Celebration And Hospitalisation

I've just checked the latest figures and Livin' With Lymphoma has been read by 48,000 unique viewers. We're so close to the big fifty! I urge you all to share this so we can reach even more people. I've had some amazing responses from people who are beginning their scary journey with cancer and I know that together we can reach so many more. This blog has also been featured by the charity Teens Unite, so a big thank you to them.

48,000, eh? That's equivalent to the town of Coral Gables, Florida - a historical suburb of Miami. Take me away, VisitFlorida! 

Try and say Coral Gables eight times, really quickly.
So it's been two weeks since my last update, and wow, have I been a busy boy! Let's start off with the good half of the story. I suppose the first part would be that the doctors have taken me off Prednisolone, that horrible drug from the last blog post, Moon Face. Since then, my face has returned to normal, albeit a little chubbier, and I'm no longer bursting into tears spontaneously. Unfortunately, I will be returning to a high dose of 75mg as of Tuesday, when I begin my next cycle of chemotherapy - I'm halfway through already!

The biggest joyous occasion of the past couple weeks has been my cousin Claire's wedding to her wonderful new husband, Matt. We were treated to an absolutely wonderful champagne-filled day (I can drink in moderation...) of great food, dancing and happiness in the heart of the City of London, at the famous Gibson Hall. There's nothing really to celebrate in my life at the moment, so it was particularly lovely to do something happy and be positive, even just for one day. I want to thank them very much for everything, especially the free bar and endless supply of Jagerbombs. 
Family Selfie!
With every high comes a low. At least that is how it seems at the moment. A major part of being a chemotherapy patient is monitoring your body temperature. It is one of the first signs of getting an infection. I had a cough and sore throat before I went to the wedding, but the next day I was feeling more unwell and tired. I managed to go for a very nice Japanese dinner that night but upon returning home I took a turn for the worse. I felt very hot and light headed. My temperature was reading at 37°C (that's 98.6°F for you oldies and Americans) which is pretty normal. Well, slightly hot for my normal body temperature, but nothing really extraordinary. I made the call to the UCH Cancer Advice Line and was advised to head to A&E for a checkup. Upon arrival to the A&E department at UCH (we decided not to go back to Whipps Cross this time) my fever had jumped to 38.8°C (102°F). That's hot. I was practically melting.
It took a lot of paracetamol, antibiotics and an ice lolly to get me back to normal. Diagnosis - another chest infection. There's nobody to blame or any real potential source. These things just happen and I am at high risk. That's just how things are at the moment.

Last fascinating thing is that I was finally sent through a copy of the PET scan that I had back at the end of January. You know, when I then wrote that blog post called Bad News 2. It turns out that although it wasn't good news, it actually showed that the previous ABVD treatment made a massive difference! 

The dark black bits are my tumours...
That's all folks! A mixture of good and bad from me this time around. The main thing is that all is going somewhat to plan, just in a bit of a strange way. I will be starting with escalated-BEACOPP, cycle 3 in a few day's time, then I will be scanned again to see whether they have reduced the cancerous activity in my lungs. Ideally, I'm waiting for the word "remission". Finally will come cycle 4, the last chemotherapy I will receive. I can't wait for this part to be over.

Again, please share my blog to all of your friends, family, work colleagues, neighbours, child molesters and so on. Together, we can reach so many people that don't know what will happen as they go blindly into chemotherapy. I hope that by sharing my blog, they (and curious bystanders) can see those funny quirks to treatment and some not so funny things they can expect along the way.

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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  1. Josh, the blog is fascinating. I hope you can see it as a positive side effect of your illness. Nevertheless I am still looking forward to the one where you change the name to 'livin without lymphoma'.

  2. I enjoy your blog Josh. I am also on chemo, variety number 4 for secondary breast cancer, it is good to read other people's experience. We are looking for control not remission, but I am ever hopeful. I am looking forward to your remission blog. Best wishes Angie, friend of Sam Ryder xxx

  3. Josh - you are truly inspirational - and have a wicked sense of humour! Every blessing and best wish.
    Bob Lane

  4. Just read every word. Won't give you any BS about how inspiring this is. You know it! Keep Buggering On as Churchill said although at that time I don't think that was quite the double entendre that it is today. I'm number 48,001!!

  5. Hi Josh, are you going to visit all these places when you knock this thing for six? If so, I'll meet you in Jerudong, Brunei as its the closest so far. Keep up the fight mate.

    Shaun (NZ)