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10/6/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated about Chip's journey in one place. Chip and I will both be contributing to this site, so you'll get all sorts of interesting perspectives. We thank you for your words of support and we will try to keep this updated as often as we are able. We are continuing with our lives full of family, work, and activities while Chip fights this stupid disease, so there may be times when we aren't as responsive as you may like. There may be times that we share things that you wish you didn't know, and there may be other times when we just aren't ready to share certain things. Chip will be the editor-in-chief for content regarding the things that I share about his condition and I will be editor-in-chief for his grammar and spelling. HA!
For about two months now, Chip has been experiencing some abdomen pain. It finally got to a point where he decided to visit his doctor, and within days of making that still days away appointment, his pain got so bad that he wanted to go to the emergency room. We considered an ulcer, or aneurysm, or maybe gall bladder issues. What we were told was not what we expected at all. The abdomen and pelvis CT, and the labwork strongly indicated a lymphoma. They admitted Chip immediately for more testing and biopsies to determine which type. He had a neck CT, bone marrow collection, a cardiac ultrasound, and a biopsy of a large lymphnode in his neck, all the while without being allowed to eat or drink anything after dinner the first afternoon of the ER visit. He went home at the late end of day 2 with a diagnosis of lymphoma (unknown type, then), assurances that it was treatable, a sweet almost non-scar on his neck, an appointment with a hematology oncologist, the surgeon's post-op appointment, some pain meds, and lots of questions.
On the 27th of September, he went to visit the surgeon to evaluate the neck surgical site and was told that the biopsy results showed a non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Follicular Lymphoma (FL). Off to the oncologist on the 28th to find out what is to be done about this.
FL is treatable, not curable, but doesn't need to have treatment started unless/until you become symptomatic. After a bit of discussion, we decided that treatment is the best option at this point since Chip is experiencing ongoing abdomen pains and has many affected lymphnodes. There is good news in that Chip's bone marrow is clean and that once it is beaten into submission (remission), it may stay that way for many years. More good news is that he is able to start treatment next week after getting a port placed today and a PETscan this coming Monday. The bad news is that cancer sucks! Chemotherapy will be the treatment, and he will go to the Mayo Clinic for a second opinion about the treatment protocol proposed. We have no reason to expect anything but a remission.