Eric Harrison

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Halfway Done!

I made it to the halfway point. There are now less treatments remaining than I’ve already had.

Next month I’ve got my mid-way PET scan scheduled to figure out what stage my cancer is now, but my doctor is optimistic and thinks that I’m already in remission.

Now all that’s left to do is to suffer through these last few months of chemo.

I appreciate all the gifts, food, and prayers that everyone has been sending my way. You’ve made this difficult time bearable.

Chemo turned me into an alien!

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Blood Test Results and Chemotherapy

I had my third treatment of chemotherapy this morning, which officially begins my second round of chemo. Each round is two treatments. My mother asked me to take some pictures of the facility where I’ve been going, so here’s what it looks like inside the Chamber of Poison.

This is the Throne of Pain. It’s actually fairly comfortable. The Throne of Pain

The whole room has these chairs around the walls. The bag holder has a powered dosage controller that can also run on battery power. I can unplug it and go to the bathroom or get some snacks. My chemo sessions only take about 2 hours, though I’ve heard that some people have larger doses of different drugs that can take 4-8 hours each session. A Mobile Poison Repository

Here is a picture of me getting poisoned. The chemotherapy is delivered through a port that was installed in my chest. A Poisoning in Progress

The great news of today was my blood test results. My white blood cell count is way higher...

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Goodbye Hair, I will miss you.

My hair has been falling out. A fairly large clump came out yesterday and I can tell that it’s starting to thin out a bit.

I will miss my hair.

So that’s the end of that. Hopefully it will be back to full strength in 6 months.

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As expected, Chemo is terrible.

Chemo. It’s basically a treatment of death that just happens to kill cancer slightly faster than it can kill me.

My first treatment was two weeks ago, and I had a second treatment today. I’ll have to receive treatment every other week for six months.

The day after chemo, I get exhausted beyond anything I’ve ever experienced before. It’s so much worse than staying up all night. It’s a deep exhaustion that penetrates deep into every aspect of my physical body. Everything aches. The need for sleep is ever present, even immediately after a full night of sleep.

In short, it’s miserable. And it goes on for six months.

The good news with the chemo is that I haven’t had any nausea yet. Small victories, I suppose.

In other excellent news, the bone marrow biopsy results came back negative, so I’ll never have to go through that again. My lung function test also came back as normal, so it...

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The Chemo Has Begun

Today was Iron Infusion day.

I arrived at the oncologist’s office at 8:30 and settled in for a long, 5-hour iron infusion. Before beginning the infusion, they first injected me with a bag of Benadryl to make me tired enough to sleep through the entire session. It totally worked at making me tired, but what followed soon after threw the entire day in disarray and I was unable to sleep.

At around 9:30, my oncologist came over and told me the good news. The results of my biopsy on Monday came in and confirmed that my cancer is Hodgkin’s Lymphoma! With that knowledge, it was decided that I would begin chemotherapy today.

After 5 hours of Iron Infusing, they began the first ABVD treatment. It was not quite as bad as I was expecting. The PORT-A-CATH that was installed on Monday worked flawlessly and the entire chemo treatment took around an hour and a half. I’ve been told that things will...

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The Surgery

I just got home from having surgery to get a biopsy of one of the lymph nodes in my neck. While there, he also installed a PORT-A-CATH so that I can get chemotherapy injected directly into my arteries. This post is going to be really short, because I’m sore, tired, and my pain medication is starting to wear off,

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. Now all that’s left to do is hope the biopsy confirms Hodgkins.

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Stage 4

So my Lymphoma is everywhere. I’m solidly in a Stage 4 state. When I went to my oncologist appointment today he told me that he needed to perform an immediate Bone Marrow biopsy so he would know if it had spread to my bones.

Let me give you a small sliver of advice. If you’re ever in a situation where you think there might be a possibility of a Bone Marrow biopsy, get as high as you possibly can before letting him do it.

One of my main goals for the appointment today was to get a different type of pain medication. The combination of Ibuprofen and large quantities of Percocet was doing the job, but poorly. It just sort of muted the high levels of pain I was feeling, but it never really removed it. So, rather than take my Pills at the 4 mark like I normally do, I figured I would be able to wait until after the appointment was over and then take the new stuff.

…And then my nice, simple...

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The Pain that Doesn’t Quit

Weight: 175
Pain:

  • Severe back pain
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Sharp pain in my left hip and groin.

Picture from September 6, 2014

It’s Saturday night at 11:25PM. This entire day has been terrible. I woke up last night at 2:30AM in agony, so I took two more Percocet. As if on cue, at 6:30AM it was the same thing. I’ve taken two Percocets every 4 hours like clockwork all day and they’ve gone from muting my pain to doing almost nothing at all. There has to be some end to this torture.

I haven’t slept. I’ve eaten extremely poorly. My weight is disappearing. The only bright spot of today was that I had my first bowel movement in 5 days. Double doses of Metamucil and Senokot seem to have done the trick.

If I make it through tonight, I’m going to call the facility my GP works at and see if they can do anything. I don’t think I’ll make it to Monday like this. I don’t want to kill my liver from all the damned acetaminophen...

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Extreme Pain

Weight: 177
Pain:

  • Severe back pain
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Annoying pain in my left hip.

This is the fourth night in a row that I’ve woken up around 4AM in extreme pain. The Vicodin that I was prescribed on Wednesday was completely ineffective, and the Percocet that my oncologist prescribed yesterday isn’t much better.

I’m afraid that the severe pain is a bad sign of how spread the Lymphoma is. Some of the things that I’ve read stated that pain only shows up when the cancer is extremely advanced. The oncologist told me that Lymphomas like mine respond extremely well to treatment, but I’m still terrified. I went from having annoying back pain for a few months to extreme pain over the course of one week. It doesn’t seem to be slowing down or getting better.

I am scheduled to have a PET scan on Monday to find out if the cancer is lurking in any of my other lymph nodes. Then on Wednesday...

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Well, this sucks…

So, I might have Lymphoma.

I’ve been having pretty bad pain in my abdomen and lower back for several months now. It finally got bad enough to overcome my natural inclination to avoid going to the doctor and I made an appointment last week. My doctor first thought that it might be just a simple colon infection like Diverticulitis and prescribed a course of antibiotics, but also asked me to go in for a CT scan just to be sure.

The CT scan was yesterday and I was told I would get my results in 2-3 days.

At 7:30PM last night, I got a phone call from the doctor’s office asking me to come in this morning. That sounded fairly ominous, so of course I imagined the worst possible scenarios.

By the time I woke up in pain at 4AM, I had convinced myself that I had an advanced case of colorectal cancer.

At 10:15, my doctor walked into the examination room and said that they had found signs of...

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