live with the suspicion of it coming back or something else developing some day. Mentally I will be aware of the risk of it’s return, but the ongoing treatment I would need would be much easier on my body each time.

H O W   Y O U   C A N   P R A Y   F O R  M E :

  • Perseverance. It’s really hard having cancer. It’s now been over a month without the whole picture – it would be an understatement to say I’m ready to face what’s in my body. But God has known the whole time – pray that I would persevere and God would give me endurance!
  • Wisdom. I have some options next week – would you pray that God would give me peace, clarity of mind, make me decisive, & help me to actually understand everything?
  • My Biopsy Wound. I just finished week 1 of crutches & I think the wound from surgery is doing well. The swelling is going down and the pain pills have managed the pain a ton. I have a follow-up appointment this coming Wednesday, where they will remove the bandage, take a look, & reassess my need for crutches. If you could pray for no more crutches – both now and for the rest of my life – that would be amazing!

But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love. (Psalm 59:16-17)