The Second Round

It's been many months since I last updated this blog. Many of you were asking for a new post back in August, but well, I've been too busy loving life and making the most of the time off. Since then, I've been to Germany, Belgium and Spain and celebrated two weddings, an engagement party, a new birth in the family and so on. The world has definitely not stopped turning!
This is just a small montage of some recent highlights.
I speak to you now having had a day to process the latest news. For those who haven't yet heard, it's not great. Even though initial tests looked optimistic, the biopsy doesn't lie. The lymphoma is back. As far as I know, it's isolated to the neck area only, but this isn't entirely certain.

The risk of 'relapse' was always a major factor that played in the back of my mind, but I had stupidly let my guard down. I am still sitting here, completely shell shocked. I struggle to believe it all for now.

They have already sat me down and discussed the treatment too. It's not going to be pretty. There's a very high chance that 'moonface Josh' will be making a reappearance.

The treatment will come in two phases: Chemotherapy and a Stem Cell Transplant.

Let's start with the chemotherapy. It's called ESHAP. Like last time, each letter stands for some kind of nasty that will do various kinds of internal damage. Once I've had a chance to do some proper research, I'll go into more detail. The chemotherapy phase of the treatment will only last 6 weeks in total, beginning on Monday 1st December. That's the good part...
The worst part of the chemotherapy (other than being crap, of course) is that it requires a 24-hour-a-day drip, so I will be having to stay at the hospital for a week of each cycle.

The next phase of the treatment is a Stem Cell Transplant. This is the nastiest part of all, with the highest risk of complications. In short, they will completely destroy my body's ability to make blood cells. I will then be transplanted with healthy stem cells that should rebuilt the immune system again. Like other treatments, I will need a donor. In some cases, the patient can be their own donor. In others, you'll need somebody else's cells.

This leads me on to talk about my brother, Tom. In theory, he is my biggest chance of finding a donor match. He has been absolutely brilliant so far, and continues to be incredible. We spoke everything through last night and he has already agreed to go to the hospital and be tested. Even though he might not be a match, I'm already so glad to know just how supportive he is through it all. Cheers bro.

No caption required...
Continuing this, for those who don't know, Tom is running the London Marathon next year in support of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, my chosen charity. It would incredible if you could support him through his Virgin Money Giving page. I know he has been training incredibly hard and I'm so proud of him.

It seems like the blog is back up and running then. I wish I had it in me to crack some more jokes and make light of the situation right now, but nothing came to mind. Once it begins to sink in, I hope I'll be back to my normal self again.

Thanks for your continuing love, support and good wishes. Until next time!

Joshua Lerner

Hi! I’m the 'star' of Livin' With Lymphoma. The blog was founded on the 31st October 2013, on the day I was diagnosed with Stage 4B Hodgkin's lymphoma. I hope you find it funny and informative.

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