Father of three recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Hi guys,

I am a 25 year old male MMA enthusiast, I have three kids (Hayley who's 7, Michelle who's 7 and Ethan who's 3 with twins on the way) and I was recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. I had noticed that I had started getting really tired, I'd sweat more than usual especially at home, I had swollen lymph nodes around my arm pit and neck, lots of itching & soreness, I had head aches, fever, shortness of breath (especially troublesome since I'm in good shape and having trouble catching my breath especially after using a training mask), pain in my bones especially in my shoulders, upper arms, ribs and chest, not really hungry and I really noticed that weight was coming off more than I wanted and more rapidly than I wanted especially since I was getting ready for an amateur fight.

I went to the doctor and they did their blood work about 6 weeks ago after I told them about all my troubling symptoms. I got a call a few days later telling me I needed to come into the office, I was then told in the office that I had Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and that they thought I was stage 2 boardering on being stage 3. I was then referred to an oncologist who basically confirmed my general doctor's diagnosis. I was then booked for surgery to remove the affected lymph nodes. I think it's the first time I cried since I was a little kid.

My oncologist and I are now talking about getting a port and starting chemotherapy. I am so scared to start chemotherapy because its such an unknown. I've had a PICC line before because I had Lyme Disease when I was a teenager from a Boy Scout camping trip.

Can you tell me what your experience was like getting a port put in?
What can I expect getting it?
What was your first week like with it?
What's it like getting Chemo treatments?
Will I lose my hair getting these treatments? How long will I be bald? Will I regrow my hair before my treatments are over?
How did you break the news to your kids and how did they react?
Were you in the hospital for any of your treatments?

Thank you so much.


  • 2 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I got a port earlier this year finally... It's a relatively short easy procedure but I was anxious because I don't like needles/scapels and such - I let them know ahead of time I wanted to be as sedated as possible and they accommodated so I don't remember most of it except some pushing and pulling of my skin towards the end. It was sore for a few days but nothing too bad, and since has been very convenient for all my blood draws and hospital stays - they were able to start using the port right away.

    I can't comment on the specifics of your chemo treatments... And I have no kids. I have metastatic melanoma so mostly have received immunotherapy and some targeted therapy. I did get a week of chemo once and lost my hair, I can't remember specifically but seems like it started growing back fairly soon after my treatment.

    I have been hospitalized multiple times for treatments or other issues - when I am super sick I don't care much (or maybe that was the Ativan they gave me) and when I start feeling better the hospital is boring. They wake you up a fair amount for blood draws and vitals which is annoying but I always feel better having care a button push away when really needed. The majority of my treatments have been outpatient though, which is great.
  • Hi mmafan97! I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. But now is the time to fight like you have never fought before. Think of your lymphoma as the ugliest, smelliest, most disgusting opponent to step into the octagon and go kick it's ass!

    I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia many many years ago, so I cannot comment on your upcoming treatment. But you should go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma society website ( http://www.lls.org/ ) for answers. They have many resources, including local chapters and support groups. The help you get will likely be more specific to your lymphoma.

    I wish you the best! Keep fighting!!!

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