Timeline

June 2010: Experience shortness of breath while training for half-marathon and sharp pain in shoulder at night. Family doctor diagnoses asthma and pulled muscle - prescribes puffer, NSAID (for pain), and physiotherapy.

July:
  • Chest x-ray reveals large mass in right chest cavity. 
  • Subsequent CT scan offers differential diagnosis of either sarcoma or lymphoma.
  • 3 x late night emergency room visits (and one ride in an ambulance). 

August:
  • Tissue retrieved from in-office biopsy conducted by thoracic surgeon bad quality for biopsy.
  • CT guided fine needle biopsy of lung conducted.
  • Diagnosed with primary mediastinal large B cell lymphoma (PMBCL). 
  • Meet with oncologist and begin oral chemotherapy.
September:
  • Gallium scan conducted to establish baseline.
  • Echocardiogram conducted to ascertain heart's capacity to endure chemotherapy.
  • Begin chemotherapy (R-CHOP) once every three weeks.
  • Lose hair.
October: Begin sick leave.

November:
  • Follow-up CT scan shows decrease in tumour size - chemotherapy continues.
  • Gallium scan conducted - results inconclusive.
  • PET scan conducted - results inconclusive.
January 2011: Blood counts low but CT scan shows continued decrease in tumour size - chemotherapy continues for 7th and 8th round.

February:
  • BREAK.
March:
  • 21 sessions (three weeks, daily) of radiation therapy completed.
  • Government-funded sick leave runs out - return to work.
  • Hair returns. Gained 20+ lbs during treatment.
May:
  • Follow-up CT scan shows small mass where tumour used to be - most likely scar tissue.
  • REMISSION. Follow-up appointments scheduled every three months
June:
  • Echocardiogram confirms normal heart function despite excess fluid in heart sac.
  • Begin anti-depressants to treat depression and anxiety. (Discontinue one year later.)
2011-2014: Follow-up appointments and blood work normal. Gradually increase oncologist visits to every 6 months.

June 2014: 
  • Blood work shows abnormal levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Referred to endocrinologist. 
  • Begin synthetic thyroid medication. 
September 2014: Begin weekly appointments with psychiatrist.

January 2015: TSH reaches normal levels - continue visits with endocrinologist. 

May: Complete half-marathon.

June: Request oncologist for referral to fertility clinic.

January 2016: Blood test of anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) show signs of abnormally low egg reserve. 

February: Hysterosalpingogram conducted - fallopian tubes blocked.

May: Diagnostic laparoscopy conducted - organs healthy but tubes still blocked.

August 2017: 

After becoming pregnant in the fall of 2017, I give birth to my baby girl on the 2nd of August.

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