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part eccentric ... part fun .... stubborn .. but not stuck up ... very open to different views, ideas and possibilities ... varied interests ... engineer ... mba ... trying-to-be-a-good-entrepreneur ... ex-software ... ex-quality ... ex-tobacco ... ex-alcohol ... trying-to-be-ex-cancer
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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Staging Lymphoma

(writen on 15 Jan for the benifit of those who have just discovered that they have lymphoma)
Here’s what happens once a pathologist declares that you have lymphoma.

1) You begin shortlisting of possible hospitals to get treated from. This takes the form of frantic calls to all friends/known doctors/friends who know doctors. Your aim is to shortlist the best place for further workup and treatment. If you are lucky (like me) you will get an inside picture of many oncology departments/hospitals (they are all bad…some are less so….most doctors don’t have faith in their current hospitals…so if some doctor has good words to say about a facility in which he has worked in the past, you better give that facility some serious consideration)
2) You get a chest-abdomen contrast CT Scan done. This is an easy procedure. One is first given a liter of a metallic drink, which one has to drink in an hour. Then one is strapped in a CT – Scanner (A large and thick hoopla ring with a stretcher in the centre). One is also put on a drip (needle with butterfly shaped back, connected to some line of fluid- called iv contrast) . Then the stretcher is taken thru the hoopla ring a couple of times and you are done with the procedure. The scan tells you about all those lymph nodes which are involved in your lymphoma.
3) You also get a bone-marrow biopsy. This is to ensure that the lymphoma has not spread to your bone marrows. In this procedure, one is made to lie on ones side and a local anesthetic is given to one edge of the hip bone. Then a large needle is poked into the bone to extract some marrow. Despite the local anesthetic the procedure hurts, though just for that moment and not latter.
4) A lot of blood tests are done to find out some vital parameters

Then the doctors sit together, with all reports (including those reporting specially stained slides done by a pathologist) to find out the type, location, size, spread and stage of your lymphoma. Once staging is done further course of treatment is decided. Treatment could be either chemo-therapy or radio-therapy.In my case i might end up getting both

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